Pay-to-play coaches from across the country are touring showcase events and North American Hockey League main camps with briefcases full of player agreements.
It's truly a sad situation when nine coaches are waiting outside the locker room like vultures waiting their turn at road kill. I never imagined that so much pressure would be placed on coaches to produce numbers before the end of July.
Here's one serious question; how many of these early signees are anything more than roster fillers? Are these the kind of players a team really feels there is an opportunity to find success with?
We are hearing about a few teams with 20-25 players already committed for the 2017-2018 season and all I can do is snicker. Those teams are destined for mediocre season. Why is that? If the team is full of players that feel their best hope for next year is to pay-to-play hockey, that group has a serious self-confidence problem.
I'm thinking the best pay-to-play teams will be patient with the recruiting process and not selling themselves short. The top teams will be made up with players from North American Hockey League and Canadian Junior Hockey League training camps. Those are the guys I would want, the prospects that still believe in themselves enough to fight for a roster slot and came up just a bit short.
Yea, give me the boys still scratching and chasing the dream over those that are content with the lower levels of play.
Author: Stephen Heisler
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 Victorious Hockey Company. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.
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