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DAILY DISH: WSHL Wish List Junior Hockey News

Published: Friday, 20 May 2016  
By: Stephen Heisler, JuniorHockey.com


Earlier in the week the Dish covered some changes I would like to see addressed at USA Hockey’s Annual Congress during the summer meetings. The Western States Hockey League is meeting in Las Vegas next weekend so it’s time a toss out a few things for that group as well.

1- Player Agreements within the structure of the Amateur Athletic Union sanctioned league should all be standardized and include something in regards to non-performance based releases and refunds.

2- Import Restrictions should be completely removed. United Hockey Union is the only sport within AAU’s structure to have such restrictions. Opening up the rosters will ultimately create real competition for ALL roster spots while raising the overall level of play. It’s become very obvious that colleges WILL take international prospects that can meet enrollment standards.

3- Player Fee Collections don’t have to be about the player fees at all. The league should stop worrying about who is paying what and allow the team operators to assemble to best team they can afford to put on the ice. One way of making sure teams are financially stable is to have each new owner put up the $150,000 deposit (or a performance bond) until the majority of partner operators feel that the team has proved themselves to be on solid financial ground.

4- Promotion and Relegation Tiered Competition is more than just a number or press release. The WSHL is big enough now to make the case for a split conference system based on performance. Based on 2015-16 results, I’ve come up with a format that allows every team in the league to play against others that are relatively competitive equals.

 

COASTAL CONFERENCE

Division I

Idaho

Fresno

Long Beach

Ontario

Phoenix

Vancouver

Valencia

Southern Oregon

Division II

Arizona

Bellingham

Butte

Whitefish

Lake Tahoe

Las Vegas

San Diego

Seattle

Schedule Formula- Play other seven teams from within division six times each (42 games). Western Shootout (4 games). Single game home-and-home sets with the closest three rivals from other division (6 games) for a total of 52 games.


CENTRAL CONFERENCE

Division I

Casper

Colorado

El Paso

Ogden

Oklahoma City

Springfield

Wichita

 

Division II

Cheyenne

Colorado

Dallas

Salt Lake City

Superior

Tulsa

Schedule Formula- Until Ron White secures three more teams, this is going to be a bit unbalanced. Division I teams play a seven game series with each other team in division. Play three of the teams 3 home and 4 away, the other three are 4 home and 3 away (42 games). Division II teams play an eight game series with four of the other division rivals along with a ten game series against the closest division rival (42 games). Both divisions play in the Western Shootout (4 games). Single game home-and-home sets with the closest three rivals from other division (6 games) for a total of 52 games.


Promotion and Relegation- The last place team from Division 1 drops to Division 2 the following season while the first place team from Division II climbs to Division 1 the following season. Of course, when new teams join the league they do so at the lower division, pushing the second place team (and so on) to the upper group.


Now the real $250,000 question… which team owner is going to actually forward these ideas to the rest of the group and force the discussion in Las Vegas? Anyone?


Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Now semi-retired and working with individual teams, coaches, and players as a consultant, he spends most of his time in Florida with his family.


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.


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