#1 reason why friends don't let friends play in the USPHL
This article first appeared last summer and I wanted to remind everybody about the zoo that is the United States Premier Hockey League. Don't be another dummy monkey.
opinion is simple; Pay2Play leagues operating under the authority of Hockey Canada and USA
Hockey are a much better option than unsanctioned leagues. Leagues like the
Greater Metro Junior Hockey League and Western States Hockey Leagues have
proven themselves to be completely ineffective at managing the game fairly. That's an opinion, and I'm sticking to it.
Now that the United
States Premier Hockey League has pulled their program out from under USA Hockey’s
umbrella, we are seeing an entirely different animal sneaking out of the cage.
We are also planning to kiss almost all the USPHL advertisers good-bye as well.
Let me explain.
Imagine you have
been going to a certain health club for years. It works for you, the leaders
are great and the community is comfortable. Then your club brand has been
gobbled up by a larger entity. That works out for a year or so before something
really strange happens; a club owner from Boston has just appointed himself as
the big monkey in charge.
Now that monkey has
completely changed the brand. It’s all become about money, and that means your money
flowing to the big monkey and his close group of friends.
Somewhere along the
line, the other affiliate clubs have decided to follow the big monkey’s lead
because, that’s what monkeys are all about…monkeys see and monkeys do.
Greed makes monkeys
out of hockey people too. Welcome to the zoo that’s known as the USPHL.
When the Hampton
Roads Whalers operator Patrick Cavanagh took a hard look at the ugly banana USPHL big
monkey Richard Gallant was trying to push down his throat, he simply said no.
That’s when Gallant said the Whalers will be playing in his league, or not at
We obtained the
letter Cavanagh sent to his club’s parents. I think you will be able to sense his
frustration with the situation.
Whaler Players and Families,
hope all have had a nice start to summer. As the Whalers prepare for the
upcoming season, many of you have heard of our legal issue with the United
States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) and our unconfirmed status for the 17-18
season and beyond.
the sake of full disclosure that you all deserve, during last season the
USPHL’s President, Richard Gallant, formally announced a new division segment
within the USPHL, and named NCDC.
concept for the NCDC is not overly different than the older EJHL or the Premier
Division as you knew it over the past few years. The level of play always has
been good and will continue to consist of good players, coaches and programs.
the difference in the NCDC is that all the other USPHL teams, which include us,
are forced to pay and subsidize the NCDC players in the USPHL. The “tuition
free” model that you are supporting is designed to bolster the NCDC’s ability
to attract players that would normally become NAHL players.
you have been watching, you have noticed the rapid expansion throughout the
USPHL which seemed to be excessive and without the normal merit or due
diligence process one would expect for successful league management and
USPHL applied for USAH’s Tier II status for the upcoming season and was
rejected for not meeting the requirements that exist for Tier II hockey under
the guidelines, rulebook, and operating standards set forth by USAH.
result of this decision led to the USPHL making the decision to leave USAH and
go independent which in turn forces each and every member to also leave USAH.
the leader of Whaler Nation, I cannot come to you in good conscience with the
model presented; I find it disrespectful to simply invoice you over $500 more
per player to subsidize another player who qualifies for acceptance to an NCDC
team. I feel that any owner who wishes
to offer “tuition free” hockey must also be responsible for funding it as the
NAHL and USHL organizations do, that is what makes Tier I and Tier II programs
what they are.
I am a USAH member, always have been, as have my teams, not only at Junior but
youth, Adult hockey and tournaments.
the past six months, I have refused to accept this option in the USPHL. I feel
it is important for you to know that I do not object to NCDC’s player
development structure or “tuition free” Hockey, but rather that you are
have spent tens of thousands of dollars in legal costs, only to spend endless
hours discussing this situation with USAH directors and hockey leaders around
the country. We’ve arrived at a point where the original agreement to join the
USPHL in 2014 seems to currently have enough legal teeth to deter USAH and
neighboring leagues to allow us the ability to move in fear of intimidating
legal threats of lawsuits.
Hampton Roads Whalers have been threatened for months with the full intent for
the USPHL President to make an example of us and execute a two year dark time
in which we would be unable to offer you the training and programming you have
come to expect and enjoy with us. I am
sorry to report that USAH is intimidated to such an extent that they are
willing to allow the full slate of USPHL teams to leave USAH and its governance
and also not provide the Whaler’s players and families the support required to
allow us to stay within the USAH umbrella that I have supported all my life.
the end of the day, my choice wasn’t a choice at all; it consisted of taking
the USPHL to court for preventing the Whalers from simply leaving the USPHL and
legally fielding our non-profit hockey teams in another league and breaking the
USPHL agreements for others who also wish to leave this dictatorial structure OR to inform our members that I must charge all of you more to pay for your son’s
peers to play hockey.
I feel favorably that I could legally break this anti-competitive agreement
that was written to suppress its members, We as Whalers, and our divisional
peers in the Southern Conference, would lose as it would eliminate us from play
for the 17-18 season to make the point.
strongly considered making the sacrifice as I know it serves the greater good,
but my deciding reasoning was that I would compromise too many people who I
have committed to and feel obligated to, the Whaler Nation Players and Families
who have been beyond extraordinary over our years together.
you disagree with the increased fees that I am forced to impose upon you, feel
free to email/write the USAH President, Jim Smith, Chairmen of the Board, Ron
Degregorio, Chairmen of the Board, Dave Ogrean and Vice President Junior
Council, John Vanbiesbrouck.
is USAH’s governing body, our former governing body, that have allowed these
injustices occur to you and the rest of the USPHL organizations that truly have
no choice if they wish to remain junior hockey operators that service its
communities within the United States.
Cavanagh, Hampton Roads Whalers
Sorry Cav, we had
to do it because it’s downright embarrassing that you had to. Somebody tell us
just why all of USA Hockey has abandoned the USPHL operators that wanted no
part of leaving the national governing body of the sport in the United States.
Do you want to know what I think is why? Once again, that dirty little issue boils down to money.
It's my opinion that USA Hockey is
worried that Gallant will entice his troop into taking their youth
programs out of USA Hockey as well; something that we are now hearing is a foregone
Will such a move
destroy USA Hockey? Maybe not, but I don’t see it ever being the same.
All that because
an entire troop of monkeys are dancing to Gallant’s music box.
Monkeys see, monkeys
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