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Daily Dish: Realistic Perspective - Canadian Junior Hockey News

Published: Monday, 24 May 2021  
By: Stephen Heisler,

It is amazing!

That "other website" posts "League Rankings" on an annual basis in a biased effort to discourage families from considering one league over others. And as a result, 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 at which leagues advertise on that site and look at their 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 for Latin women. I even made the sincere attempt to learn Spanish to win the love of my Colombian wife. ¡Dios mío!

When it comes to bias in relation to pay-to-pay leagues, my personal recommendation comes down to one simple answer; I do not 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 am about to write had to be cleared by this site's 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 and Hockey Canada there is always an unbiased entity we can escalate disagreements to if needed. Getting such an unbiased final decision from a non-sanctioned league is literally impossible.  

So what does all this really mean? 

When dealing with any team from an unsanctioned league, 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. 

Unfortunately, most simply decide to let the money that is involved go because the fight is costlier than the loss...and that's entirely by design.

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 is the red flag every parent should question before signing.

Regardless of the league, players and families should also 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 call/text/email/facebook me and lets begin talking about your own family's unique situation.

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 Victorious Hockey Company. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.

* 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, Stephen Heisler, and not necessarily the views of 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.
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