Friday, August 20, 2010

CHL Brass Continues Unnecessary Campaign of Lies Against NCAA

If you're an outsider, or you're Canadian, you probably believe the NCAA has taken some impressive hits lately.

A number of college players have turned pro lately, hoping to start playing hockey for money. Worst case: They're going to play for a CHL team because the NHL franchise doesn't want to start the player's entry-level deal with a stint in the AHL.

Most recently, Notre Dame lost defenseman Jarred Tinordi to the OHL's London Knights, who fed Tinordi lies about him getting to the NHL faster if he played there.

Nope. Still looking at 2-3 years, kid. Way to get suckered in, though.

It's brought to light the continuing war between the NCAA and CHL. Of course, it's not much of a war, because the CHL continues to spread lies and innuendo about the NCAA's tactics.

Paul Kelly of College Hockey, Inc., the organization commissioned by the NCAA to somehow stop this madness, is in the middle of it all. Apparently, he's hurt a few people's feelings in Canada by saying mean (if not entirely accurate) things about the CHL's way of doing things.

Now, the CHL wants to talk about it, only after years spent discrediting the college game and the players who choose to take part in it.

(Nothing chafes the CHL more than when a kid like Mason Raymond, Patrick Wiercioch, Joe Colborne, or -- more recently -- Dylan Olsen or Jaden Schwartz choose to play Junior A hockey so they have the ability to go to college if they decide to do that once they're 18. You can't argue these players weren't good enough to play in major juniors, and you can't argue that they made poor choices, even if the jury is still out on a few of them as college players or professionals.)

So the World Hockey Summit is coming next week, and the CHL wants to sit down and discuss their feud with the NCAA. Of course, they didn't want to talk about this feud until they noticed someone calling them out on their fraudulent education package or the other bags of lies they tell kids.

Funny how the NCAA's decision to fight back has affected things.

"It's not on the agenda, but we've certainly indicated to Hockey Canada and USA Hockey that we think there is an opportunity to sit down," said Ron Robison, a CHL vice-president and commissioner of the Western Hockey League.

"We're committed to continuing to try to improve relationships with USA Hockey, NCAA Hockey and so forth. We have a responsibility in North America to the development system to do that in the best interest of the players. Our goal is to attempt to sit down (with them). Whether we can do that at the summit or soon thereafter, that will be our objective."

Someone should tell these geniuses that Kelly hasn't yet been invited to this summit. It's going to be exceptionally difficult for Kelly to sit down with the CHL when he isn't on the guest list for the event. Maybe the CHL is going to talk to a cardboard cutout of Kelly.

They'd still lose the debate, of course.

The money quote comes from a WHL team executive who clearly doesn't understand the old saying about the pot calling the kettle black.

"(Kelly) wants to turn this into a pissing match, but all he's doing is getting the kids caught in the middle of it," said Brent Parker, president of the WHL's Regina Pats. "I don't think it's fair to them. They have tough enough decisions as it is. That's where our league has really tried to take the high road through all of this. We recognize it's not the right way to go about it in terms of getting into running down each other's programs.''

wants this to be a pissing match?

This is like Brett Favre calling someone out for being indecisive.

Parker misses the point completely. Yes, kids have tough decisions to make when they're really young. The CHL does NOT make any of these decisions easier by continuing to pursue kids who have made up their mind to play college hockey. Expecting a 17-year-old kid to hang up the phone on a recruiter -- even if said kid has allegedly made up his mind to attend a college and play hockey there -- is just ridiculous.

As Chris Dilks suggests, maybe the CHL and NCAA can come up with a sort of gentleman's agreement not to pursue each other's commitments.

Of course, we have better odds of seeing blizzard conditions in downtown Miami than we do of seeing the CHL agree to keep their grubby, dirty paws off kids who have signed letters of intent to attend U.S. colleges.

This is still the ideal situation. It isn't perfect -- as evidenced by the WCHA's gentleman's agreement -- but it's one of those things that can be quite helpful to at least create the impression that the two sides are willing to work together.

Perhaps we can end the days where kids like Tinordi get pressured to break commitments while some teams are starting off-ice workouts.


Unknown said...

Letters of Intent are for the NCAA, not CHL. They aren't bound by them.

Why would the CHL enter into an agreement to not pursue NCAA players? what would they have to gain?

Bruce Ciskie said...

The NCAA would have to give something up. Compromises and partnerships don't happen without both sides giving a little.

Presumably, it would involve the eligibility of CHL players who end up not going pro once their junior eligibility expires.

It's not like the CHL has any loyalty to the Canadian college system, and it's undeniable that older kids from U.S. colleges are more highly-regarded among NHL scouts than Canadian college players.

It would be a nice second chance for overlooked CHL players, and they could still get a great education while playing high-level hockey.

Unknown said...

CHL players will get some schooling paid for by their teams. all depends on how many years they played. Some others can negotiate deals.

Players go to CIS hockey for the education. That part is obvious by very few if any signing pro contracts. It is an extremely viable option for graduated CHL players to take advantage of.

Fine, NCAA are more highly regarded prospects than CIS but CHL prospects are more highly regarded than NCAA.

Certain CHL teams can use universities as a recruiting tool. some can't that's an issue the CHL must deal with.

London used Patrick Kane, Sam Gagner, John Carlson as recent examples of players who made it to the NHL in one year after playing for the Knights. Pretty good recruiting tool if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

NCAA has some good programs, but the fact of the matter is that defence first system like in Boston College. The Windsor Spitfires, London Knights, or the Kitchener Rangers could easliy beat any team in NCAA. I went to the Frozen four I thought Taylor Hall could destroy Boston College by himself. The admiral ogranizations WILL pay for schooling. Kelly talks about a real cases. I agree the practices but lower class teams in the CHL should stop ripping off players. I think the CHL needs to do more for education side of things. If you argue about faster to the NHL, a great CHL team is better then a great NCAA team. If you are a freshmen, your more than likely will have 9 minutes a game. The team does have 23 year olds. Even though he was drafted high in the NHL draft. It still doesnt matter he isn't ready to be high point getter on a old team. That player becomes an a CHL they will be playing more games, more ice time, more situations. London has the best coach not the NHL so don't make a post exagerating because 4 ohl teams are poaching all college players. The talent level is just straight up better, more players have made the NHL have came from the OHL and CHL.

Unknown said...

I'm a Kitchener Ranger season ticket holder so obviously I see things as biased as the original blogger.

The Rangers have done extremely well convincing NCAA bound players to come over. Jeff Jackson at ND has run his mouth about what Kitchener may or may have not done but teams like Kitchener, London, Windsor have a proven track record of putting players in the NHL, and quickly.

To leave a NCAA scholarship to play OHL and test your luck at making the NHL is a gamble kids are willing to take. especially when savvy players can negotiate education packages should they get hurt. They can always go back to school later on.

DC said...

But why go after committed recruits a week or two before school starts? That's fucking shady. That leaves the school in a lurch and leaves them scrambling to fill a spot or leaves a spot unfilled, which another kid could have taken. If it's all about "fairness to the kids" and "pissing matches," is the CHL looking into the best interest of the kids? If the CHL is so much better than the NCAA, why do they even care if some kids go to the NCAA? If they are so powerful, why do they feel threatened? They shouldn't.

If a kid doesn't want to go to school now (or ever), then he shouldn't play in the NCAAs. But to pretend they won't develop in the NCAAs is bullshit.

Kitchener's ability to convince players to come play for them over their committed NCAA school isn't something one ought to brag about. It doesn't speak to anything other than their willingness to lie, cheat or steal more than any other MJ coach will.

Patrick Kane would have made the NHL wherever he played. Don't pretend that his MJ team made him the player he is today and that he would have been rotten somewhere else. Mason Raymond would have made the NHL wherever he played. Taylor Hall could play for Alabama-Huntsville and make it to the NHL just as fast as if he played a year in juniors. Jon Toews would have, too. Well, maybe he'd have made the NHL faster because he didn't care as much about his MJ teammates as he did about his UND teammates. He stayed 2 years because he wanted to.

There is absolutely no way to prove a kid is going to make it to the NHL faster one way or the other, because they can only choose one path, and can never do it over. But MJ execs and the NHL execs who have been poisoned against college hockey (likely from birth) refuse to see it that way. They scare the kids into thinking they won't make the NHL with college hockey, and then steal them away.

But the thing is, they don't even have to. Elite players are going to go to MJs whether Kitchener and their ilk have to use scare tactics or not, so why must they stoop to such levels to steal away kids who wanted to go to the NCAAs? It is not like the opportunity to play MJs is only presented to a kid once he is committed to an NCAA school and is packing his fucking bags for his dorm room. What exactly is so scary about a kid like Tinordi playing in the NCAAs that made London go after him?

Unknown said...

what scare tactics? you really think Tinordi was threatened? it was his choice to leave/not go to Notre Dame.

its about winning. MJ is a business, I'm never going to complain that kitchener convinces NCAA bound players from leaving. Melchiori just left UMASS Lowel to come here.

You really have no clue what happens in MJ especially the OHL. Players will balk at going to the NCAA if there is a chance they will be selected to a team they don't want to play for. Kitchener happens more often then not to be a team players will report to. If a player is selected to Soo Ste Marie or Owen Sound for example, they'll probably go the NCAA route, if their rights are traded to another team who thinks they can get them to report, well they usually show up. not really fair to the rest of the OHL but what do i care.

Its not about OHL teams feeling threatened by the NCAA, its about getting the best players to play for you.

DC said...

Yes, Jeff. I am stupid and have no clue. I didn't know you knew me.

Unknown said...

You seem to when you state you think the CHL is threatened by the NCAA and that's why they push for high end NCAA players.

Your whole post reeked of ignorance when you talk about teams lying, cheating, stealing. Nice blanket statements without really anything to back it up. There's never been an instance of NCAA "student athletes" being given money or anything at all so i'm sure they're all clean...see, i can make ridiculous statments too.

If you knew how players used the NCAA to ensure they went to a successful OHL team you would know the player is the one making the choice, they had recruiters contact them while mulling over NCAA offers. Its not a case of them suddenly losing their will to say no to someone. In some cases they've said no to 15 OHL teams.

And another thing, get off your high horse about Towes benevolently staying two years at UND and his caring about his teammates. An argument could be made if he did care about the program he would have stayed and got his degree. At least in major junior he would have probably played 3 years, so much more time with his MJ teammates.

DC said...

Wow. Not going to talk to you if you're going to personally insult me. I thought you were rational, but no.


Unknown said...

show me one place that wasn't rational in any of my posts? ironically you were the one who posted the most irrational comment, if you have to use profanity to get your point across you haven't done a good job.

Yes, i used phrases, "no clue", "ignorant" because that's what those posts were. Calling out someone who continually says the earth is flat is not insulting.

Did you know players used NCAA teams as leverage to make sure they play for the OHL team they want? With or without any intent on actually playing NCAA hockey? sure they may have signed a LOI but unless its to go to a different school they aren't worth the paper they are printed on.

Don't try to use Towes as an example of someone using the NCAA in a manner different from Kane in the CHL. Towes didn't get his degree. He left early.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions regardless of if they are informed or not. backup your assertions, this isn't a court of law so I'm not sitting not doing my work asking for proof of anything however pure conjecture isn't any better then me calling you ignorant.

Ian Ross said...

I'm old enough to remember when the NCAA -- as money-grubbing an organization as you'll ever find --started this whole pissing match in the early 80s. They said Canadian junior players making $50 to $75 a week were paid professionals and, therefore, ineligible to play US college hockey. Before that, a great many 20-year-old Canadians, who didn't turn pro, could finish out their junior eligibility and seamlessly transition into college hockey the next year. Bill Terry and Paul Pooley come to mind. Somehow the NCAA decided they were No. 1 development league in North America and started aggressively recruiting 16 and 17 year olds in Canada. The gloves came off, and now with the 2010 Summer of (Bluechip) Defections, the chickens have come home to roost for NCAA hockey. An NHL salary cap means more draft-age kids can get to The Show faster than ever. And a 70-game junior hockey where it's all hockey, all the time, is what these future millionaires want..that and maybe some payola headed to the families. Paul Kelly, Red Berenson and Don Lucia have their work cut out for them going against super-recruiters like Warren Rychel, Mark Hunter and Steve Spott. Growing up on a border town, I love both Canadian junior and US college hockey, but it reminds me of a Canada-US trade dispute, if the Americans see they can't compete, they start pissing and moaning to whatever media outlet will listen. My advice to Kelly and those bloatened NCAA bureaucrats is to either find a way to adapt or consider yourselves a second tier development league.

Anonymous said...

to police their own teams in the draft, I think the CHL would do well to not allow a verbally committed kid to be drafted. That would be good for many CHL teams and for the NCAA--- that would be a start. Also, I would like to see major jr players retain college eligibility thru HS... then they can make a proper hockey/ education decision...the NCAA needs to wiggle a little on this.

LenVera said...

The NCAA is losing the public relations war. Both the CHL and NCAA are equally adept at developing players.Both have strenghts and weaknesses and one option may be better than the other. For example, Louis Leblanc would have been better served staying at Harvard in terms of developing as a player. He will go from averaging slightly over 1 point every two games to mostlikely finishing with 80-100 points in the Q this year. At Harvard, he would have played against older competition and had the opportunity to add muscle to his slight frame. In the Q he will be playing against 16 year-olds, with little time to develop additional skills in practice or add much needed strength in the weight room. In the long-run the NCAA would have benefited him as a player.

In terms of the CHL being "shady". If a CHL team holds a players right, they owe it to their fans to pursue this player. Their only concern is fielding the best team available and if Jarred Tinordi makes your team better, then by all means recruit him.

Criticizing the CHL for recruting NCAA committed players is like telling Walmart they can't advertise to customers who shop at Target.

The NCAA needs to step it up and stop sulking.

Anonymous said...

How about the fact that NHL GM's have taken runs at NCAA programs and their lack of development (i.e., Jack Johnson; LA Kings GM).

The CHL is the best route for high end NHL bound players like Kane, Tinordi, etc. There are a significant amount of NCAA recruits that aren't good enough to play major junior. That is fact! I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that when NHL clubs like MTL are telling their draft picks (Louis Leblanc) to play major junior that has to mean something.

Bruce Ciskie said...

So Phil Kessel, Jonathan Toews, Erik Johnson, Kyle Okposo, Joe Colborne, Mason Raymond, and a slew of others weren't "high end NHL bound players" when they entered college?


The fact that Montreal had their kid leave a bad college program to play junior hockey in -- wow -- Montreal isn't an indictment of the NCAA. It's an indictment of Montreal for being lazy, and it's an indictment of Harvard for being in a bad cycle with their hockey program.

It goes back to what I've said for years. There is no single best answer for all players. People like to speak in generalities, but there are late bloomers in both leagues, and there are serious high-potential flameouts in both.

LenVera said...

Montreal never asked Louis Leblanc to leave Harvard. Montreal's GM publicly stated they were content with Louis either staying at Harvard or playing in the Q.

Louis made the decision to leave Harvard because he wanted to make Canada's U20 team in December. He didn't make the team last year and felt the lack of games at Harvard left him at a disadvantage over his competition. Playing in the Q will allow him ample time (games) to show the Canadian brass he should be on the team.

Montreal did not influence his decision.

NHL GM's are concerned with the development of 19 year-olds in college programs, because within a year they could be playing in the AHL as opposed College or the CHL.

Both the NCAA and CHL have proven to be good development leagues and with the emergence of the USHL the NCAA has all of he tools at their disposal to compete with the CHL. It comes down to public relations and the CHL is winning. The NCAA needs to be aggressive, otherwise American born players will start heading over the border in droves when London, Kitchner or Calgary come calling.

JS said...

The numbers on kids who went the college route and kids who went major juniors are shockingly evening up and getting closer every year. This misconception that kids can't develop as well in an NCAA program are about as outdated as the educational "benefits" the CHL offers kids who choose to use it.

We aren't talking about superstars, because they will make it regardless of where they play. It's the borderline guys that NCAA supporters are talking about who get lured away with pipe dreams of the NHL by CHL teams who know they will never make a big club roster, and who also know they'll never have to pay for their education.

Do kids leave the NCAA early when they shouldn't? Of course. They are also much more likely to finish their degree at a later date and have something to fall back on should they not realize their dreams of a pro career.

If the CHL is really concerned about the borderline kids, then who's going to have a better start in adulthood? The kid with a degree from a well respected educational institution, or a kid who sat around playing XBox on off days with his buddies and dreaming of something the people he trusted in knew was never going to happen?