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Daily Dish: Where is the USA Hockey Waiver Wire? - Junior Hockey News

Published: Tuesday, 8 Jan 2013
By: Stephen Heisler  |  Web site: JuniorHockey.com

I'm not sure how many of you have been paying attention to the postings of USA Hockey's Add/Drop lists, but I have seen the trend of moving the same players on and off various teams' active roster.

How does the word development fit into this system?

USA Hockey needs to consider a number of changes to the system to prevent teams from retarding prospect development in this fashion.

Create a Waiver System

USA Hockey could easily add a Waiver List to the existing add/drop reports. Dropped players are initially added to the Waiver List. Interested teams, with empty roster slots, should be able to submit a claim for players on the list within a set amount of time, once the list is released. If more than one team is making such a claim, the team with the worst record is awarded the player. That team must absorb the transportation expenses needed to move the player to his new team.

If a player is dropped from the Tier I level, teams from the Tier I level have the first priority, than Tier II. Players must clear the waiver process before being traded or picked-up by a Tier III or pay-to-play league, this includes teams playing at the youth level.

Players should not be allowed to move back up until he has played five games or more at the lower level of play.

This concept would eliminate the practice of parking players on lower Tier rosters. Many of these players never actually report, creating a system that limits the prospects' options.

I have to believe that the creation of a waiver system would increase the over-all level of development of each effected player.

Now, who wants to run this idea up the flag pole at USA Hockey's winter meetings?

JuniorHockey.com is the premier website dedicated to delivering the latest news and developing stories from junior hockey across North America, as well as providing online tools for junior hockey players and prospects. With over 225,000 views each month Juniorhockey.com is the internet's leading source of junior hockey news and information. 

Stephen Heisler resides in Puerto Penasco, Mexico with his wife, Maria, and their two children, Sonia and Tomas. Tune in to his Mexico based Classic Rock Station, GoPenasco Radio.


posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 7:04am
Randy Russon says:
The 48-hour waiver wire has been a part of Major Junior hockey in Canada for as long as I can remember. It's an effective system that protects players and gives them a chance to remain at the Major Junior level if they are released by another team.

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 7:57am
Stephen Heisler says:
The parking of players is more about keeping prospects from the other guys. Teams do this all the time without considering the retardation of the prospects' development.

It's time this problem gets addressed.

Teams are telling me that it was never really a problem until we started posting the add/drop lists. Now players (and parents) are asking questions that are leaving many coaches red-faced.

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 9:20am
Jeff Price says:
Stephen, I think we just need to release a player for all to see and then let the chips fall where they may. No one level should get first crack at any player. He should be able to choose where he wants to play. But that waiver wire should be for all to see. All the higher tiers (1&2) would then see a urgency to make a decision on this player, because his phone could be ringing off the hook.

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 9:55am
Stephen Heisler says:
The problem is that players are being traded from Tier I&II to Tier III. That has to stop, and stop now. Those players should have to clear waivers before being allowed to move to a Tier III league.

The fact is, most of these guys are never seen with the Tier III team and are simply being parked on that roster. That practice retards the prospects' development.

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 10:07am
Bill Mueller says:

While I agree with you in theory Steven, you open up a pretty big can of worms. If you create a waiver system, you then have to give teams an injured reserve. If you have an injured reserve, you still have the potential for players to be kept from the open market. This is a reality in sports. It's like playing a board game, every piece I have means one less you can have.

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 10:09am
Mateo Stannard says:
Any kind of a system that promotes development has my vote. A player should also be able to ask for his own release in search of more ice time/development without fear of hell to pay by a coach who refuses.

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 10:14am
Bill Mueller says:
Ok Mateo, but that's not reality. I get upset when my employees screw up the plan I had for the day. The coaches are wiggling within the rules to put together the best team they can and, from time to time, players are gonna get caught in the shuffle.

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 3:39pm
Mateo Stannard says:
Play 'em or release 'em. Every employee can be replaced, right? And no player wants to have their name on the roster and their butt on the bench.

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 5:54pm
Michael wood says:
Teams take more players than roster allows for money.. They than have to move players on a weekly basis to meet roster number.

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 6:55pm
Bill Mueller says:
Well Michael wood, in your T III world your are correct, the EJ, WS and AJ types all bring on more players for the money. Some have said to pay for the players who get to play for free....just saying...

Would it not cost T I and T II teams to carry too many guys?

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 7:00pm
Cindy Schafer says:
If a Tier I or Tier II player is moved to a Tier III team, doesn't that player have to pay to play, since Tier III is a pay to play league?

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 7:08pm
Mike Cline says:
All it would cost T1 and T2 Leagues is the Billet Fees and Equipment costs to carry extra Players. And most Billet Fees are paid by the Parents at the T2 level.

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 7:19pm
Bill Mueller says:
You are of course correct Mike and thank you for proving my point. Those are in fact the costs. My only point is that T1,T2 teams are not going to carry the 25-28+ players that some T3 teams are for obvious reasons. They, T1 and T2 teams, would need an injured reserve if a waiver system was put in place.

posted Jan. 8th, 2013 - 11:32pm
Michael wood says:
Well Bill not all players are so athletically gifted as your son must be with a scholarship to D1 all wrapped up.
Therefore players exercise the opportunities they find best. The ultimate goal should be to get an education and play hockey. Not much comfort in looking back and saying my team kicked your teams ass if it did not help get you an education while playing hockey. Tier 3 on the east coast can certainly get you there. A lot of it depends on what coaches value and their connections. Geography helps but if you look at Jamestown(1committed) and Johnstown(2 committed) certainly east coast location with superior hockey, not really very impressive placement. Therefore you would have probably have been better off on a decent EJ team. Amarillo number 1 in their division has 7 and Texas number 2 in division has 2 commitments. That leaves as of now a lot of players with nothing for playing such high level hockey. Most of these players will be D3 since there are more programs and D1 are looking at 15 and 16 year olds. D1's take more players than they need therefore notice all the former D1 players on D3 rosters. Coaches and owners of tier 1 programs have to worry about the bottom line throughout the season, therefore leaving less time to spend on placement. Everything has a price. I guess it depends on how you define success, beating Tier 3 teams or placing players. Ajhl has teams that place 12 to 13 kids a year. Maybe not the elite programs that players dream of, but they would start looking pretty good to the 16 plus players left with nothing at the end of juniors.

posted Jan. 9th, 2013 - 2:05am
Lori Orchow says:
Stephen, have you noticed the transactions terminology on th NA site has changed now when they send kids to the NA3? It now says "league transfer" instead of just "traded to different league." Makes it seem like the two tiers are one.

posted Jan. 9th, 2013 - 7:58am
Stephen Heisler says:
Mark Frankenfeld is allowed to make up the rules as he goes.

posted Jan. 9th, 2013 - 10:21am
Bill Mueller says:
wood, thanks for the recognition of my son. Best of luck to yours and thanks for the lesson, but we've all heard this story before.

Nothing like taking a left turn to how much better the EJ is. I'm pretty sure we started off talking about the waiver wire.

Stephen, it appears that everyone is allowed to make up the rules as they go along. Is hockey growing faster than the rules and it's support systems were designed for?

posted Jan. 9th, 2013 - 11:04am
Christian Poulsen says:
Does Mr. Scott have a pager? (just thinking, i love my German Shepherds)

posted Jan. 9th, 2013 - 11:12am
Bill Mueller says:
Mr Poulsen, you are smarter than your writing reveals. Those shephards of yours, do they always come when called?

posted Jan. 9th, 2013 - 12:28pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Unless somebody's at the door, they're there 1st, and hard to "pull off"

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