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09-28-2003, 10:54 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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On a differnt board, I brought up the point that something should be done about the CHL rule. Here's what I posted.

I understand fully why this rule is in place, and often wondered if the NCAA would adopt the same rule, but that's for another thread. My concern is that this rule actually is a hinderence on the individual player, as it is meant to help the league (which it does). One example that I have been thinking of and is being discussed is Ottawa 67's Corey Locke. If you haven't heard the name Corey Locke, you don't follow the CHL, as he was named the top player in the CHL last year.

Now the problem. Corey is small and not the best skater (compared to AHL or NHL players) but after trippling his offensive production last season (which shows he has graduated from playing against junior aged players) what more does the OHL have to teach Corey Locke? Yes he can work on his skating, speed, defensive game, overall strength, but he could do this on the 3rd line in Hamilton of the AHL as well. Having a coach in Doug Jarvis and playing against top notch young prospects or men, Locke would get a first hand look all season long at what he needs to do to suceed at a higher level.

No big deal you say? Well the Habs after drafting Locke this June can in fact sign Corey over the summer and put him in the AHL next season, thus only costing him one year of development. I'm not saying he won't learn anything in the OHL, but when you average over 2 pts a game (which he is so far in the early stages of the season) some players can pick up bad or lazy habits as things become too easy. Also fans get the wrong idea. They read Corey Locke scores 5 points today (which he did the other day) and think, wow we have a 1st line talent in the ranks. Having Locke rack up the points misleads fans in that they don't understand that this is by no means a ticket to stardom. In reality it shows the flaws of a system that is in place to protect a league and ignores the development of the very players that make up such leagues.

Is there a solution to this, of course there always is, but will the leagues go for it? Try telling the owner of th e 67's that he's going to lose Matt Foy and Corey Locke this year and still try and sell tickets. Thats going to be a tough sell, but owners run a business, and hockey players strive for a career. It is unfair to owners and fans of CHL teams, but to me you can't have a general rule that all players will fit under. Some players develop faster then others. Perhaps a governing board that could review players on a case by case basis to see who should be allowed to move up to the AHL under 20 and who shouldn't. Not saying this is even a good idea, but you have to start somewhere. The system like many other is flawed, and as one concerned fan, I'd like to see something do about it. Corey Locke should be in the AHL this year, but thats just one mans opinon.

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