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Daily Dish: Just Say No to 4th Liners Junior Hockey News

Published: Thursday, 20 Dec 2018  
By: Stephen Heisler, JuniorHockey.com


The goals of junior hockey are to promote, develop, and administer the domestic USA Hockey program for junior-aged players, teams and leagues.


The above is the stated purpose of junior hockey in the United States. Let's ask the game's fourth-liners, healthy scratches, and third goalies how much promotion and development they are experiencing.


Hockey purest often are heard whining that the the junior level has over expanded, that the leagues are killing the game. I don't agree.


Let's use the number 23 as the current size of each roster. After multiplying that number times the current 22 teams we end up with 506 players. If roster sizes were reduced to 19, there would be enough players to roster another four NAHL teams. The USHL could easily add another teams as well.


There are a number of economic advantages to this concept as well. The bus costs are the same, but equipment, hotel and meal expenses are easily reduced by 20% of more.


Roster deadline dates would have to be adjusted and the restriction of movement between the top two tiers would have to be eliminated. The developmental advantages far exceed the logistical headaches of moving players from team to team.


Educational concerns are understandable. Undergraduates should not be moved unless it is within a structure that does not require a school transfer. Players taking college classes should restrict their class-schedule to online courses only.


The same roster size concept should also be applied to the Tier III level as well. I have to believe that parents are going to be more than willing to shell out more money if it means little Johnny is really going to play.


Water will always find its own path and junior hockey should do the same thing. We need to stop blowing smoke up these player's backside and let them play.


Author: Stephen Heisler from JuniorHockey.com
Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Stephen is also working with individual teams, coaches, and players as a director with the Heisler Group. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.


* Disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Stephen Heisler, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.
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