The VICTORIOUS HOCKEY COMPANY’s Weekly Newsletter: ST. CAMPERS DAY
Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone,
Let the annual freak out begin. Camp after camp after camp after camp! The invitations are pouring in. This time of year, it ALWAYS happens. That is nothing new. The deluge is to be expected. What is new is the intensity. Not the intensity of the camps themselves (that would be a good thing) but rather the intensity of the sales pitch. More camps, more money and with more urgency than ever before are involved in the process. The rationale makes sense. Teams need to ensure that all their camps are filled to capacity and most teams are either hosting or taking part in additional camps than normal.
It is all about the money. Teams were heavily impacted by the pandemic. There are very few programs (if any at all) that were not affected by the shutdown. There are many teams still affected and others that will continue to be affected throughout the duration of next year (I’m looking at you, OHL). Camps provide a means for a team to raise capital quickly. Most can secure ice time at their rink of business rather easily and affordably. Staffing is already in place as a billeting coordinator can quickly morph into a makeshift travel agent / concierge. If the coaches live nearby in the offseason (or opt to come back) then on-ice instructors are covered. Many times these teams have a retired professional nearby (some are even owners and/or GM’s) that can come in and talk to the troops. Really the toughest part is finding someone to place the Jimmy Johns lunch order. The point is, camps are an easy and inexpensive way to make lots of money. AND THEY ARE COMING FOR YOU!
Your mailbox, inbox and lunchbox are all going to be flooded with invites. Expect it. If they can find you, they will contact you. That bantam camp your child played in three years ago had a sign-up list and you provided your contact information. Just because your child is too old for it now doesn’t mean that list wasn’t sold up the river (again, money talks). You signed up for a combine? -SOLD! Lists are bought, sold and traded with the same ferocity of a tech start-up on the NASDAQ. Your address has value. Teams, combines, showcases and schools all generate lists and all those lists are on the table to anyone and everyone willing to buy them.
“We got a letter from the head coach asking my son to attend.” That used to be a reasonable way to sort validity but they have all caught on. Remember that half of this year we were all locked down, so coaches had plenty of time to reach out. Most were simply going down a list provided to them from the front office. Most letters are nothing more than a plug-and-play form letter. If you see the logo or words MailChimp or Constant Contact at the bottom (or anywhere in your letter) then it is a form letter generated from a mass email program. Be skeptical of traditional mail letters too. Those are just printed, signed and mailed in bulk. What you want to look for is contact from coaches with whom you or your player has interacted with personally. Give those letters more attention. Any letter that mentions the player’s name multiple times and references things specific to him and/or his style of play is likely to be more legitimate. Again, they all are going to be financially driven this year but only consider those that express a sincere and legitimate interest in you.
Don’t Panic. Urgency pressure cooking is a salesman’s favorite. “Sign up right now space is limited” is a classic rouse to lock you in before someone else gets the chance to. Don’t fall for it. There will be so many camps this year that a place to skate can be found if needed. Make sure that you do it on your terms and not because someone is insisting that you have to.
Set a plan and stick to it. If you don’t have one then you can borrow mine to help vet the offers that you have deemed as worthy of consideration. I have preached this plan on many occasions and hopefully it will help you as well:
- Is the camp something that your player really WANTS to do? Is he excited about it?
- Is the camp of value to you? That is, are they charging $300 for many (5-6) games over a weekend or are they charging $1000 for one day? If it fits what YOU personally feel is worth it then it's maybe worth considering.
- What is his expectation? No camp is likely going to be the moment that spells out the rest of your player’s hockey future. Teams and scouts can't learn much watching 300+ players in a weekend. However, these camps can be a good way FOR HIM to see how he measures up against similar players. They are also a good way to begin making introductions to Junior coaches and programs.
So in light of today’s holiday, and being of direct Irish- English ancestry myself, I thought I’d share some St. Patrick’s NHL lore. I was more of a ringer than a goon but even the most refined hockey purist has to appreciate the legend that was forged one St. Patrick’s Day.
On this day -thirty years ago, the Chicago Blackhawks took on their Norris Division rivals- the St Louis Blues. That year (1991) saw both teams battling it out for not just the Norris title but the President’s Trophy (Awarded to the team that finishes with the most points during the NHL regular season).
Then it happened…
Chicago’s Jeremy Roenick plowed into Harold Snepsts. A heavy hit that Glen Featherstone did not appreciate. Within seconds it escalated into a bench clearing brawl. It was a hockey fight that seemingly had no end. Eventually the game concluded with the Blackhawks taking the victory, 6-4. But it was the score sheet that recorded 278 penalty minutes (24 minors, 12 majors and 17 misconduct penalties) that secured the game in infamy!
Look at this monster:
02:12 STL Rod Brind’Amour Boarding 2 min
05:52 STL Darin Kimble Game misconduct 10 min
05:52 CHI Trent Yawney Game misconduct 10 min
05:52 CHI Trent Yawney Fighting 5 min
05:52 STL Harold Snepsts Game misconduct 10 min
05:52 STL Harold Snepsts Fighting 5 min
05:52 CHI Jeremy Roenick Roughing 2 min
05:52 CHI Steve Larmer Misconduct 10 min
05:52 STL Darin Kimble Fighting 5 min
05:52 CHI Michel Goulet Game misconduct 10 min
05:52 CHI Michel Goulet Fighting 5 min
05:52 STL Glen Featherstone Fighting 5 min
05:52 STL Kelly Chase Game misconduct 10 min
05:52 STL Rod Brind’Amour Game misconduct 10 min
05:52 CHI Keith Brown Fighting 5 min
05:52 STL Kelly Chase Fighting 5 min
05:52 STL Gino Cavallini Misconduct 10 min
06:46 CHI Chris Chelios Misconduct 10 min
06:46 CHI Dirk Graham Elbowing 2 min
12:54 CHI Stu Grimson Cross checking 2 min
12:54 CHI Stu Grimson Slashing 2 min
17:38 STL Bob Bassen Cross checking 2 min
17:38 CHI Steve Thomas Unsportsmanlike conduct 2 min
17:38 CHI Steve Thomas Spearing – double minor 4 min
17:38 STL Garth Butcher Unsportsmanlike conduct 2 min
17:38 CHI Paul Gillis Misconduct 10 min
20:00 CHI Steve Larmer Roughing 2 min
20:00 CHI Greg Gilbert Roughing 2 min
20:00 STL Dave Lowry Roughing 2 min
20:00 STL Scott Stevens Roughing 2 min
20:00 STL Scott Stevens Roughing 2 min
06:31 CHI Mike Peluso Game misconduct 10 min
06:31 STL Glen Featherstone Fighting 5 min
06:31 STL Glen Featherstone Game misconduct 10 min
06:31 CHI Steve Thomas Roughing 2 min
06:31 STL Scott Stevens Game misconduct 10 min
06:31 STL Scott Stevens Fighting 5 min
06:31 CHI Stu Grimson Game misconduct 10 min
06:31 CHI Mike Peluso Game misconduct 10 min
06:31 CHI Mike Peluso Fighting 5 min
06:31 CHI Dave Manson Game misconduct 10 min
06:31 CHI Dave Manson Fighting 5 min
06:31 CHI Steve Larmer Game misconduct 10 min
06:31 CHI Steve Larmer High sticking 5 min
06:31 STL Garth Butcher Roughing 2 min
10:03 STL Jeff Brown Hooking 2 min
03:09 CHI Bench Too many men on ice 2 min
06:36 STL Garth Butcher Roughing 2 min
06:36 CHI Troy Murray Slashing 2 min
11:56 CHI Greg Gilbert Holding 2 min
15:49 CHI Bob McGill Cross checking 2 min
15:49 STL Dave Lowry Slashing 2 min
In all its glory, here is a nine minute video of the extracurricular events that transpired (in addition to the 60 minutes of actual hockey played) that fateful day. Ladies and gentlemen, I present the St. Patrick’s Day Massacre:
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* Disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Michael Moore, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.