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Old
11-15-2006, 03:40 AM
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Guy Flaming
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USHL focus on recent Edmonton radio

Last night we featured the USHL on our radio show and had Shawn P. Roarke (senior writer from NHL.com) on to enlighted our listeners, and us, about the quality of the league.

Here's a link to the archived audio. We talk about some of the things you USHL fans have brought up in the lengthy thread here at HF including the CHL/USHL comparison.

Feel free to email your feedback to the show or take a second to do so here.

Cheers!

Guy Flaming
HF in EDM

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11-16-2006, 08:00 AM
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Great audio, thanks for posting!

Marc

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11-16-2006, 05:14 PM
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Great audio, thanks for posting!

Marc
Glad you enjoyed it. Any feedback?

What do YOU think? Should the USHL be included in the Memorial Cup?

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11-16-2006, 05:40 PM
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Glad you enjoyed it. Any feedback?

What do YOU think? Should the USHL be included in the Memorial Cup?
Why should the CHL include the USHL in the Memorial Cup??? Would the USHL be willing to forefit NCAA eligibility of its players? If so, then yes include them.

Lest be honest here, a USHL team would be embarassed in the Memorial Cup.

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11-16-2006, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VOB View Post
Why should the CHL include the USHL in the Memorial Cup??? Would the USHL be willing to forefit NCAA eligibility of its players? If so, then yes include them.

Lest be honest here, a USHL team would be embarassed in the Memorial Cup.
Unless u r Bronxness Madness

In the other topic I said lets put the USHL Champ as the 4th team he never got back to my post because he knows that that the USHL would be embarassard but didn't want admiit it.

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11-16-2006, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VOB View Post
Would the USHL be willing to forefit NCAA eligibility of its players? If so, then yes include them.

Fair enough and a technicality that obviously won't happen. I guess they could still qualify to play against the CJAHL champ though right?

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11-17-2006, 06:57 AM
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Fair enough and a technicality that obviously won't happen. I guess they could still qualify to play against the CJAHL champ though right?
The NAHL has often made it known that they would love to have USHL teams particpate again in the Gold Cup championship (I'm not sure its called that anymore) but the USHL has refused.

The year after the USHL went "tier 1" the NAHL sent a team to play in the BUC tournament. That team went 2-2 and the USHL brass were very embarassed by it. Since then the unspoken rule has been that no USHL team will play any other Junior team from another circuit for fear of a loss of prestige.

But yes, I would love to see the Royal Bank champ play the USHL one.

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11-17-2006, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by VOB View Post
The NAHL has often made it known that they would love to have USHL teams particpate again in the Gold Cup championship (I'm not sure its called that anymore) but the USHL has refused.

The year after the USHL went "tier 1" the NAHL sent a team to play in the BUC tournament. That team went 2-2 and the USHL brass were very embarassed by it. Since then the unspoken rule has been that no USHL team will play any other Junior team from another circuit for fear of a loss of prestige.

But yes, I would love to see the Royal Bank champ play the USHL one.
VOB, how do you think Burnaby (RBC champs last year) would have faired against Des Moines (USHL champs) if they had faced off last year?

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11-17-2006, 09:42 AM
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VOB, how do you think Burnaby (RBC champs last year) would have faired against Des Moines (USHL champs) if they had faced off last year?
Wow would the Royal Bank Cup Champion have anything left in the tank?
1st they play a 56-58 game schedule then 3 or 4 rounds of play-offs then a regional tournament and if they survive all that a national tourney. Then we want them to play, what, a best of 7 against a US champ.
Untill USA hockey can declare a national Jr A champion with regionals etc. I'm not sure?
Quite frankly, the development of players is different enough between our two countries that I'm not sure a continental Junior championship is possible.
Canada has clearly defined levels of junior hockey. As far as I can tell USA does not. Throw in US High school, a non-factor in Canada (almost a Jr D) plus US Prep schools, another non-factor in Canada. NCAA is important in the development of under 20's in the States. CIS is an over 20 league. Then you have Canadians playing in the States and Americans playing in Canada. CHL having US players but seeming no recognition by USA HOCKEY that the league is important in US player develolpment..........ahhhh, my point, what was it?
Oh yeah, can't see it happenning because of all that crap I wrote above. But it would be fun to watch if a North American Championship would happen.
But for now the debate will continue........nah, nah.......my league's better than yours.....nah, nah.....
EDIT:
Guy, an interesting listen. What I took from the show was the obvious excitement and enthusiasm of your guest (bad for names) about the USHL. Which I'm afraid we Canadians have lost (except for our local teams), we sometimes seem too clinical when discussing "our" game and become less a cheer-leader as your guest was. I hope he keeps up doing what he so clearly enjoys for a long time.


Last edited by Alpine: 11-17-2006 at 10:08 AM. Reason: purpose of this thread
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11-17-2006, 10:59 AM
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VOB, how do you think Burnaby (RBC champs last year) would have faired against Des Moines (USHL champs) if they had faced off last year?

Would have clearly given the edge to DesMoins....this year might be a little different though as the talent level in the USHL is down.

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11-17-2006, 11:51 AM
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Would have clearly given the edge to DesMoins....this year might be a little different though as the talent level in the USHL is down.
I watched Burnaby play a couple of games in the RBC. A couple weeks before I had caught a couple of Battalion playoff games on the same ice.
If the USHL is truly close to the BCHL in terms of level of play, the top team would get absolutely smoked in the OHL by any upper echelon, even mid-level team.
The level of play in the Battalion-Colts game was so far above the RBC it wasn't even close. Yes, Burnaby did have Kyle Turris and Keith Seabrooke, who are great players. However, the physical nature and intensity of the OHL playoff game was miles ahead of the RBC tourney.

Sorry, this may be a bit of a stretch to draw the USHL into this. I just found it interesting watching Canada's top Jr. A squads play on the same ice as the Troops. Most seem to think the USHL is slightly above the BCHL, but comparable.

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11-17-2006, 02:15 PM
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The USHL sends a U18 all-star team to the Viking Cup each year (except this year) and they always do well. The only teams they lost to last year were the two AJHL all-star teams but the fact that the AJHL were not restricted to U18 was a joke in my opinion.

All the international teams had U18 and the two "host" teams loaded up on 19 and 20 year olds and precitably won out. But the USHL squad had guys like Okposo, Lewis, Vande Velde, Petrecki, Lewellyn and they were much better than the Euro teams were.

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11-17-2006, 04:59 PM
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Guy, weren't the Euro teams featuring 16 and 17 year old players though?

As a point of reference, there would be little doubt who would have won that tourney had either of the three CHL leagues sent their best 18 year old players.

As I stated in the previous thread, the USHL will never be on par with the CHL simply because of the different developmental model in the U.S.

The CHL attains the vast majority of the top Canadian talent and a fair portion of the American one as well, sprinkled liberally with some of the top Europeans around.

The best American kids are playing in the NTDP, Eastern Prep leagues, the USHL, the CHL and when they are 18+ the NCAA.

Even when the USHL does attract a premier talent like an Okposo, they can only keep him around for a year or until such a player hits the age of 18.

There is just no comparison between the USHL and the CHL and remember that the person you interviewed had seen a grand total of only 2 OHL games, but that was enough for a very rabid supporter of the USHL to realize that the depth in the U was no where near that of the O.

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11-17-2006, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VOB View Post
Guy, weren't the Euro teams featuring 16 and 17 year old players though?
Germany, Slovakia and Finland's teams were mostly '06 draft eligible like the USHL team. The Swiss team was their 2007 class though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VOB View Post
As a point of reference, there would be little doubt who would have won that tourney had either of the three CHL leagues sent their best 18 year old players.

As I stated in the previous thread, the USHL will never be on par with the CHL simply because of the different developmental model in the U.S.

The CHL attains the vast majority of the top Canadian talent and a fair portion of the American one as well, sprinkled liberally with some of the top Europeans around.

The best American kids are playing in the NTDP, Eastern Prep leagues, the USHL, the CHL and when they are 18+ the NCAA.

Even when the USHL does attract a premier talent like an Okposo, they can only keep him around for a year or until such a player hits the age of 18.

There is just no comparison between the USHL and the CHL and remember that the person you interviewed had seen a grand total of only 2 OHL games, but that was enough for a very rabid supporter of the USHL to realize that the depth in the U was no where near that of the O.
I can't disagree with you. The Viking Cup is usually on at the same time as the WJC so obviously the best players are in that tournament. Has a player directly from the USHL ever played in the WJC? I know Okposo got consideration last year but that's as close as I know of.

I think in time as the USHL grows because of the boom in hockey in states like California then the leaue could become on par with the CHL but unless they ditch the NCAA eligibility stuff like the CHL then it might never become feasible to compare them. It's hard enough to get quality NCAA teams to play quality CIS teams let alone USHL and CHL or CJAHL.

The CJAHL and the Royal Bank Cup still is intriguing to me though.

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11-17-2006, 09:47 PM
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I think in time as the USHL grows because of the boom in hockey in states like California then the leaue could become on par with the CHL but unless they ditch the NCAA eligibility stuff like the CHL then it might never become feasible to compare them. .

Boom in hockey? I wish it were so here Guy but far from it. If you really must know, overall numbers in USA Hockey are down and youth male hockey is way down.

The golden age has come and gone. We have a good crop of 1984 to 1988's going through the system now but after that its looking pretty bleak. As I travel across the country every youth hockey coach is asking me where has all the talent gone.

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11-18-2006, 01:49 AM
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The talent's gone to sports where it costs less to play. Again, that's why I'm interested in how the latest version of the WHA fares in British Columbia (with one team in Washington). Central ownership and corporate sponsorship at junior levels lower than the 'top' rung are an obvious answer, but the question is how will they make this feasible? These guys think they have a sound plan, and I hope they do.

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11-18-2006, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VOB View Post
Boom in hockey? I wish it were so here Guy but far from it. If you really must know, overall numbers in USA Hockey are down and youth male hockey is way down.

The golden age has come and gone. We have a good crop of 1984 to 1988's going through the system now but after that its looking pretty bleak. As I travel across the country every youth hockey coach is asking me where has all the talent gone.
Well that's news to me. The WHL created a US draft last year just for that reason alone and in casual conversation that I had with the Commish he indicated an interest in further development of the Cali scene with junior teams there because there are so many players coming out fo that one State. Hell, I was told that there are more registered hockey players in the US now than Canada which considering the population difference really shouldn't surprise anyone, but it does indicate growth. Is that claim false then?

I'm in Edmonton so I can't tell that from here. I can't refute what you're saying but only state that it's the opposite of what every hockey person has been telling me for the last few years.

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11-18-2006, 05:37 PM
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Out of Sight, Out of Mind

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The WHL created a US draft last year just for that reason alone and in casual conversation that I had with the Commish he indicated an interest in further development of the Cali scene with junior teams there because there are so many players coming out fo that one State.
Has the 'Commish' also shared with you that the NHL lockout is over?

Those 'new' California players have been around for years, most notably in the California Wave program that's been sending its players to junior teams and colleges in the USA. The only real reason the WHL got around to noticing them at last is because a couple of Wave alumni made themselves known to a couple of WHL teams and then had reasonable success.

Their success surprised no one in the USA. The fact that the WHL hadn't scouted California surprised no one in the USA, either; it's not known as a very progressive outfit in western American hockey circles. However, once the WHL got a sniff of the talent there, they organized an 'invitation only' tryout weekend. The bulk of the players invited were Wave alumni. The WHL teams then held a two-round draft to divide players' rights, but most of the blue-chippers still kept their usual options open.

I'm not sure how many of those players remain on team lists, but at least as many preferred to do what most of their predecessors have done, which is pursue the NCAA route.

Meanwhile, two youth associations in southern California have also noticed they're losing elite athletes to less expensive sports and have worked with their sponsors --- NHL teams, logically enough --- to offer programs where basic expenses, such as ice fees and travel --- are covered by the team instead of the player.

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11-21-2006, 02:30 AM
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FYI: Since last week's USHL segment was so popular (and it really was according to our online archive download stats)... we decided to follow up this week by talking with a NHL scout about the USHL.

Edmonton Scout Chris McCarthy (an American) chimes in and gives us his viewpoint after tuning into the show last week. We also read an email we got from one of you big USHL supporters (THANKS for that btw) which gets us going in the right direction.

We taped the conversation a few hours ago and it will air on Tuesday night between 8-9PM MST. But as always, the archive will be up later that night of in the morning... depending what time I get back from covering the Flames/Oilers game.

Keep the emails coming! CHEERS!

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11-21-2006, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Quisitor View Post
Has the 'Commish' also shared with you that the NHL lockout is over?

Those 'new' California players have been around for years, most notably in the California Wave program that's been sending its players to junior teams and colleges in the USA. The only real reason the WHL got around to noticing them at last is because a couple of Wave alumni made themselves known to a couple of WHL teams and then had reasonable success.

Their success surprised no one in the USA. The fact that the WHL hadn't scouted California surprised no one in the USA, either; it's not known as a very progressive outfit in western American hockey circles. However, once the WHL got a sniff of the talent there, they organized an 'invitation only' tryout weekend. The bulk of the players invited were Wave alumni. The WHL teams then held a two-round draft to divide players' rights, but most of the blue-chippers still kept their usual options open.

I'm not sure how many of those players remain on team lists, but at least as many preferred to do what most of their predecessors have done, which is pursue the NCAA route.

Meanwhile, two youth associations in southern California have also noticed they're losing elite athletes to less expensive sports and have worked with their sponsors --- NHL teams, logically enough --- to offer programs where basic expenses, such as ice fees and travel --- are covered by the team instead of the player.
I agree with most of this post but not all of it. Being in California myself, I try and follow the developmental leagues here as much as possible. While the Wave continues to be the top California team developing elite talent, they're not alone. The Junior Kings are another of the SoCal teams sending top talent to the NTDP, USHL, etc. and on to the NCAA and eventually the pros. Here up north, the Junior Sharks, for instance, are also sending an increasing number of their alumni onto the NTDP, USHL, then to the NCAA, and eventually to the pros. I've gotten to know several people who are connected to these programs and have had a chance to speak with them to various lengths. While things such as finances do challenge many of these clubs, they ALL agree that interest in the sport and kids picking it up is not waning but rather growing. This isn't just on the boys side either. The girls and women's leagues are also floushing, in fact it's been booming. Here in Northern California, I cannot even begin to count how many new girls/women's teams and leagues have started up just in the last two-three years.

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11-21-2006, 01:25 PM
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I Mentioned Sponsored Hockey Programs

Please note the last comment in my previous posting.

It was a reference to the Jr Kings and Jr Ducks, who both cover most of the players' costs.

Both of those teams, of course, continue to be well connected with Jr A leagues such as the USHL and NAHL. This, of course, gives their players a favorable situation when they report to those teams as tryout invitees. The Jr Kings and Jr Ducks have earned credibility with the quality of their previous players, so this has become a very efficient network.

It's good to see the Jr Sharks following the same path. San Josť has excellent facilities, eg- the Logitech Arena, so this shouldn't be a surprise.

The Wave, as you know, has undergone an ownership change within the past two years. Along with that, the LA Hockey Club has become a presence. It remains to be seen how the beneficial policies of the Jr Kings and Jr Ducks affects those programs.

I didn't mention another factor that influences most of these players to pursue avenues which take them to NCAA hockey as opposed to major junior hockey. That is the style of play. Most WHL teams still cling to the bromide of 'old time hockey' and with it, the inclination to utilize only one scoring line with the rest being checking lines. Defensemen are not expected to do much offensively other than on power plays. The NHL's new emphasis on rules enforcement suggests more progressive strategies would now be more effective.

Players are finding these strategies more prevalent in leagues like the USHL and in the NCAA. Thus, they can better refine the overall skills that have been promoted by the youth associations from which they came.

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11-22-2006, 02:26 AM
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The archived audio is now up from last night's show.

Segments:
1) Oil Kings GM Bob Green on his scouting staff and also about the various drafts they will be part of this spring. Did you know EDM will have the #1 pick in one of them? (and I don't mean the WHL expansion draft... DUH!) Also a bit of USHL discussion here too.

2) Oiler scout Chris McCarthy chimes in on the quality of the USHL... is it as good as the CHL? CJAHL? Somewhere in between? Also gives an update on Oiler prospects Robbie Dee and Jeff Petry.

A TON to check out here... and as always, your feedback is welcome (AND MANDATORY!)

Guy

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11-22-2006, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Guy Flaming View Post
The archived audio is now up from last night's show.

Segments:
1) Oil Kings GM Bob Green on his scouting staff and also about the various drafts they will be part of this spring. Did you know EDM will have the #1 pick in one of them? (and I don't mean the WHL expansion draft... DUH!) Also a bit of USHL discussion here too.

2) Oiler scout Chris McCarthy chimes in on the quality of the USHL... is it as good as the CHL? CJAHL? Somewhere in between? Also gives an update on Oiler prospects Robbie Dee and Jeff Petry.

A TON to check out here... and as always, your feedback is welcome (AND MANDATORY!)

Guy
Thanks alot Guy. Great interview. I assume he means by a top USHL team doing "fairly well" in the CHL to mean .500?
That was the only thing I would have liked a follow up on.

Chris certainly gave his props to the league, which I think we all pretty much do in regards to the strides they have made over the past few seasons.

Overall, he refers to the USHL as a "tweener" when comparing it to the CJAHL and CHL - slightly above the top CJAHL leagues, yet overall below the CHL.

Very cool to hear an analysis from a genuine NHL scout.

Keep up the great work guys!

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11-22-2006, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Quisitor View Post
Please note the last comment in my previous posting.

It was a reference to the Jr Kings and Jr Ducks, who both cover most of the players' costs.

Both of those teams, of course, continue to be well connected with Jr A leagues such as the USHL and NAHL. This, of course, gives their players a favorable situation when they report to those teams as tryout invitees. The Jr Kings and Jr Ducks have earned credibility with the quality of their previous players, so this has become a very efficient network.

It's good to see the Jr Sharks following the same path. San Josť has excellent facilities, eg- the Logitech Arena, so this shouldn't be a surprise.

The Wave, as you know, has undergone an ownership change within the past two years. Along with that, the LA Hockey Club has become a presence. It remains to be seen how the beneficial policies of the Jr Kings and Jr Ducks affects those programs.

I didn't mention another factor that influences most of these players to pursue avenues which take them to NCAA hockey as opposed to major junior hockey. That is the style of play. Most WHL teams still cling to the bromide of 'old time hockey' and with it, the inclination to utilize only one scoring line with the rest being checking lines. Defensemen are not expected to do much offensively other than on power plays. The NHL's new emphasis on rules enforcement suggests more progressive strategies would now be more effective.

Players are finding these strategies more prevalent in leagues like the USHL and in the NCAA. Thus, they can better refine the overall skills that have been promoted by the youth associations from which they came.

I think your underestimating the offensive abilities of your typical WHL defensemen. Most of them would do very well in any other junior league. The speed of the WHL requires them to be a lot more responsible and guys that can't play responsibly get exposed very quickly. I think if you asked an NHL scout they would rate the WHL as the top league for producing Dmen, both defensive and offensive.

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11-22-2006, 12:13 PM
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Please note the last comment in my previous posting.

It was a reference to the Jr Kings and Jr Ducks, who both cover most of the players' costs.

Both of those teams, of course, continue to be well connected with Jr A leagues such as the USHL and NAHL. This, of course, gives their players a favorable situation when they report to those teams as tryout invitees. The Jr Kings and Jr Ducks have earned credibility with the quality of their previous players, so this has become a very efficient network.

It's good to see the Jr Sharks following the same path. San Josť has excellent facilities, eg- the Logitech Arena, so this shouldn't be a surprise.

The Wave, as you know, has undergone an ownership change within the past two years. Along with that, the LA Hockey Club has become a presence. It remains to be seen how the beneficial policies of the Jr Kings and Jr Ducks affects those programs.

I didn't mention another factor that influences most of these players to pursue avenues which take them to NCAA hockey as opposed to major junior hockey. That is the style of play. Most WHL teams still cling to the bromide of 'old time hockey' and with it, the inclination to utilize only one scoring line with the rest being checking lines. Defensemen are not expected to do much offensively other than on power plays. The NHL's new emphasis on rules enforcement suggests more progressive strategies would now be more effective.

Players are finding these strategies more prevalent in leagues like the USHL and in the NCAA. Thus, they can better refine the overall skills that have been promoted by the youth associations from which they came.
I hate comparing leagues. Until a meaningfull game is played in Feb or March or at a Championship tourney, how do we know? We can't even really rate X-mas tourneys involving NCAA/CIS as the games have little meaning as far as meaningful points toward making the play-offs or not.
All that BS outta the way. One should never forget that the NHL pays millions of dollars to the CHL to be a development league. Therefore the CHL will make it's game as close to the NHL game as possible. I just don't get your argument?
EDIT:
What I've never understood is:
There's 9-10 US based CHL teams in what........5 States. Unlimited access to CHL by US players. So what's up with this US development is better or worse than Canadian when CJAHL players hope for an NCAA scholarship and go. It seems to me player development is intertwined? It's all up to what the individual believes is best for him?


Last edited by Alpine: 11-22-2006 at 12:35 PM.
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