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Old
02-21-2007, 09:19 AM
  #1
derbyfan
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USHR is full of it...

While I don't subscribe to this site, I do check the free archives that are released each month.
And while the author admits to having a pro-USHL bias, to me he's gone completely overboard and lost all credibility with his October column regarding the CHL and how it is "inferior" to the USHL.




10/17/06

Gagner Romps: the How and Why

Have you noticed who the leading scorer in the OHL is?

It’s none other than Sam Gagner. The London Knights’ ’89 has 31 points in nine games. Last weekend alone, he had 12 points – six Friday, three Saturday, and three Sunday. He was named OHL Player of the Week and has figured in 31 of his team’s 51 goals. His points per game average: 3.44.

Last year, Gagner played in the USHL for Sioux City, where he was the second-leading scorer on his team, and tied for 27th in the league. Gagner finished the season with an 11-35-46 line in 56 games played. His points per game average: .82

What does this say about the respective quality of play in the two leagues? If the OHL is a huge leap above the USHL, as the OHL desperately wants you to believe, should Gagner, an ’89, be able to waltz into the league as a rookie and put up numbers like that?

Don’t get us wrong, Gagner is an excellent player and will almost certainly be a first round draft pick come June.

However, the reason he is able to do what he is doing is two-fold. 1) He’s a year older, and has a year of USHL experience under his belt. 2) More significantly, the OHL has a serious depth problem, which means savvy forwards like Gagner can put up ridiculous numbers, just like Robbie Schremp (145 points) did last season.

The OHL is aware of its depth problem, though they won’t acknowledge it publicly. What it comes down to is simple mathematics. When you have one league that draws the bulk of its players from one province, and you are trying to stock 20 teams, you are simply going to run out of quality players. Most OHL teams, on average, have two strong lines, perhaps three solid d-men, and a strong goaltender. And, since CHL players 20 and under must play in either major junior or the NHL – they can not play in the AHL – kids like Gagner are likely going to be playing three years in the league. They are stuck there until 20, unless, like Sidney Crosby, they can make the jump directly to the NHL and be on the big club’s active roster.

Top 18-19-20 year olds in the US are, while junior eligible, already playing NCAA hockey, moving forward developmentally. They’re not banging around the OHL putting up big numbers by being able to skate circles around third and fourth liners, many of whom would have a difficult time cracking the top two lines at the Tier II level, or elite midget programs.

Americans in the OHL such as Matt Auffrey, David Meckler, Joe Grimaldi, Vladimir Nikiforov, Bobby Ryan, Trevor Lewis, Bobby Sanguinetti, Dan Collins, Jared Boll, Tyler Haskins, Tommy Mannino, Steve Spade et al are all playing against kids when they could be in college challenging themselves by playing against stronger, physically mature men.

As for Gagner, an ’89, he’s still a kid, and would be serving himself better by playing in the USHL. It’s a smaller league (12 teams, though it will be expanding), and it draws from a national pool, not just a provincial pool. If Gagner had stayed in the USHL for this season, he might have improved his point total over the 60-game USHL season to, at an absolute top, 90 points (only one USHL player in the last five years, Thomas Vanek, has reached 90 points). More realistic would be 75-80 points. Gagner will easily surpass that in the OHL.

Of course, the USHL doesn’t pay its players. And Gagner gets a generous package, worth a reported $300,000. The flip side: most OHL players don’t even make minimum wage.

The OHL, knowing that there just aren’t enough quality players in Ontario to stock all of its 20 teams, has ramped up its US recruiting. We saw the attention lavished on the Under-18 Team’s Patrick Kane who, by the way, is second in the league scoring with a 9-13-22 line. Kane turned down a full scholarship from BU, and got $200,000 from the Knights.

Sounds like a lot, but is it?

The government gets its cut, of course, but there’s plenty left to buy a nice car, which Kane did, and reportedly totalled. On the flip side, a college scholarship does not get taxed, and pays off in myriad ways both in the present, and for years down the line. Kane, of course, was offered a full by Boston University which, four years from now, will likely be worth… $200,000.

Just some thoughts for an autumn day. Life’s short. Make wise decisions, and you’ll reach your destination.


Notes:

How would a championship series between the Memorial Cup winner and the Clark Cup winner go? It would certainly be competitive. Last year, such a game would have pitted the Des Moines Buccaneers vs. the Quebec Remparts. Quebec featured Russian Alexander Radulov, a first round draft pick, but one who was about to turn 20, leading the way offensively, a second round defenseman in Joey Ryan, and a future first rounder in Angelo Esposito. Des Moines had a pair of first rounders in Trevor Lewis and Kyle Okposo, a second rounder in defensman Jeff Petry and a couple of future standouts like Ben Ryan and Aaron Palushaj. It would have made for a nice seven-game series.

Would the three major junior leagues ever agree to such a series? Not in our lifetime. The CHL would have everything to lose, and nothing to gain.

And college hockey vs. the CHL? Please. If you stuck an NCAA team in the CHL it would be a mismatch. A good college team would have its way with a CHL team. There’s an age and physical maturity difference. The college kids are at least a couple of years older.

There are, however, people who persist in believing that the CHL is superior to NCAA hockey. Well, send the University of Michigan up to London, and that argument would be put to rest fast.

Such a game was once proposed, back in the early ‘90s, when Jeff Jackson was at Lake Superior State and Ted Nolan was coaching the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, and Sherry Bassin was the GM. The two teams were each coming off great seasons, with Lake State having won the NCAA title and the Greyhounds having reached the Memorial Cup final (they’d win it all the next season)..

The two teams decided to meet and play in a game for a Soo charity. Before the game could get off the ground, however, OHL commissioner Dave Branch stepped in and nipped it in the bud, claiming he couldn’t allow the game to take place due to insurance issues. No one in his or her right mind ever believed that was the real reason. "





A few points:
1) I have great respect for the strides the USHL has made over the past few years, and I feel it has certainly established itself as a league that is a cut above the Canadian Tier 2 leagues. That being said...

2) Saying the OHL has a depth problem, and using Gagner's stats to back it up is ridiculous. The USHL consistently takes OHL, QMJHL and WHL castoffs who have cleared waivers in those leagues. In most cases they have become instant impact players at the USHL level (Seibel, Weir, Salvis, Rock are just a few that immediately come to mind). Sure, the OHL draws from Ontario. They also draw from New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan and other states, plus Europe.

3) USHR claims that since OHL players under 20 cannot play in the AHL but must stick in the OHL, that hurts the depth of the league. How exactly is that?
So you've got a league with a logjam of players that could play at the next level, yet all must congregate in one league until such time as they are old enough to advance, or good enough to straight to the NHL.
That means you've got your Staals, Parents, Schremps, Bollands, Stewarts etc etc going head to head. This obviously means MORE depth, NOT less.
On the flip side, virtually any good USHL player is gone by about 19 to an NCAA school. Sorry, but it just doesn't add up to more depth in the USHL than OHL.

4) The comment near the end that Des Moines could have possibly taken out last year's Mem Cup champs from Quebec is laughable at best, and conveniently skews the facts.
Des Moines had a couple of nice first rounders in Okposo and Lewis (four draft picks in all from last year's team), plus some players who may pan out in the future.
Quebec had 1st rounder Radulov, a veteran, who went straight to the NHL with Nashville this year. Vlasic, who went straight to the NHL with San Jose this year.
Plus six other players already drafted, and Esposito who will be drafted in the 1st round this year. It would have been a bloodbath against any of the teams in the Memorial Cup, and any NHL scout would agree.

Anyway, this article made me laugh. As I said, I think the USHL has come a long way. The top teams would likely be competitive with the lower-rung to mid CHL squads, from what I have heard from NHL scouts. But to suggest that Gagner and the like would be better served playing in the USHL is a joke.
NCAA vs. CHL, I won't even get into that. I think each has its merits, and I enjoy watching college hockey.
My 2 cents.

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02-21-2007, 08:25 PM
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Mr.Bill
 
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You bring up good points. I don't think so many people south of the border are completely lost on CHL, I haven't watched much of it but I know damn well it doesn't take much effort to look at any NHL roster and find plenty of CHL talent. Sometimes opinions derive from wishfull thinking.

Personally I'm little stoked that my hometown might be getting a USHL team in the near future. What would be over the top would be to see some cross league competition. I thought that would be dilusional when I read that thought on this sight. However, I did see somewhere a quote of the USHL commissioner stating it was currently difficult but sounded like a idea he was very open to.

I onced played with a guy who had played in USHL then the WHL the next year (keep in mind this is about 15 years ago). He stated to me the speed and skill of play was very similar but WHL players where stronger on the puck. Which is quite significant at the upper levels of hockey.

To tell you the truth about this part of the country, right now college hockey is blowing up. Watching the recent series between UND and U of M was incredible. There was like 8 first rounders on the ice, 8 second, etc. etc. And what Winnipeg has fed to the University of North Dakota the last couple of years Teows, and couple of other top drafts. fricken incredible talent.

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02-22-2007, 02:22 PM
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SimonTemplar
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Ya those damn Knight's are just terrible and Sammy is getting tons of easy gimme's.

Just where did you find this article.

I will pass it on to the OHL forum they need a good chuckle.

About the watered down league is interesting, as pointed out already many OHl players head to the USHL but only after they know getting playing time will be difficult on a OHL team.

The writer should actually come up here and watch a few games of high octane full out war. Tuesday night in Kitchener with London in town was another of those variety they are still discussing today.

Gagner has no easy night up here trust me right now getting over a concussion along with a couple of teammates, but he and Kane have worked very hard this season and getting rewarded in the spring is coming.

Kane will be maybe a number 1 and Gagner top 5 to the NHL.

Kane might be joining the NHL real soon he has developed that fast here.

http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/Sports/H...54039-sun.html

http://www.rinkratmag.com/noof.html

The USHL game is not rough enough nor the season long enough to season these guys for the BIGS. They come out of London NHL ready playing in a mini NHl stadium thats packed every night. Just under 10,000 including standing room.

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02-22-2007, 06:10 PM
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Oilers Chick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonTemplar View Post
Ya those damn Knight's are just terrible and Sammy is getting tons of easy gimme's.

Just where did you find this article.

I will pass it on to the OHL forum they need a good chuckle.

About the watered down league is interesting, as pointed out already many OHl players head to the USHL but only after they know getting playing time will be difficult on a OHL team.

The writer should actually come up here and watch a few games of high octane full out war. Tuesday night in Kitchener with London in town was another of those variety they are still discussing today.

Gagner has no easy night up here trust me right now getting over a concussion along with a couple of teammates, but he and Kane have worked very hard this season and getting rewarded in the spring is coming.

Kane will be maybe a number 1 and Gagner top 5 to the NHL.

Kane might be joining the NHL real soon he has developed that fast here.

http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/Sports/H...54039-sun.html

http://www.rinkratmag.com/noof.html

The USHL game is not rough enough nor the season long enough to season these guys for the BIGS. They come out of London NHL ready playing in a mini NHl stadium thats packed every night. Just under 10,000 including standing room.
How is what USHR's anti-CHL stance any different from the myriad of anti-NCAA stances here at HF? It's biased people giving biased views.

While I don't consider myself a fan of USHR, they do provide some informative things once in awhile. My biggest complaint about USHR however is their growing hatred of the US National Team Development Program. If you CHL people think that the USHR dislikes your league, that's nothing compared to how much they dislike the USNTDP.

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02-22-2007, 08:55 PM
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derbyfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oilers Chick View Post
How is what USHR's anti-CHL stance any different from the myriad of anti-NCAA stances here at HF? It's biased people giving biased views.

While I don't consider myself a fan of USHR, they do provide some informative things once in awhile. My biggest complaint about USHR however is their growing hatred of the US National Team Development Program. If you CHL people think that the USHR dislikes your league, that's nothing compared to how much they dislike the USNTDP.
In the same archive they do talk about the likelyhood of the USNTDP playing in the USHL next year, and USHR was certainly a fan of that idea.

While there may be a bit of a bias towards CHL here at HF, I think it is nearly balanced out by avid NCAA supporters.

I actually enjoy the prep updates and such on USHR (when the free archives come out), but I just couldn't shut up about this article. It is absolute hogwash.
And yes, I have noticed the slant against the USNTDP, they constantly talk about what a waste of money the program is.

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05-07-2007, 10:13 PM
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Wow, I'm in complete shock after reading that article. Hold on while I pick up my jaw off the floor.

Wow.

And I thought some of the stuff Bob Turow puts out was bad.

Where did this article come from?

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05-08-2007, 10:29 AM
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derbyfan
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Originally Posted by RUSqueelin View Post
Wow, I'm in complete shock after reading that article. Hold on while I pick up my jaw off the floor.

Wow.

And I thought some of the stuff Bob Turow puts out was bad.

Where did this article come from?
The site is ushr.com, and I can't quite remember the author's name, but I believe he's the one that runs the service.
On far left column is a "free archives" section, of which the latest you can read is around four months old.

I was reading this article again, and it still cracks me up. Never mind the Gagner stuff, but the fact he compares Des Moines to Quebec is unreal.
Why? Because Des Moines had a couple of first rounders and a second? Picks aren't everything, nor do they tell the story of how strong a team is (never mind the fact that Quebec had nearly double the amount of DM).

As an example, look at former DM standout Trevor Lewis' team this year, Owen Sound. Lewis is a 1st Rounder, and obviously a better player this year than last due to maturity.
On the Attack he's got fellow first rounder Bobby Ryan, Marek Bartanus (4th), Bob Sanguanetti (1st). Extremely strong, mature, physical shutdown defencemen in Theo Peckham (3rd) and Phil Oreskovic (4th), not to mention some very strong veteran undrafted players.
This year's edition of Owen Sound would crush last years DM squad, of that I have no doubts. Yet the Attack were a mid-pack OHL team, one game over .500.
They got swept in the first round of the playoffs.

How about Kingston? Bobby Hughes, Chris Stewart, Bobby Bolt, Cory Emmerton, Matt Auffrey, and few more very strong drafted prospects. Could a team like Des Moines have topped Kingston? I sure as hell don't think so.
And once again, the Frontenacs were a mid-pack team in the supposedly weak Eastern Conference, one game over .500

I could go on and on, but I'll quit it. I just find this article to be a really terrible argument for a "lack of depth" in the OHL.

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05-08-2007, 03:00 PM
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RUSqueelin
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Originally Posted by derbyfan View Post
The site is ushr.com, and I can't quite remember the author's name, but I believe he's the one that runs the service.
On far left column is a "free archives" section, of which the latest you can read is around four months old.

I was reading this article again, and it still cracks me up. Never mind the Gagner stuff, but the fact he compares Des Moines to Quebec is unreal.
Why? Because Des Moines had a couple of first rounders and a second? Picks aren't everything, nor do they tell the story of how strong a team is (never mind the fact that Quebec had nearly double the amount of DM).

As an example, look at former DM standout Trevor Lewis' team this year, Owen Sound. Lewis is a 1st Rounder, and obviously a better player this year than last due to maturity.
On the Attack he's got fellow first rounder Bobby Ryan, Marek Bartanus (4th), Bob Sanguanetti (1st). Extremely strong, mature, physical shutdown defencemen in Theo Peckham (3rd) and Phil Oreskovic (4th), not to mention some very strong veteran undrafted players.
This year's edition of Owen Sound would crush last years DM squad, of that I have no doubts. Yet the Attack were a mid-pack OHL team, one game over .500.
They got swept in the first round of the playoffs.

How about Kingston? Bobby Hughes, Chris Stewart, Bobby Bolt, Cory Emmerton, Matt Auffrey, and few more very strong drafted prospects. Could a team like Des Moines have topped Kingston? I sure as hell don't think so.
And once again, the Frontenacs were a mid-pack team in the supposedly weak Eastern Conference, one game over .500

I could go on and on, but I'll quit it. I just find this article to be a really terrible argument for a "lack of depth" in the OHL.
I still can't believe someone could get away with writing something like that. I mean, every sentence is either spinned, wrong information, or flat out lie. He's lucky he doesn't get sued saying stuff like Pat Kane got $200,000 and Gagner got $300,000.

All he's doing is flushing his own league down the drain with dribble like that.

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05-08-2007, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by RUSqueelin View Post
He's lucky he doesn't get sued saying stuff like Pat Kane got $200,000 and Gagner got $300,000.
I can't remember off hand, but he's not the only person who has said something to that effect. And he didn't say they got $200K cash, he said package, which could probably mean any sort of combination of cash, education expenses, etc... (though probably is mostly money)

Tell me, if they didn't get big packages like he said, what did they get, $50/week? What makes you so certain that what he said there is false?

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05-08-2007, 06:09 PM
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RUSqueelin
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Originally Posted by SpaceGhost79 View Post
I can't remember off hand, but he's not the only person who has said something to that effect. And he didn't say they got $200K cash, he said package, which could probably mean any sort of combination of cash, education expenses, etc... (though probably is mostly money)

Tell me, if they didn't get big packages like he said, what did they get, $50/week? What makes you so certain that what he said there is false?
Well for starters, his entire article is false, misleading, and just plain wrong. So either he's the dumbest junior hockey reporter there is or he just plan made up stuff up to suit his interests.

So why would anyone believe his comments to be true? You are right, he's not the only person to say that stuff, I've seen in on these boards - which is where is probably got the info. That's a great source. Just like all the great info and sources he used for his other points.

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