It's that time of the year again as players are making plans and attending camps with hope of upgrading their development to higher levels of play.
Just as any family transitions from one home to another, the same is taking place among players, coaches, and even teams. In some moves, folks may be spending a little more but the return is an amazing upgrade in class. Players on the move this off-season are looking for the same thing.
The situations are the same from Tier I to Tier III; everybody is looking for a better opportunity, for a better team, and for a better developmental experience. The lifestyle of junior hockey is essentially interchangeable; it's the program that earns a reputation and a good investment or a serious waste of time.
Teams oftentimes find themselves at the crossroads between fiscal responsibility and broken promises. Some operators attempt to cut corners and lose sight of their end of the bargain, while others over deliver. What we tend to see is a continuous line of talent streaming to those operators that do things the right way. While the other guys tend to lose track of the big picture, teams that deliver on their promises seemingly never have a hard time filling the roster or the trophy case. It's an investment with a long-term return.
Teams that want to right the ship need to address the one item on the budget that matters the most; coach's compensation. Folks, that old saying that you get what you pay for certainly applies to the junior level of play. Teams that go out and get the right guy find themselves in a position of seeing long-term success. The other guys that play low-ball tend to get what they pay for. You know the teams that I'm talking about, the ones that can never seem to get over the hump, or out of the first round of the playoffs. Good enough is no substitute for raising the hardware.
The right guy behind the bench means everything. It's one of those rare times when cash can buy class.
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