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.''
Who 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.