Showing posts with label Kitchener Rangers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kitchener Rangers. Show all posts

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Christian Evers drafted by the London Knights

Well, this is an interesting development. I do think this is a concern, because the Hunter brothers have shown little concern for college commitments in the past. This should give UND hockey fans some grounds for concern.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

OHL to limit fighting?

I saw this tweet tonight and I think it's a horrible rule after 10 fighting majors a player would receive an unspecified suspension plus additional discipline. I think this is a horrible rule if it does in fact get enacted. I will post something as soon as more details emerge.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, August 19, 2012

CHL to have a players union

Canadian Hockey League
Canadian Hockey League (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This article caught my attention and is worth a read if you haven't seen it.

I wonder what kind of grievances you will see filed in regards to the education packages and compensation? I wonder if that zinger is too soon.
Mike Davies, Peterborough Examiner --- A union for Canadian Hockey League players has been in the works for 14 months and will soon go public, says a spokeswoman.

Sandra Slater, a consultant for the Canadian Hockey League Players Association (CHLPA), expects the group to go public within 10 days. The CHLPA aims to create better representation for junior hockey players regarding rights, education packages and compensation for their use in league branding as well as CHL and Hockey Canada events, particularly, the World Junior Hockey Championship.A union for Canadian Hockey League players has been in the works for 14 months and will soon go public, says a spokeswoman.

Sandra Slater, a consultant for the Canadian Hockey League Players Association (CHLPA), expects the group to go public within 10 days. The CHLPA aims to create better representation for junior hockey players regarding rights, education packages and compensation for their use in league branding as well as CHL and Hockey Canada events, particularly, the World Junior Hockey Championship.

“The CHL is big business. They make millions of dollars a year and these kids make it for them,” said Slater. “Hockey Canada is a big part of this as well.”

If a 60 per cent majority of players accept the union, Slater says the CHL will have no choice but to recognize it by law.

“We're hoping to have a good working relationship,” she said.
Enhanced by Zemanta
It also sounds like some of the same arguments that you hear surrounding the NCAA are also being talked about by the CHL players. Some have argued that college and universities should play the NCAA players especially in NCAA football and basketball because their schools makes so much off of the fruits of their labor.
D'Agostini said a QMJHL player he trains with mentioned it one day but that's the extent of his knowledge. He admits to mixed feelings. He says players should be compensated for the use of their image and he wouldn't turn down more money but he says: “I can't complain about the things I have gotten out of this league. The experience of playing for Team Canada. Playing in the Subway Series. You're always decked out in nice gear and are given free stuff. I'm sure I have gone through thousands of dollars worth of hockey sticks alone. I know I have been well taken care of. I don't know what to say.”

Friday, August 17, 2012

Rangers, Michigan Daily Reach Settlement

It looks like the Michigan Daily has finally succumbed to the pressure and taken their famous story down. [Link to the Story]
Steve Bienkowski, Chief Operating Officer of the Kitchener Rangers Hockey Club, has released the following statement regarding the organization’s settlement with the Michigan Daily newspaper.

“The Michigan Daily has removed the article that caused the Kitchener Rangers to commence legal proceedings against the newspaper and the reporter, Matt Slovin. As they have acceded to what was from the outset the Kitchener Rangers’ primary demand, we are discontinuing the legal proceedings as against the newspaper and Mr. Slovin.

The Kitchener Rangers remain gravely concerned about the ease with which a source hiding behind the cloak of anonymity was able to spread the false allegation that our organization offered Jacob Trouba financial compensation.

We are not discontinuing the action against the anonymous source. Although truth would be a complete defence to the libel action, we fully expect that the source will not have the courage to step forward, as there is not a shred of truth to the allegation, as the Ontario Hockey League investigation has now confirmed.

It is unfortunate that there are individuals so intent on harming our organization that they would fabricate and disseminate harmful lies. It is particularly unfortunate that they chose to implicate Jacob Trouba and his family, who should not have had to answer to the baseless allegation.”
It would have been interesting to see what a hockey team in a foreign country could have actually done against the University of Michigan newspaper and or Matt Slovin – I can’t imagine that a foreign countries court (CANADA) could levy a criminal sanction decision that would have much for teeth in it.

Hey kudos to Matt Slovin for not caving earlier and the story was actually up for a month plus before the took the article down. In my opinion, this still looks like the bully boys from the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL bullying a student newspaper.

EDIT: The Michgian Daily has a clarification on its webpage. [Click to link]
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, August 13, 2012

More on the Spitfires and the OHL.

Last Friday, we found out that the OHL has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at the Windsor Spitfires. While the sanctions appear to have been unprecedented the GM of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds says that the Spitfires will be able to survive their punishment.
Jim Parker, Windsor Star --- One former OHL general manager feels the Spitfires will survive the unprecedented ruling.

“It sets the program back, but they are smart, good hockey guys and will navigate to have a competitive team,” said Dave Torrie, who was general manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds for eight seasons. “Whether they can turn competitive into a championship, that will be the real challenge and it’ll be tough.”

Torrie said the loss of the draft picks, especially the first-round selections, will have an impact on the team’s on-ice product.

“The draft is the No. 1 fundamental way to build a team,” said Torrie, who is now an amateur scout for the Buffalo Sabres. “If you go back to Windsor’s two championships, they were built around two great drafts and to a point built them into an elite program.”

Windsor drafted Greg Nemisz seventh overall in 2006 and Taylor Hall second overall in 2007. Both went on to be first-round NHL picks and those drafts were augmented in later rounds with the addition of Adam Henrique, Mark Cundari, Matt Hackett, Eric Wellwood, Ryan Ellis, Jesse Blacker, Garrett Wilson, Andrew Yogan and Kenny Ryan.

“The thing that hinders is not having first-round picks and getting a Taylor Hall,” Torrie said. “The next three, four, five or six years, not having those picks will make it hard to build a championship team.”
So with the Windsor Spitfires getting sanctioned by the OHL – other teams in the OHL wonder who is next? Who is the hammer going to fall on next? NCAA fans are waiting to see how this plays out. I know that some in the UND hockey fans and a certain Michigan student newspaper are probably hoping that the Kitchener Rangers get a look as well.

Edit: According to Chris Dilks the Kitchener Rangers have been cleared in the Jacob Trouba case. Of course they have because no actual money ever changed hands and Trouba is going to honor his commitment to Michigan.
Patrick King, Sports Net --- The league’s policy has been made clear to member teams, but it had previously been viewed as somewhat similar to a soft salary cap. Teams were able to circumvent some rules and, as one source noted to on Friday, "everybody was doing it."

Until the exact circumstances are known in regards to Windsor’s violations, every team is wondering if they could be facing similar sanctions. One source noted there were approximately a handful of other investigations ongoing and Friday’s ruling could simply be the tip of the iceberg.

It’s no secret there is a disparity between the haves and the have-not’s in junior hockey. It doesn’t always come down to drafting the best players because the best players aren’t always willing to play in every situation.
Apparently, the NCAA and College Hockey Incorporated are remaining quite about the recent revelations that took place in Windsor this past week. In my opinion, I don’t know if a comment is needed. I am also not sure what College Hockey Incorporated is supposed to do - I am sure they are watching the situation closely but there no need to make comments until this thing plays out. What are they going to say? See I told you so. Like the article linked above there may be a few more shoes to drop in this case.
Bob Duff, The Windsor Star --- As the hockey world still tries to wrap its collective psyche around the stunning punishment meted out Friday to the Windsor Spitfires by Ontario Hockey League commissioner Dave Branch for violations of the league’s recruitment and benefits policies, those in the U.S. college hockey fraternity, who for years have suggested that major junior clubs were skirting the rules in order to poach players bound for NCAA schools, are opting to take the high road.

The Spitfires were fined $400,000 and docked five draft picks – three first-round choices and two second-round selections between 2013-2017.

Perhaps in private, U.S. college hockey people are doing cartwheels of delight, but for public consumption, they’ve opted to hit the mute button.

“I think it’s best that we respectfully decline comment on this topic, rather say something that’ll get the rest of the OHL mad at us,” said Nate Ewell, executive director of College Hockey Inc., a marketing arm working with the NCAA and designed to educate kids on the merits of U.S. college hockey.

Even Paul Kelly, Ewell’s predecessor and a man who has been outspoken in his accusations that OHL teams were paying players under the table to skip out on their NCAA commitments, wasn’t about to take the bait.

“My past views on this subject are well known, but given my current role I am unable to comment further at this time,” said Kelly, who works as a partner with the law firm of Jackson Lewis LLP.
Not everyone is remaining silent on the matter – I posted a tweet last Friday from the UND hockey beat writer Brad Schlossman and If he posts something on twitter or on his blog I am going to tend to believe him. Here is a screen shot of the tweet in question that says Windsor offered UND incoming freshman Jordan Schmaltz was offered money to not go to UND – so it looks like the OHL got it right in this situation.

Check out this newspaper article from the Sault Star that is basically saying what others have been saying all along. It will be interesting to see if the OHL teams and leadership will go after this newspaper beat writer to find out who the anonymous player agent was.
Bill Montague, Sault Star --- Whether the league’s decision is upheld or not, Friday’s news is excellent news for the Soo Greyhounds and every other small-market team that simply cannot afford to pay players to play for them.

Will it stop the draft manipulation? I doubt it. Teams will still find ways to encourage players to tell other teams they are headed to the U.S., but they will definitely think twice about paying players and their parents off.

Agents will still take the leading role by brokering deals that ensure their clients get under-the-table payouts for playing in certain places. And, as one agent told me, teams will simply become more cautious and creative in their dealings. Another said it's his job to get the best deal for his clients and if that means accepting money from someone willing to dish it out, then so be it.

Still, the news can’t be anything but positive for teams like Sault Ste. Marie. Lets face it, the Soo Greyhounds, Erie Otters and Owen Sound Attack, to name a few, cannot afford to pay out the kind of money the bigger-market teams can dole out to acquire the rights to certain players.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

2012 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp Final Roster

The WJC Evaluation Camp Final Roster is out and UND hockey recruit Jordan Schmaltz is not on the roster for the USA.


John Gibson, Kitchener Rangers (OHL) ANA (’11, 2nd rd., 39th overall)
Jon Gillies,. Indiana Ice (USHL) CGY (’12, 3rd rd., 75th overall)
Garret Sparks, Guelph Storm (OHL) TOR (’11, 7th rd., 190th overall)
Anthony Stolarz, Corpus Christi (NAHL) PHI (’12, 2nd rd., 45th overall)
the USA Hockey


Shayne Gostisbehere, Union College (ECACH) PHI (’12, 3rd rd., 78th overall)
Matt Grzelcyk, U.S. National Under-18 Team BOS (’12, 3rd rd., 85th overall)
Garrett Haar, Western Michigan Univ. (CCHA) WSH (’11, 7th rd., 207th overall)
Seth Jones,. National Under-18 Team 2013 Draft Eligible
Jake McCabe, Univ. of Wisconsin (WCHA) BUF (’12, 2nd rd., 44th overall)
Connor Murphy, Sarnia Sting (OHL) PHX (’11, 1st rd., 20th overall)
Mike Reilly, Penticton Vees (BCHL) CBJ (’11, 4th rd., 98th overall)
Patrick Sieloff, U.S. National Under-18 Team CGY (’12, 2nd rd., 42nd overall)
Brady Skjei, U.S. National Under-18 Team NYR (’12, 1st rd., 28th overall)
Jacob Trouba, U.S. National Under-18 Team WPG (’12, 1st rd., 9th overall)
Andrew Welinski, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) ANA (’11, 3rd rd., 83rd overall)


Cole Bardreau, Cornell Univ. (ECACH) Free Agent
Tyler Biggs, Miami Univ. (CCHA) TOR (’11, 1st rd., 22nd overall)
Colin Blackwell, Harvard Univ. (ECACH) SJS (’11, 7th rd., 194th overall)
Reid Boucher, Sarnia Sting (OHL) NJD (’11, 4th rd., 99th overall)
Travis Boyd, Univ. of Minnesota (WCHA) WSH (’11, 7th rd., 177th overall)
Thomas Di Pauli, 5-U.S. National Under-18 Team WSH (’12, 4th rd., 100th overall)
Steve Fogarty, Penticton Vees (BCHL) NYR (’11. 3rd rd., 72nd overall)
Alex Galchenyuk, Sarnia Sting (OHL) MTL (’12, 1st rd., 3rd overall)
John Gaudreau, Boston College (HEA) CGY (’11, 4th rd., 104th overall)
Ryan Hartman, U.S. National Under-18 Team 2013 Draft Eligible
Nicolas Kerdiles, U.S. National Under-18 Team ANA (’12, 2nd rd., 36th overall)
Sean Kuraly, Indiana Ice (USHL) SJS (’11, 5th rd., 133rd overall)
Mario Lucia, Penticton Vees (BCHL) MIN (’11, 2nd rd., 60th overall)
Stefan Matteau, U.S. National Under-18 Team NJD (’12, 1st rd., 29th overall)
J.T. Miller, Plymouth Whalers (OHL) NYR (’11, 1st rd., 15th overall)
Stefan Noesen, Plymouth Whalers (OHL) OTT (’11, 1st rd., 21st overall)
Blake Pietila, Michigan Tech Univ. (WCHA) NJD (’11, 5th rd., 129th overall)
Vince Trocheck, Saginaw Spirit (OHL) FLA (’11, 3rd rd., 64th overall)
Jim Vesey, South Shore Kings (EJHL) NSH (’12, 3rd rd., 66th overall)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Kitchener Rangers sue the Michigan Daily

Kitchener Rangers
Well the big bad Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League have finally sued The Michigan Daily newspaper. Wow!
Sunaya Sapurji, Yahoo! Sports --- Herschel Fink, the lawyer representing the University of Michigan student paper and reporter Matt Slovin, confirmed to Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday that his clients had both been served with libel notices.

“It’s really disturbing to me what the Rangers are doing and it’s bullying,” said Fink. “It’s bullying a student newspaper and student journalists who are reporting on a legitimate subject of public interest, particularly in the public interest of those who follow hockey.”

The Rangers are suing The Daily over a story published on July 2 in which Slovin reported - based on an anonymous OHL source -- that Winnipeg Jets prospect Jacob Trouba had been offered $200,000 in lieu of an education package to play in the Ontario Hockey League this season. Such a payment would contravene the OHL’s rules pertaining to impermissible benefits. The Rangers hold the Canadian Hockey League rights to the standout defenceman, though he has been steadfast in his commitment to attend the University of Michigan and play hockey for the Wolverines.
On July 13th, Herschel Fink the lawyer that is representing The Michigan Daily and Matt Slovin in this frivolous lawsuit was on Toronto's Sports Net 590 the fan and you can listen to the interview by Matt Brown on this link provided. [Click to listen]

The Kitchener Rangers must really be proud of themselves.

Really! I am being serious, the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League have sued a college newspaper because they disagreed with a story that The Michigan Daily wrote and published in their newspaper. So what is the message here? When you don't like the story that was written in a newspaper you sue the author of the article? Why? I do think this law suit is about getting the CHL's honor back and that the Rangers are a proxy in this fight against the NCAA- especially after last summer when the former head of College Hockey INC Paul Kelly told the Boston Globe that the CHL offered players that had committed to College Hockey teams large sums of money to de-commit and have their kid come play for their team.
“As much as the CHL denies it, there are still instances where money is being paid to the family to lure kids away and de-commit from colleges,’’ Kelly said. “It’s off the books, under the table, whatever you want to call it. If your dad is a fisherman, an out-of-work machinist, or a farmer, and a CHL program comes along and offers you $300,000 in cash, it’s tough for these families not to accept that type of proposal.’’
It will be very interesting to see where this story ends up - Chris Peters of the United States of hookey has a good run down of the situation.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Michigan Daily stands by their man.

Kitchener Rangers
I am very happy to learn that the Michigan Daily is standing behind their man Matt Slovin, who has not backed off his story one bit, even with a threat of a law suit staring him in the face, he did not blink.

Honestly, I have to admire a person like that, Slovin will probably go down in history as the guy that stood up to the mighty Kitchener Rangers.
A statement from The Michigan Daily regarding the situation involving the Kitchener Rangers:

On June 28 The Michigan Daily published an article on its website that said hockey player Jacob Trouba was considering an offer to play for the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. The article was updated to include further developments on July 2, July 3 and July 4. The Rangers and the Trouba family have denied the offer, and the Rangers have threatened legal action. The Daily stands behind the story and the reporter, Matt Slovin. The Daily will respond to threats of legal action in an appropriate fashion. [The Michigan Daily]

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Farwell 'NCAA has been similarly accused of making it attractive financially to keep these players playing in their system'

To tonight while I was riding my bike and I was listening to the Pipeline show on Team 1260 A.M. out of Edmonton, Alberta .

The hosts Guy Flaming and Dean Millard had on Mike Farwell who is a radio analyst for Kitchener Rangers hockey team and works for  570 A.M. News. Farwell is also a sports anchor on the Sportsnet 590 A.M. The Fan out of Toronto, Ontario.  

You can listen to the show in question by clicking on this link or you can download the show on iTunes store.

Guy asked Mike Farwell about the various allegations surrounding the CHL and if there is any truth to some of these rumors.  The response to the question was quite interesting.

“In my personal opinion and I am heading into my thirteenth season in this league,” Farwell said. “Where there is smoke there is fire and we hear unfortunately about these types of situations far too often. “

“You listed some of the power houses but again; I don’t want to get into a naming of names and who said what and he said – she said sort of thing again. It’s not too hard if want to just Google it you can find the members clubs across the entire 62 team Canadian Hockey League that have been accused of these things before.”

Then Farwell dropped this little throw away nugget out there, “having said that, the NCAA has been similarly accused of making it attractive financially to keep these players playing in their system, despite that fact that it goes against their rules and regulations as well.”

“I want to make that abundantly clear we hear this so often, you have to ask what is going on.  To me this is really the elephant in the room for the Canadian Hockey League and its incumbent on the league to do something.” 

Wait, What? I was disappointed that the hosts didn’t dig a little further and ask for clarification from Farwell, he also gave no specific example of what he was referring to.

College is pretty regulated and there just isn’t a lot of dirty under the table stuff going on in college hockey. When is the last time a team in the NCAA hockey was given the death penalty for improprieties? You don't have the violations in college hockey that happen in NCAA Division I Basketball and Football. If you don't think the NCAA is looking up North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Boston College and Denver's rear ends you're highly mistaken.

This is also not the first time I have heard Major Junior Hockey Fans make the charge that NCAA hockey has questionable recruiting practices. Really! There has not been a lot in the recent past and there has only been six NCAA violations since 1974 according to Joe Meloni of the College Hockey News. 

Enhanced by Zemanta

More from the Kitchener Rangers suing the Michigan Daily

Personally, I think it’s funny that the all mighty Kitchener Rangers of the OHL are suing the University of Michigan student newspaper – in Canada no doubt. Like Chris Peters of the United States of Hockey said on twitter yesterday this is probably all optics for now. I agree with Peters' assessment. I am not sure how a Canadian court is going to get "The Michigan Daily" to comply with their rulings if they found liable?
Sunaya Sapurji, Yahoo Sports --- The long, bitter and ongoing feud between the Canadian Hockey League and NCAA hockey took an interesting twist when the Kitchener Rangers announced they had made good on a previous threat to sue The Michigan Daily.

According to Kitchener’s chief operating officer Steve Bienkowski, the Ontario Hockey League team has filed a statement of claim in a Kitchener, Ont., court against The Daily – the University of Michigan’s student newspaper – and to reporter Matt Slovin. The issued claim is expected to be served on Wednesday morning.

The lawsuit stems from a report the newspaper published last Tuesday, which quoted an anonymous OHL source, who alleged the Rangers had offered standout defenceman Jacob Trouba, a Wolverines commit, $200,000 in lieu of an education package to play for Kitchener this season. Such a payment would contravene the OHL’s rules in regards to impermissible benefits.

Ryder Gilliland, the lawyer representing the Rangers in their suit, said the team is seeking $1 million in damages – $500,000 in general damages and another $500,000 in punitive damages. Once the official claim is processed, the newspaper and Slovin have 40 days in which to defend that claim because they are located in the United States.

“We’re actually not making any comment at this time,” said Jacob Axelrad, the editor-in-chief of The Daily.
Although I am not a lawyer by any stretch of the imagination – I think it’s going to be very hard to prove liable in this case. This also isn’t the first time that the Rangers have been accused of shenanigans either.
Three years ago Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson accused the Rangers of trying to pay off blueliner Cam Fowler, who was slated to play for Jackson's squad. [RANGERS REPORT]
I don’t recall the Rangers suing Jeff Jackson. So does that mean that they don’t dispute the Jackson claims? As of right now the story is still on "the Michigan Daily web site.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kitchener Rangers sue the Michigan Daily

The Kitchener Rangers have sued the University of Michigan’s student newspaper the Michigan Daily and reporter Matt Slovin for his story that Michigan recruit Jacob Trouba was offered 200,000.00 by the Kitchener Rangers to break his commitment to the University of Michigan and play for the Kitchener Rangers who drafted him.
By QMI Agency --- The Kitchener Rangers of the OHL have taken legal action against a University of Michigan student newspaper and one of its reporters for publishing a story that alleged the team offered defenceman Jacob Trouba $200,000 to play for it.

A story that appeared in The Michigan Daily last week alleged that the Rangers tried to coax Trouba, a first-round draft pick of the Winnipeg Jets last month, out of a deal to play for the Michigan Wolverines.
This story is getting more interesting by the minute – here is a story from the Record that says the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL are suing the Michigan Daily for $1 million dollars in damages for the story that Matt Slovin wrote on Michigan recruit Jacob Trouba and him being offered 200,000.00 to play for the Rangers.

You can also read more about this developing story here and here.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Kitchener Rangers irate over Jacob Trouba report

Apparently, the Kitchener Rangers are none too pleased with the accusations that the Rangers have offered Michigan recruit Jacob Trouba $200,000.00 to sign with the Rangers and forego his commitment to the Michigan Wolverines.
Sunaya Sapurji, Yahoo! Sports --- Steve Bienkowski, the Rangers’ chief operating officer, flatly denied the report and any kind of payment offered to the Trouba family. In addition, Bienkowski said the team has retained a lawyer and will purse the matter legally.

“We’re going to look at every legal remedy we have against the newspaper, the reporter and these so-called unnamed sources in the OHL who need to be held accountable for basically saying lies against our organization,” said Bienkowski in a phone interview from Halifax.

Unlike most OHL teams, the Rangers are community-owned and not a privately held company. As such, an external accounting firm audits their financial statements and those accounts are presented to season-ticket holders each year.

“The reality is there’s nowhere to hide the kind of money people are accusing us of paying,” said Bienkowski, who is a chartered accountant himself.

“But it is what it is, we’ve been targeted before and I’m sure we’ll be targeted in the future.”

This is not the first time an OHL team – or the Rangers – have been accused of paying players large sums of money to play for them. Last summer Paul Kelly, the then-executive director of College Hockey Inc., an arm of NCAA hockey, accused teams of paying players though no proof was ever produced.
I do think it’s funny that the Kitchener Rangers are going to go after a the student run newspaper "The Michigan Daily- I have a hard time believing that the editor of the newspaper would let that story go if the rumor hadn’t come from a reliable source, specially when the author of that story is working at a major newspaper as an Intern at The Baltimore Sun during the summer, I can’t see him jeopardizing his future journalism career with a story that can’t be substantiated.

Somewhere out there is the truth; these stories don’t just present themselves out of thin air. I am sure we will find out more in the coming days.

That being said, the statement from the Trouba family denies that any money was offered and went on to say that Jacob Trouba will honor his commitment to the University of Michigan.
“There is absolutely no truth or merit to the recent media reports that the Kitchener Rangers have..."

"...offered Jacob any remuneration. We have the utmost respect for the Kitchener Rangers and those that choose the CHL as an option..."
So as college hockey fans we wait on pins and needles to see if there are any more stories like this emerge – especially the teams that recruited players from the USNDT.

Make no mistake; the CHL teams isn’t going to back off, commitment to NCAA teams mean nothing to them and they will attempt to lure more of the best blue chip American hockey players with promises that the CHL is a quicker route to the NHL than the NCAA route.

Again, I am not here to say one route is better than the other – in the end both routes are good routes to making the NHL. Also, the college hockey route has proven to be a very good route to the NHL – if you don't believe me – all you have to do is look at the top free agents available during the free agent signing period – a good number of them played NCAA Division I hockey before they made it to the NHL – examples of note- Zach Parise, Jason Garrison, Erik Johnson, Matt Carle and Ryan Suter just to name a few off the top of my head.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Jacob Trouba will attend the University of Michigan

The big story to emerge the past couple of days was that Jacob Trouba was offered 200,000.00 to de-commit from the University of Michigan and play for the Kitchener Rangers who drafted him in the third round of the OHL's 2010 draft. The story cause quite a stir and has since been refuted by Trouba’s family.
Matt Slovin, The Michigan Daily --- "Statement from the Trouba family: 'We have the utmost respect for the Kitchener Rangers and those that choose the CHL as an option ... but Jacob will be attending the University of Michigan next fall as a student athlete.'
Good for the Michigan Wolverines that they aren’t going to lose their 22nd recruit to the CHL, but I get the feeling that more is going to emerge from this story eventually.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Is another college prospect being poached by an OHL team?

I wonder if college hockey teams will reconsider taking blue chip athletes from the USNDT it appears that another players from the Under 18 team is considering de-committing from his college commitment and going to the OHL. It appears that this college recruits might have some financial incentive to join said OHL team.
Matt Slovin, Michigan Daily --- An Ontario Hockey League source told The Michigan Daily on Thursday that Jacob Trouba may not be as set on coming to Ann Arbor in the fall as he has stated publicly. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, placed the chances that Trouba, the ninth pick by Winnipeg in this year's NHL Entry Draft, honors his commitment to Michigan at “50/50.”

Trouba's OHL rights belong to the Kitchener Rangers who drafted him in the third round of the OHL's 2010 draft.

Regardless of where Trouba ends up, Kitchener or Michigan, the source says the defenseman will spend two years before progressing to the NHL, where he will be an “elite player.”

Monday night, a different OHL source informed the Daily that Kitchener has presented the Trouba family with a “huge offer” that remains on the table. The source added that he “believes it will happen.”

In place of an education package, the source said Trouba could be compensated to about $200,000.

Prior to last week's NHL Draft, the original source said the odds were stacked heavily in Kitchener's favor. But Trouba's promise that he will be playing for Michigan this season makes it a coin flip.
Based on this Daily Michigan article there is no way that the Michigan Wolverines can match the Kitchener Rangers generous offer – if they did Michigan would end up on NCAA sanctions.

According to The Wolverine, this is would be the 22nd player that the Michigan Wolverines have lost since 2000. This past week the Wolverines lost defenseman Connor Carrick to the Plymouth Whalers. According to Carrick, “it wasn’t about the money.” Yeah, I am sure all of us believe him after reading that the Kitchener Rangers have offered Jacob Trouba $200,000.00 one has to wonder what kind of money he was offered as well.

Since the Matt Slovin article came out Kitchener Rangers president Craig Campbell posted on his twitter page that the Trouba article is, "Utterly false."

Just for the record – OHL teams paying money under the table to incoming recruits is also not legal.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, September 30, 2011

Edit: Welsh choses NCAA over OHL

The link was broke so I updated  this post. Here is another article that I submitted for Inside Hockey.
Recently, Thomas Welsh committed to Penn State Universityand I interviewed his father Mike via email about his son’s decision to join PSU hockey. Thomas Welsh is a high end recruit from Canada that has decided to attend NCAA Division I hockey. Thomas is currently attending prep school at Salisbury inConnecticut. I think you will find the answers to be very interesting.

Q: I would like to know how you and your son arrived at this decision?

Mike Welsh: Coming off of the 2011 Provincial Ontario Bantam AAA Championship and looking towards the next year, Minor Midget, you are at a pivotal time in the Ontario Hockey System. Minor midget year is important as this is your OHL draft year and there is such a hype surrounding this time.  League teams are already structured and do not allow for player movement. Ranking amongst league teams, usually remains the same from first to third, as players have already migrated to the top teams. Player development becomes stagnant as it only comes from your team, and your son plays against and with the same players that he has played with in the league for the last 6 years. The cost of development from minor atom to bantam becomes reality, having spent close to $100,000. Finally, there is the focus that the OHL is the next and only step for elite players.

Q: There are a number of reasons we considered USA Prep School vs. Minor Midget.

Mike Welsh: When we considered hockey development, competing in Prep Varsity Hockey at the age of 15 offers an opportunity to play with and against older players up to 19 years of age. It offers a competitive loop, prepares your strength and conditioning in a controlled environment, and gives you the opportunity to experience and learn from coaches at that level. The Founder's Hockey League is constantly being watched by Div 1 schools and various levels of Pro Teams along the Eastern seaboard, not to mention that the number of Pro Players present and past along with many the of NHL coaching staff have kids in the Prep League.    As a parent, our interest is as strong for academics as hockey development. So when you look at the complete package, Prep school covers it all. It is the right path for hockey development and academic growth, but also an environment for learning life skills and independence. It offers opportunities to discover new skills, likes, and interests and to try new things. It lays a good foundation to all options that may open down the road. Salisbury Prep School has a long history of traditions, is strong academically, creates a "brother hood" atmosphere, and of course has an awesome and outstanding hockey team.

 Q: Why the NCAA over the OHL?

Mike Welsh: We met with Paul Kelly a few years back from College Hockey Inc. He made us aware of the endless possibilities that are available through Div 1 and Div 3 hockey programs for athletes. He encouraged players and parents to look long term and to look at the NCAA opportunities for their son. He covered player development, pro opportunities, education, student life, and the long standing tradition unique to each of these Div 1 schools.

The OHL has a lot to offer in terms of hockey development. It also provides educational incentives but with conditions attached. You have to make these decisions as a 16 year old and in the same summer that you are drafted, you will have to change high schools, you will not be able to do a full academic course load, and the OHL voids or limits any future scholarships through an NCAA path.

Thomas was recruited by several OHL teams and we visited their cities and met with OHL team coaches, managers, trainers, owners, and school advisers.  We did our due diligence; however, we decided to take a alternative approach. We like to think outside of the box, and instead of following the traditional path for elite players, we felt more comfortable following our own goals and timelines.

Thomas participated in the final selection for Team Ontario U16, and went to the final selection camp for Team Ontario U17 this past July in Thunder Bay.  Roster spots are to be finalized in November 2011 and the Head Coach of the team will be Troy Smith who is currently the assistant coach of the Kitchener Rangers - OHL. The feedback that has been received has been very positive and as a result we know that Thomas's hockey development is at a high level and has not been compromised with being down at the Prep school. Basically, our decision has been reinforced that our path and plan are working for us.   Central Ontario Scouting director at the time Rob Kitamura now with Tampa Bay as head scout, came to see Thomas and he acknowledge that Thomas is a AA rated player.

Q: Why PSU? Is it the excitement of playing for a newly formed Big Ten team and league? Also, Is the prospects of getting a high quality education at a school like PSU a major factor?

Mike Welsh: We were invited and visited 10 Div 1 schools (Yale, North Eastern, Boston U, Harvard,Cornell,Michigan,Quinnipiac,Vermont,Penn State, and University of Miami Ohio). When we visited Penn State in September, 2011, we stayed in the city for a couple of days. We got to see the city (HappyValley), toured the campus, went to a pre-game football pep rally, and stayed for a football exhibition game. In addition to visiting the campus and the city, we also met with the Head Coach Guy Gadowsky, and assistant coach Matt Lindsay. There was an immediate connection with the coaching staff when we discussed hockey plans, goals, academics, and sports. When Thomas looked at what PennState had to offer, he was excited about both the courses available, and the hockey opportunities. The education is high quality and the school is well recognized for many of their academic programs. We knew Thomas wanted to enter the NCAA in 2013. At Penn State this would mean that he would be a part of the inaugural year when Penn State becomes part of the Big 10 Conference. The media coverage for the Big 10 is broad, well scouted, and the excitement and buzz around the league has everyone talking. Having a chance to play in such a competitive league is an honor and reinforces the notion that hard works pays off. It also supports the idea that you do not always need to follow the common pathway. You can create your own path. It was a win-win situation all around and we have always encouraged Thomas to "think outside of the box."

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

College Hockey re-alignment affecting recruitment?

Kitchener RangersImage via WikipediaHere is an interesting blog post that I found on Buzzing the Net about Jacob Trouba of the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Harbor Michigan. Trouba is considering playing either for Michigan in the NCAA and or for the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL. Sounds like the re-alignment that has taken place in college hockey this past summer “could” play a hand in where a kid decides to play.
Trouba said the changing face of NCAA hockey -- with the starting of the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference, putting some programs like Notre Dame in conference limbo -- has made his choice regarding the college route a bit more difficult.

"It's very big," said Trouba of the decision between the two paths. "School is where you're going for four years -- that's a four-year decision -- and the OHL you're not coming back (to the NCAA) if you go there. So you've really got to pick one way or the other.

"Then, you've got to live with your decision."
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Keaton Thompson to UND in 2013 or 2014...

North Dakota Fighting Sioux men's ice hockeyImage via WikipediaBrad Schlossman is reporting that former Devils Lake and Fargo Force defenseman Keaton Thompson has given  UND a verbal commitment to play for the Fighting Sioux in either the 2013 or 2014 season. I had the pleasure of watching Keaton Thompson play during the EDC playoffs last February and I was impressed with Thompson's poise and puck carrying ability.
Brad Schlossman. UND Hockey Blog ---- UND has received a verbal commitment from Devils Lake defenseman Keaton Thompson, who will play for the U.S. Under 17 team.

Thompson is an offensive defenseman who is starting to accelerate his education, so he could come in 2013 if he’s ready. He just finished his freshman year of high school.
When I see this early verbal commitment by Keaton Thompson to the Fighting Sioux, the first question that pops into my mind after some of the recent de-comittments from former USDT players like J.T. Miller is do we have to worry that Keaton Thompson might change his mind and be scooped up by a CHL team such as the Plymouth Whalers,Kitchener Rangers and or the Sarnia Sting. Since Thompson is a North Dakota kid I hope not.
Enhanced by Zemanta