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Daily Dish: Keep the Fox out of the USA Hockey's Hen House Canadian Junior Hockey News

Published: Friday, 8 Jun 2018  
By: Stephen Heisler,

USA Hockey Junior Council Chairman John Vanbiesbrouck has taken a new position within USA Hockey leaving a vacancy within the council.

In a very catastrophic turn of events, Donna Kaufman has been named the interim chairman and is expected to be named to the position with Sunday’s vote.

Why catastrophic? Because Kaufman has been nothing but a train wreck considering her involvement with both junior hockey teams and leagues. 

This has been the case with teams that she has horribly operated, the disaster that was the Northern Pacific Hockey League, and even in her position as a director within the Pacific District.

With such an impressive track record of her own, why would the powers at USA Hockey even consider such a move? There’s a one-word answer to that question. Politics.

Kaufman has mastered the political game. She has served on the council for years regardless that her own team and league had already been removed. Even when her group of teams from the NPHL decided to all jump to Richard Gallant’s United States Premier Hockey League, Kaufman’s seat on the council was never at risk.

It’s Kaufman’s cozy relationship with the USPHL that gives us the most important reason to reject her bid to become the council chairman. 

It was Kaufman who orchestrated the council’s blessing for the USPHL Eugene Generals to have independent status. That move gave the outlaw team roster protection and the ability to play games against USA Hockey sanctioned youth and college club teams.

For that reason, and that reason is more than enough, Kaufman has no business in the position of junior council chairman.

I feel that USA Hockey is better off shutting down the council. With just three leagues remaining, what’s the point? The United States Hockey League, North American Hockey League, and Eastern Hockey League have proven the ability to operate without the need of USA Hockey’s oversight. 

Maybe that’s really the best solution of all. It’s much better than letting the fox into the hen house. 

Author: Stephen Heisler from
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 the Heisler Group. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.

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