Why has climbing the developmental system’s
ladder become so difficult?
Over the last few weeks we’ve heard about two
situations where players have been punished for seeking opportunities at higher
levels of play.
In one case it was from the United States Premier Hockey League premier level
to the North American Hockey League. The
pay-to-play team is trying to force an NAHL caliber player to pay the full player fee
for the 2018-19 season. Why? Because the player was pressured by the USPHL team into signing an
agreement back in June. The player signed to give himself an option if he did
not make an NAHL team's roster.
One of the better NAHL teams offered him
an opportunity and now the pay-to-play team wants the player to… well pay. The
team wants $10,000 right now or they were going to file a lawsuit against the family and get an injunction that keeps the prospect off the ice.
The second case involves an NCDC team. The player re-signed with the NCDC team as a back-up plan. The coach agreed that the player could pursue opportunities in the United States Hockey League and Canada. The player took part
in a number of USHL camps along with attending a Canadian team's camp. The player earned a roster spot at the Canadian team's camp and now the NCDC team owner wants his money. We know what's coming next and this parent is ready to fight.
In both cases we appear to be dealing with
jealous schoolgirls and not teams that are in the business for the right
Rest assured, I don’t have to say your team
name, and the damage has already been done.
Both are absolute garbage moves and both teams will take the heavy hits
in future recruiting battles. And for
what? Because players did exactly what
they should be doing; pursuing opportunities that makes them better hockey
Boys, we are here for you. When you experience, or witness, operators trying to hinder movement to higher levels of play, please tell me. Nothing makes me happier than to see players
moving up the ladder. At the same time,
nothing angers me more than to hear about teams trying to hinder that
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