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Daily Dish: Use my own money? That's crazy talk Junior Hockey News

Published: Friday, 13 Jul 2018  
By: Stephen Heisler,

Newsflash... it takes actual money to operate a junior hockey team.

Despite popular opinion that pay-to-play junior hockey is a sure bet path to millions of dollars, teams require a large amount of liquid capital to keep going.

This tidbit of information keeps getting overlooked by team owners, and even leagues, all across both the United States and Canada.

Even now, we are still hearing about teams without any kind of marketing budget, business development plan, season tickets sold, or for the most part, even a clue. How can that be?

A number of teams are on the ropes and destined for another failure because team owners continue to depend entirely on the player fee for 100% of the operational expenses. That is not going to work. There is more to junior hockey (or any team) than throwing up a crappy website and calling it a day. These guys can expect to come out of pocket with $50,000 or more to start a successful season. Many owners do not have $1,000 to throw at the teams.

Player Development is more than just a flashy phrase and pay-to-play junior hockey is a very competitive market. Let's face it; if a player's parent has the ability to pay, finding a team is not a difficult task. It is a buyer's market for financially sound players.

A lot of these teams have unique situations that could be very attractive to prospective players and parents. Geography has become less important when teams can deliver an exceptional opportunity for development.

Teams that continue to try to stock their team by poaching from other teams' tryout camps, a dinky site, social media, and direct telephone contact are missing the boat. It takes a lot more.

The next few months should be interesting; with the addition of so many new teams and leagues, the devil in the details is going to bite a lot of these yahoos directly in the...

Author: Stephen Heisler from
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.

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