I have one very
specific message for the United States Premier Hockey League, the North
American Hockey League and the rest of USA Hockey’s Junior Council. Get over
Everybody is all up in
arms and lawyered up over an absolute ridicules issue, tier labeling. Here’s
the newsflash, the label is irrelevant. Obviously, so are tier standards, but let’s
save that battle for another day.
The open market system
allows brands like Tesla to compete with General Motors and Ford without the
government telling the consumer that any specific brand is better than the
other. Maybe if USA Hockey spent more time worrying about insurance coverage
instead of trying to determine which league partner or the other not to piss
off, we would not be in this mess.
The consumer really
does not care. Value is perceived. Since the concept of a National Championship
has been completely diluted to a point of laughter at all levels of play across
USA Hockey’s platform, and junior hockey does not even bother anymore, we
should go ahead and eliminate the tier structure for junior as well.
Seriously, what’s the
point, to educate the market? The kids know more about what they want than
anyone on the junior council.
everything. The top leagues have all put a tremendous emphasis on branding, to
a point where the market obviously knows what brand does what and for who.
The USHL is free
across the board. NAHL players have to cover billet expenses and get less
perks. The USPHL is all over the board. The fact is that there are already
free-to-play opportunities at all three tiers. With so many teams on the ice,
the better players have the ability to negotiate any fees, and have been doing
so for twenty years.
Let’s just end the charade.
If the USPHL Super Premier wants to take out the player fee, that’s their
business decision. If they decide to charge every other player in the system
more to cover that cost, it’s up to the players to determine if the league(s)
still presents adequate value in exchange for the added cost.
The leagues should be
the entity policing their own standards because we are all too well aware that
USA Hockey will never do it.
Enough already. I'm going to the beach. Let me know when we go back to Junior A, B, C, D.....
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 Hockey Group.
Stephen and his family spend most of their time in Florida.
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