Picture this: A packed Madison Square Gardens in New York City, a junior team from Waterloo, led by a hot goaltender and excellent team play, is set to square off against the New York Rangers in the semi-finals of USA Hockey's Open Cup.
A bit far fetched, sure. But it happens every year in soccer's US Open Cup. Consider America's love affair with the underdog. The NCAA Tournament, Hoosiers, Mystery Alaska, and a how many other countless stories get our attention. USA Hockey needs a shot in the arm, and a mid-week, season long, single elimination tournament could provide that.
How could it work? Sell the idea to the networks. It is an open cup, meaning that everyone in the USA, from junior to senior, from the ECHL Orlando Solar Bears to the Boston Bruins in the NHL, all are open to be included.
Pay the $1,000 entry fee, and you are in. Divide the entries into four regions, seed the group, and pair teams geographically. The higher seeded teams host each game. Home teams take care of game officials and rooms for the visiting team. Pair em and play em.
Easy enough, not expensive, and it could be a heck of a lot of fun.
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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