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CHLPA: Hurting or Helping the CIS?

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Old
10-30-2012, 01:35 PM
  #1
Oilers Chick
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CHLPA: Hurting or Helping the CIS?

First off, I'd like to ask that this discussion not degenerate into an CHL vs. NCAA situation. If it does, it's getting shut down. So please keep on topic here.


I've been following the whole CHLPA saga for quite awhile now.

In the last week or so, Guy Flaming over at the Pipeline Show has been doing some excellent coverage on what it is the CHLPA is trying to accomplish (still not really clear on that myself), which you can read his blog HERE.

According to Guy's blog, the CHLPA is trying to allow CHL players to retain their NCAA eligibility while at the same time trying to boost educational packages in the CHL. Now given this scenario, it begs me to ask this question:

Since the CIS benefits from the players who chose to use the CHL packages to further their education and what the CHLPA is supposedly trying to accomplish with regards to allowing CHL players to retain their NCAA eligibility, do you all feel that this all helps or hurts the CIS? In what way(s) and why?

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10-30-2012, 02:08 PM
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If they were to succeed, it would have an adverse effect on the CIS. If the top CHL players were allowed to play NCAA hockey after 4-5 years of Major Junior it would limit the talent pool available to the CIS. Of course, the entrance qualifications have to be factored in as well.
Does the CHLPA want to use the education package for either CIS or NCAA schools? If so, it could cost the CHL a pile of money.

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10-30-2012, 02:29 PM
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Who gets to decide who has the right to play in the NCAA ? The CHL or the NCAA ? Because, if it's the NCAA, I don't see how the CHLPA could have a word to say about that.

Also, if the players now have to be paid, I could easily see the education packages being eliminated as a retaliation. Now, that would hurt the CIS badly.

However, if the CHLPA gets the education package to last more than a year after you’ve graduated from the CHL, then, we could see good players joining CIS teams after going through 2-3 years in the AHL, and play their final years of eligibility in Canada.

Depends on what happens I guess.

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10-30-2012, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch View Post
Who gets to decide who has the right to play in the NCAA ? The CHL or the NCAA ? Because, if it's the NCAA, I don't see how the CHLPA could have a word to say about that.

Also, if the players now have to be paid, I could easily see the education packages being eliminated as a retaliation. Now, that would hurt the CIS badly.

However, if the CHLPA gets the education package to last more than a year after you’ve graduated from the CHL, then, we could see good players joining CIS teams after going through 2-3 years in the AHL, and play their final years of eligibility in Canada.

Depends on what happens I guess.
Since the NCAA already considers the CHL a pro league based on a number of factors, most notably a league that contains players who are already signed to NHL professional contracts, I could not imagine then paying the players in the league would help in any negotiations to enable CHL players to retain their NCAA eligibility. Excellent article, it appears the solution is changing the name of "stipends" and refusing to allow signed entry level players in the CHL.

As for the elimination of the education packages, from what I have read, the CHLPA initially seemed strong that boosting the education packages was a major goal. The current deal in place allowing for a year of tuition/books for every year played and fully paid schooling while playing in the league seems pretty good to me, perhaps you are right that the time context is also a factor. The article also did raise the "enough pay to cover post secondary education" which I do not find an inviting thought. A lot of players use university as a place to play hockey following junior as it is a free ride. The opportunity cost of being able to use accumulated money that could actually be cashed in elsewhere I think would lead to fewer players choosing the CIS route, should the CHL as an "amateur" or "non-professional" plan fail.

As for the original question, if CHL players could retain NCAA eligibility, it is hard not to imagine it would greatly reduce the quality of CIS hockey, and likely hurt some other leagues in North America (Canadian Junior A, USHL etc).

What I am confused by is the goal of ensuring "education needs are met." As mentioned, players already receive a full year of books/tuition for every CHL season played. The proposed solution is to have players maintain NCAA eligibility. I'm not sure I see much difference.

The biggest "benefit" to me appears to be increased recruiting power for the CHL, and if scholarships are awarded, another scouting opportunity for top undrafted CHL players who would presumably attempt to land at hockey power schools, and play in a league that is stronger than the CIS and annually sends a number of players to the NHL. This solution would see more hockey development in my mind than education.


Last edited by blackmarketmob: 10-30-2012 at 10:53 PM.
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10-31-2012, 01:38 AM
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I think there is a huge misconception on the ability to play in the NCAA. Players assume that if you don't play major junior the other option is automatically NCAA. It is just as difficult to play in the NCAA as the CHL. Most US school don't hand out full ride scholarship which people often assume. Also factor in the SAT's, ACT's etc.. in the equation.

With regards to the CHL it's not a professional, its an amateur league. Regardless of the pay situation. The NCAA only considers the CHL professional due to the players with NHL contracts playing within the league. The CHLPA is trying to change this in order to allow other players in the CHL to maintain their eligibility. This would be extremely unlikely to occur as teams would have to say no to their star players that are being sent down after NHL camps.

The CHLPA's main goal is to improve the educational package first, allowing players to access their package as it expires 18 after their tenure in the CHL. The CHLPA is trying to extend this period which is rightfully so.

If perhaps the rule does come to be it would play a huge effect on the CIS. If you take a look at most CIS rosters, they are mostly comprised of CHL players. This would be both a good thing and a bad thing, as other players can get opportunities to play hockey within their country but as stated above it may also water down the league. My biggest issue with the CHLPA is that they are trying to represent players who haven't agreed to be represented by a union. 1 out of 60 teams in the CHL have agreed to sign union cards, JUST 1, so how about you make the union official before suing CHL teams and the league.

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10-31-2012, 11:50 AM
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In this discussion, if CHL players could go to NCAA schools at anytime during their CHL carreer it would impact the CIS.

However, the CHLPA has not defined what 'tuition and costs' are for their education package. Is it fair that an athlete that goes to BC consumes 4-5 times more funds then an athlete at UoT? I believe the WHL has a limit of $5K per year (which is their average assessment of tuition).

It should be noted that some CHL players have used their funds to attend NCAA schools - they just don't play hockey there.

I would also see an impact to the NCAA for 19 year-old players who might be left behind for a 21/22 year-old from the CHL - which in turn sends them to the CHL.

The CHL is the most scouted hockey league in the world - I don't believe someone who has gone through the CHL is going to get more chances to play pro again if they were to move to the NCAA when they were 21/22 compared to playing minor pro.

In the end, I only see this impacting the top talent who can change their minds about NCAA/CHL during their career, but most over-age CHLs probably can't afford the NCAA tuition (despite financial support). There is also the perception of the CHL/NCAA as development leagues - not sure the NCAA wants 21/22 year-old CHL dropouts. I also don't think many from this group are talented enough to play the faster NCAA game.

Don't assume I like the NCAA rule, I think it's terrible and the impact to a few kids each years is stupid (played one exh game for 20min in nets and you're band from NCAA for life). However, I don't see the NCAA reviewing this because the CHLPA has come into view. No CHL team is going to block the return of an NHL signed player, you can replace Stipend with Salary, but money is money (gives the impression they are more 'professional' not less) and the CHL already has Education packages (I think the expiry date should be longer though).

I see this entire fiasco as a way for a bunch of lawyers and a mouth piece to bootstrap themselves into a position of importance that was never needed and draw salaries and pensions having performed no real work or provided any real service. Try and convince people there is a problem and present yourself as the solution. I'm sure the teams wont like having to move to a salaried employee model as well as education contributions - they probably can't afford both.

Also - the teams can change the model on their own without a union.

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10-31-2012, 03:04 PM
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Just seen this and thought it was interesting...figured this was the best place to post it.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/sports/...aign=most_read

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10-31-2012, 05:13 PM
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The CHLPA makes a valid point, if the players are indeed considered professional they should make at least minimum wage. I have heard what some of the OHL coaches make, and I was astonished. The players make $50 a week and that can barely pay for like 2 movies and snacks at the theatre.

In terms of the tuition, the tuition rate they received is based on the closest university to the team. For example like a York University/ or University of Toronto, tuition would be about 6/7 thousand a year. The CHL make less in terms of tuition than the NCAA because schools here are much cheaper than the American universities.

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10-31-2012, 10:48 PM
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Only the NCAA deems them to be professional.

$50 a week is not a lot, but the team covers a lot of expenses.

The court has classified them as defacto employees - it would be hard to use a 'wage' system, so they would likely be contracted salary employees. Now - how much salary can they get before the CHL team is in debt? If it gets that far - I can see the education packages dropped, the teams can't afford to pay players a salary and then a $5-6K education contribution/player (even if they all don't us it) - not to mention that certain expenses would then become the players responsibility (room & board, food, etc).

If the player becomes a salaried employee, then education and financial playing becomes their responsibility - not the teams.

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11-01-2012, 10:43 AM
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There are some really good comments, so I want to thank everyone for their insights and please continue to post them.

One thing I need to clear up here though....

The "stipend" per se isn't why the NCAA deems the CHL as a professional league. It has to do with the fact that there are NHL-signed players that are playing in the CHL.

And for the record, I have extensively studied the WHL's educational package, so I'm well aware of it's benefits and limitations. (And I would guess that the educational packages in the OHL and QMJHL are similar).

If indeed the CHLPA's "cause" is to get improved educational packages, which IMO where the WHL is concern is pretty darn good but could still be tweaked a bit, then it should benefit the players no matter WHERE they chose to further their education, whether it's via the NCAA or the CIS.

But before everyone gets all rile up, consider this: if the CHLPA does want the NCAA on board, they're going to need to jump through a LOT of hoops and hope that the excruciatingly slow wheels of NCAA change gets significantly faster (although I wouldn't hold my breath on that one) and that they can somehow "convince" the CHL to change THEIR stance on the way things are now (at least from the educational package perspective).

Now having said that and if this all somehow comes to fruition, the challenge presented to the CIS in all of this is how will that affect recruiting, especially since so many CIS players have played in the CHL (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong here). Although they may be a small percentage, I do know of some US-born players that do or have attended CIS universities. But again, they are a small percentage. Will that be a viable option for the CIS to explore or continue to explore should what the CHLPA's "mission" of better educational packages and making CHL players NCAA-eligible actually happen?

Finally, I want to leave you all with this terrific article that I found this morning on the Buzzing the Net Blog about the CIS that is well worth the read.

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11-01-2012, 11:12 AM
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I agree that it is completely outside the power of the CHLPA (if it is or becomes a legit organization) to somehow get the NCAA to stop treating CHL players as "professionals" and allow them to become eligible. Only the NCAA can decide to change their definition of "professional" and there are a lot of politics involved.

CHL grads are already getting good education packages from the WHL, OHL and QMJHL. As well, individual CHL teams can and do sometimes bump up past the minimum guaranteed education package (roughly tuition and fees) for their stud draftees out of Midget to help ensure they go the CHL route and not turn towards the NCAA. One should also remember that the current CHL packages are guaranteed, even if you don't play hockey anymore. The only way to lose the package is to play pro more than 18 months after finishing Junior.

Now, if the CHLPA could somehow get that exception changed so that CHL grads would never lose their education package, I agree that is probably a good thing for the player. There are a few CIS players now who played a couple of years of minor pro hockey and have lost their education packages. But there are only a few now, and if that was to change, you might see the average age of CIS players climb even higher, creating a bigger age gap with other varsity athletes on campus. I don't know if you would consider that good or bad.

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11-01-2012, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreddtFoyle View Post
The only way to lose the package is to play pro more than 18 months after finishing Junior.
What about continuing education programs after high school?

I thought athletes had to be keep taking some sort of distance ed.? This is the one that causes the most problems for athletes - enrolling and completing distance ed. courses to maintain their academic standing.

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11-02-2012, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer View Post
What about continuing education programs after high school?

I thought athletes had to be keep taking some sort of distance ed.? This is the one that causes the most problems for athletes - enrolling and completing distance ed. courses to maintain their academic standing.
The players still go to college and university in their upper years playing in the CHL. The 19/20 years still do attend school, but its a fairly minimum course load, probably 1-3 courses max.

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11-02-2012, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer View Post
What about continuing education programs after high school?

I thought athletes had to be keep taking some sort of distance ed.? This is the one that causes the most problems for athletes - enrolling and completing distance ed. courses to maintain their academic standing.
It's pretty easy here's the Q education policy right on their site

http://theqmjhl.ca/uploads/assets/QM...ugust_2012.pdf

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11-10-2012, 12:49 PM
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I played for the Attack in the O. I took an online course at WLU but it was a joke. The league dosen't really care if you take school or not from what I could tell. On the CHLPA topic though, you guys should check out the Toronto Star article today about Milan Doczy, another Owen Sound Attack player. He was from Europe and their was a big deal about whether the team had to pay his education package:

http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey...6SncE.facebook

I was pro CHLPA all the way. I think it could help players on a number of issues. We all know agents head for the hills as soon a player elects to cash in on an education package.


Last edited by JHRWriter: 11-10-2012 at 12:51 PM. Reason: additional point.
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