It appears that non-sanctioned pay-to-play junior teams are not the only folks trying to block players from moving up the ladder of development. As if players needed any additional motivation to play outside the sanctioning body of USA Hockey, there is at least one North American 3 Hockey League team that is demanding compensation from Canadian Junior Hockey League teams that might be considering the NA3HL team's veteran players for next season.
New Ulm Steel (and Chippewa Steel NAHL) General Manager Bryant Black is telling his players, that want to try to make a Canadian Junior Hockey League club, that the new team must compensate the Steel to facilitate the transfer.
This is a dirty play on so many levels. First, the 3HL team has been paid by the family so why does the same team think they deserve to get additional money from a club the next rung up the developmental ladder?
Joe Dibble said it best. "When a USHL (United States Hockey League) team calls wanting to see one of our players, we fill that kid's gas tank up and send him on his way." Now you know why the Jets have good teams year after year, it's because Janesville does whatever it takes to get their players elevated.
It's completely clear, Black does not get it.
It's exactly these type of decisions that give the entire 3HL a black eye. There are way too many operators that continue to see the league through a straw and are completely unaware of how some decisions can have a negative impact on the league.
Black is not the only one. Others have been making similar short-sighted moves for years. I'm thinking the entire league needs to keep the big picture in mind at all times. Failure to do so will only send even more players to the other side, a fate that brings the entire league down...again.
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