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The Death Pool – Independent Hockey In Canada – The Truth Players Need To Know

Yeah, I know my boss is gonna give me shit for this one, but he’s in Vegas for a few days at a showcase, so lets do this thing.

Alright, so based on what I have found, there are three “independent” junior hockey leagues slated to play in Canada next year.  One of the three is regulated, or insured by the Amateur Athletic Union.

You got the Greater Metro Junior League (GMHL), the Canadian International Hockey League (CIHL) and the Canadian Independent Junior Hockey League (CIJHL).  Yeah, I know the two leagues with CI are gonna get confusing but follow with me kids because you’re gonna love this stuff.

Ok, so Canada is a free country, just like the US.  Anyone can start any business they want and have at it, see if it works or if it doesn’t.  No big deal.

Here’s the thing though, hockey is not like any other business.  Its not only regulated by governing bodies that are empowered by their governments, but they are regulated by the International Ice Hockey Federation.

I am all for kids and parents having multiple choices where to play and spend their money.  What I am not for, is parents and players not being told the truth, or consequences of their choices.  And I am sure not for parents and players being lied to by teams, coaches, general managers and owners who deliberately omit critical information that players and parents should have.

Ever hear the phrase “buyer beware”?  Well in this case kids you better beware.

See what most independent teams wont tell you is that if you play in these leagues, you can not get called up or switch to a Hockey Canada Sanctioned league after September 30th.  Yep, so if your being promised call ups to Major Junior or Junior A leagues in Canada, its not going to happen.

Here’s the rule from Hockey Canada:

“6.22 Outlaw Leagues

This policy is aimed at those leagues that choose to operate outside the hockey structure established by Hockey

Canada, its member Branches and the Canadian Hockey League

6.22.1 Definition

Hockey Canada and its member Branches view all leagues that operate outside the

auspices/sanctioning of Hockey Canada programs to be classified as “outlaw” leagues. This currently

does not include summer hockey leagues/teams, adult recreational hockey leagues/teams,

high school hockey, and/or hockey schools.

6.22.2 Sanctions

• Any individual who participates (knowingly or otherwise) in “outlaw” programs after September

30 of the season in question (“the Cut-Off Date”) will lose all membership privileges with Hockey

Canada for the remainder of that season, and may only reapply for membership with Hockey Canada

after the end of that season. “Participation” in an “outlaw” program will be considered to have

occurred if the individual takes part in one game (including an exhibition, tournament, league or

playoff game) after the Cut-Off Date. If a participant makes the choice to participate in these

“outlaw” programs, they must understand the ramifications of that choice and that the sanctions

described in this paragraph will remain in effect even if the league or team folds, or the

individual is released, suspended or fired.”

Think they are messing around now?  Well guess what kids, it gets even better with this sweet little ditty:

“Hockey Canada and its member Branches across the country will make every effort to ensure that

local minor hockey and female hockey associations in areas where “outlaw” leagues exist are not

supporting these leagues in any manner whatsoever. For greater certainty, “supporting” includes, but

is not limited to, assisting an “outlaw” league directly or indirectly through advertisement, promotion,

ticket sales, volunteer activities, assigning Officials, sharing resources or enabling such a league to

participate in Hockey Canada sanctioned activities. We will withhold tournament sanctions and

will preclude such associations from benefiting from any Hockey Canada/Branch/CHL sanctioned

event by whatever means necessary, including the withdrawal of any such event from any

community within the geographic boundaries of that association if need be to stress this point.”

What do you read here?  I read that war is on, and that Hockey Canada isn’t going to allow their Midget and Junior programs to be raided without those involved in any way paying some type of price.

Oh yeah, I hear it now, “but they cant do that” “they cant pull sanctions”.  Yeah, ya think so Chester?  They don’t have to pull anything if they don’t issue anything.

So hey kids, if the team your thinking about signing with isn’t disclosing all the potential issues, ummmmmmm yeah, you might want to start thinking about investing in Enron before you invest in that team.

So, here’s the deal, I am not against anyone making a buck or doing their own thing, but I am against people who don’t disclose everything.  And I am against anyone calling themselves something they are not.

But hey, good luck with the call ups, and if you don’t have a good experience, good luck getting your money back.  My neighbor is an NHL hall of famer, shit I might just get voted in tomorrow, wonder if I would have to play in the NHL to qualify?  Nahhh that wouldn’t be right would it?

David Wagner – The Angel Of Death – For Those Who Live Stupidly I salute You

*The Death Pool is a mix of comedy, and satire in connection with recent events.  It is not an official report of current events although it may look as though the news is so accurate that it could one day happen or may be happening.