That other guy posts "league rankings" on an annual basis in a biased effort to discourage families from considering one league over others. And every year we get calls and texts from clients in a panic over where their particular league ranks.
My response is the same for every email, text, and call; look what leagues advertise on that side and look at the list again.
Bias, we all suffer from it. Maybe its towards a certain brand of car, ice cream, or gasoline. I'm guilty of having a bias against the idea of a Caucasian wife after a less than peaceful marriage, so I made the sincere attempt to learn Spanish.
When it comes to bias in relation to pay-to-pay leagues, my personal recommendation comes down to one simple answer; I don't send players to programs where the operator is not someone I personally know OR someone that has not proven themselves to be reputable.
What I'm about to say had to be cleared by the new legal filtration process due to the United States Premier Hockey League's excessive use of the law firm of Cole-Schotz.
In almost every case (with the exception of Hampton Roads, Potomac, and few others) we actively discourage clients from going to the USPHL. Why is that? There has been entirely too much deception in regards to player development, advancement, and agreements.
Within USA Hockey, Hockey Canada, or even Amateur Athletic Union hockey, there is always an unbiased entity we can escalate disagreements to if needed. With the Greater Metro Hockey League and USPHL, getting an unbiased final decision in literally impossible.
So what does all this really mean?
Families should get EVERY promise in writing, regardless of what the coach says. They should know exactly what they are paying for and have an escape clause written into the agreement in the event the team/club fails to live up to their end of the deal. Unfortunately, they should be fully prepared to face a lengthy legal battle in order to settle any disagreement.
When the league has to have an automatic restraining order, written into the standard player agreement, prohibiting an amateur hockey player from playing in another league, that should be the red flag every parent should question before signing.
Players and families should not be expecting the team or league to do the heavy lifting in regards to getting to college hockey, those days are far behind us. Generating interest from schools is primarily the player's job. Having a reputable advisor to lead the family through that process can easily payoff in multiple equations in relation to the fee for that service.
Interested in learning more? Please feel free to call and lets talk about your family's situation.
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