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08-18-2012, 01:16 AM
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Tigers ---

Thank you for recognizing that I try to deal with the issues raised in these posts without pushing often frustrating conversations into personality disputes. And, I DO have my own issues with the GMHL. Notwithstanding my four year involvement with the League, I was banned from the Forum on their website after the Administrator of the site read a "private" e-mail I sent to another Forum member. The Administratror had unjustly attacked this nice lady's son, who I know to be a good guy, so I wrote her, assuring her that her son is well-respected and that the Administrator is well-known to be a "pompous, condescending, *******" whose opinion should be simply disregarded. The GMHL Forum has a "private" e-mail feature which, it turns out, is monitored by the Administrator of the Forum. How private is that? And, this, after 4 years of participation in the Forum, generally writing positive things, but occasionally pointing out areas of operations that need improvement.

As was discussed in earlier posts, it does cost money to play and to be billeted in the GMHL. I would never pay anyone a large sum of money up front that was non-refundable if my son or daughter could not remain for the entire season, for any reason. I have always found that owners of the most successful teams in the League are wuilling to spread out payments if asked. So, yes, I agree that what happened in the case you cite was slimy. I attribute the outcome to faults on both sides.
I don't blame anyone for wanting to collect accounts receivable in advance whenever possible. I once worked for a business owner who actually felt that the only legitimate place for any money in "sight" was in his pocket, without regard to vendors to whom he owed money, employees who needed to be accurately paid, etc. And in the case you cite, to make the advance payment non-refundable is unconscionable. Had I been in the position of your friend, I think I would have gotten an appropriate amount of my money back. Actually, no. I wouldn't have made the deal on those terms.
On the other hand, as my father used to say when he heard a similar story, "Well, there's one born every minute.". Your friend, who paid the money with no assurance that a service would be provided in return, must also hold a large position in Florida swamp land. In short, when people try to get shifty, we have a certain responsibility to prevent it. And these people are by no means limited to the GMHL.

With respect to my comments about the Deseronto organization, they are not intended to reflect on their fans or most of their players. However, I don't retract anything I said earlier. There is no irregularity that could be alleged about the management of that team over the last several years that I would doubt, regardless of the sleaziness of the action alleged. And I just chose my words very carefully in order to make my position absolutely clear. I can give examples.

Now that I understand your point in re OHL scouts, I agree with you completely. Develop a marketing program for your players based (A) on their desires and (B) their realistic future prospects and sell them on that process. It is real, it is credible, and it is an easy sale to a kid and his parents.

I agreed with you earlier on the "fluffing it up" issue. I wouldn't think that you disagree with what I said. If a player who played in the GMHL for a season or a significant part of one goes on to "greater things" in his later career, I think that the League can include that player in a list of ahumni. I do not think that a banner headline is appropriate in such a case, unless the player is quoted as saying, "My experience in the GMHL was the most important factor in my getting to where I am now." On the other hand, when a player dedicated 2, 3, 4 seasons to the League and then moves on to a higher level, I think the League has every reason to announce that in a way as to take some credit for the young gent's success.

Unhappily, on the last issue you raise, we may have to agree to disagree, if possible. There are very talented kids, not only in Canada, but also in the States and, yes, from overseas, who play their youth hockey under the radar, for one reason or another. A league such as the GMHL, provided it can promote the successful players it attracts, gives these players an opportunity they have a hard time getting elsewhere. Kids from the States or from overseas can't play Midget in Canada, as they are not residents and they are severely restricted by Hockey Canada in playing in other Canadian Junior A leagues. My views on Hockery Canada have been clearly stated in earlier e-mails...interestingly, with no serious attempts by anyone to refute them.
And, I continue to maintain that the player who comes to the GMHL with enough raw talent, prior training, determination, discipline, a very strong work ethic, and a personal commitment to move to the next level can use the GMHL as a vehicle to do that.

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