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Dear Youth Hockey: 5 Things You Need to Change


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#1 Mr Ricochet

 

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 05:43 PM

A fabulous read for hockey parents of young kids.   Very helpful.   One thing I would have added is to let the kids play other sports too, not just hockey.  Firstly it helps with not burning a kid out on hockey but it will make a more complete athlete in turn making a better hockey player.

 

Also really like what is said about playing Midget Major instead of lower level juniors.  I've seen a few Chicago Fury MM games and was amazed at the level of play.   If that's the only live hockey I could see I'd be ok with that.  .......A high level of play while the kid can stay at home and go to his school has very little, if any, downside.

 

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#2 Canarse

 

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 08:22 PM

Topher Scott is a great read.  My favorite:  https://thecoachessi...pril 21 Twitter



#3 Bevalaqua

 

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 08:39 PM

Here's another article along the same lines

http://www.sbncolleg...-things-to-know

#4 Maiden

 

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 08:42 PM

I didn't realize hockey needing fixing.



#5 minor life

 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 04:14 AM

Here's another article along the same lines

http://www.sbncolleg...-things-to-know

 

Perhaps the most uninformed article I have read in some time.  Telling players they need an NHLPA Certified Agent, when the NCAA has made it clear they do not want agents working with their athletes is reckless.  


There is a difference between someone who plays hockey, and a Hockey Player. which one are you?

#6 herbst20

 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 04:18 AM

 

Here's another article along the same lines

http://www.sbncolleg...-things-to-know

 

Perhaps the most uninformed article I have read in some time.  Telling players they need an NHLPA Certified Agent, when the NCAA has made it clear they do not want agents working with their athletes is reckless.  

 

I figured your article released this morning was in reference to Jeff's



#7 minor life

 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 04:40 AM

 

 

Here's another article along the same lines

http://www.sbncolleg...-things-to-know

 

Perhaps the most uninformed article I have read in some time.  Telling players they need an NHLPA Certified Agent, when the NCAA has made it clear they do not want agents working with their athletes is reckless.  

 

I figured your article released this morning was in reference to Jeff's

 

 

It was.  I have no problem with any person stating their opinion on anything.  We all have that right.  I have to take issue though with what is clearly only a partially informed opinion.  I do agree with some of the other things he has in the article though.  From a professional standpoint, it is very frustrating when these things come out because it places confusion in the marketplace. 

 

For years, I have begged USA Hockey to come out with standards, and practices guidelines for advisers.  They do not want to get involved.  We are now speaking with some NCAA institutions about developing a curriculum for a certification process, or maybe a degree program.  That unfortunately is taking quite some time as well since it is not seen as a priority.

 

While I agree with the premise that everyone should be careful with advisers, I don't think anyone should make the statements that were made without actually having a working knowledge of the process.


There is a difference between someone who plays hockey, and a Hockey Player. which one are you?

#8 Canarse

 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 05:41 AM

 

Here's another article along the same lines

http://www.sbncolleg...-things-to-know

 

Perhaps the most uninformed article I have read in some time.  Telling players they need an NHLPA Certified Agent, when the NCAA has made it clear they do not want agents working with their athletes is reckless.  

 

 

Have to admit I strongly disagree with #9.  What happened at Wisconsin and UMass are exhibit A of why.  When the head coach leaves all bets are off IMO.  


Edited by Canarse, 10 May 2017 - 05:42 AM.


#9 Canarse

 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 05:51 AM

 

 

 

Here's another article along the same lines

http://www.sbncolleg...-things-to-know

 

Perhaps the most uninformed article I have read in some time.  Telling players they need an NHLPA Certified Agent, when the NCAA has made it clear they do not want agents working with their athletes is reckless.  

 

I figured your article released this morning was in reference to Jeff's

 

 

It was.  I have no problem with any person stating their opinion on anything.  We all have that right.  I have to take issue though with what is clearly only a partially informed opinion.  I do agree with some of the other things he has in the article though.  From a professional standpoint, it is very frustrating when these things come out because it places confusion in the marketplace. 

 

For years, I have begged USA Hockey to come out with standards, and practices guidelines for advisers.  They do not want to get involved.  We are now speaking with some NCAA institutions about developing a curriculum for a certification process, or maybe a degree program.  That unfortunately is taking quite some time as well since it is not seen as a priority.

 

While I agree with the premise that everyone should be careful with advisers, I don't think anyone should make the statements that were made without actually having a working knowledge of the process.

 

 

I read your article and it opens a question I have had as a parent for quite some time.  I've seen the NCAA rules you quoted in the article about agents/advisors in the past.  Yet, I know countless high school/youth/junior players that have advisors who are linked to agents that pay nothing.  It's very common and I have only heard of one case where a kid has lost NCAA eligibility for using an advisor in this way.  Why?

 

For the record we do not have, nor have we had an advisor.  Been fortunate enough not to need one to this point.



#10 minor life

 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 05:54 AM

I would also say that ACHA D-1 is not longer considered simply club hockey.  Too many of those players now finish their educations and head to Europe to play minor pro for a few years.  The author contradicts himself with his definitions as well. 

 

If you pick the school, not the hockey program.  Really chose the education and the campus, then you might be choosing ACHA hockey over NCAA hockey.  I have players turn down NCAA D-3 offers all the time to play ACHA D-1 because of the school.  One recently turned down a SUNY D-3 offer for the University of Michigan ACHA.  Smart decision in my opinion since that Michigan degree will open a lot of doors in life.

 

I have had players choose nearly full academic scholarships at NCAA D-3 programs over non scholarship or partial scholarship D-1 programs.  Under the writers point of view though, if you aren't going D-1, then you are essentially wasting your time.  Under the writers premise, having an adviser there to help you make smart "life decisions" while considering your "hockey options" would be a waste of time and money.

 

Good advisers do not set athletes up to excel in hockey, we help them find a path to set them up for life.


There is a difference between someone who plays hockey, and a Hockey Player. which one are you?

#11 minor life

 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 06:09 AM

 

 

 

 

Here's another article along the same lines

http://www.sbncolleg...-things-to-know

 

Perhaps the most uninformed article I have read in some time.  Telling players they need an NHLPA Certified Agent, when the NCAA has made it clear they do not want agents working with their athletes is reckless.  

 

I figured your article released this morning was in reference to Jeff's

 

 

It was.  I have no problem with any person stating their opinion on anything.  We all have that right.  I have to take issue though with what is clearly only a partially informed opinion.  I do agree with some of the other things he has in the article though.  From a professional standpoint, it is very frustrating when these things come out because it places confusion in the marketplace. 

 

For years, I have begged USA Hockey to come out with standards, and practices guidelines for advisers.  They do not want to get involved.  We are now speaking with some NCAA institutions about developing a curriculum for a certification process, or maybe a degree program.  That unfortunately is taking quite some time as well since it is not seen as a priority.

 

While I agree with the premise that everyone should be careful with advisers, I don't think anyone should make the statements that were made without actually having a working knowledge of the process.

 

 

I read your article and it opens a question I have had as a parent for quite some time.  I've seen the NCAA rules you quoted in the article about agents/advisors in the past.  Yet, I know countless high school/youth/junior players that have advisors who are linked to agents that pay nothing.  It's very common and I have only heard of one case where a kid has lost NCAA eligibility for using an advisor in this way.  Why?

 

For the record we do not have, nor have we had an advisor.  Been fortunate enough not to need one to this point.

 

 

If they get caught not paying, they will not be playing for a while.  I know several players caught in the last two years who have been "red shirted" or otherwise ineligible to play.  When you go through your recruiting process, note that nearly every school now asks if you have and adviser.  That began roughly three years ago.  The agents are the reason why.  

 

As I said, if you're lucky enough to not need an adviser, good for you.  Not everyone needs, or should have one.  Advisers are not miracle workers.  We cant turn a house hockey player into a D-1 player.  It just doesn't happen.  Yet, people call and try to hire advisers all the time who shouldn't have them because they want someone to sell them the dream. 

 

That's the problem.  There are too many people claiming to be advisers who have never even set foot on a college campus.  Too many people who never played, or worked in the game who because they watch the game and know what off sides is, feel they can hang a shingle and call themselves an adviser.  Too many people who don't know the rules, and wont learn the rules. 

 

I know one adviser who has 300 clients.  I like the guy.  We talk, yet we compete for talent.  But 300 players?  I never take more than 30 players per season, and neither do any of the guys that work with me.  From a time management standpoint you can not service more than 30 effectively.  Because of those limitations we have a much higher percentage of success stories.

 

If other advisers heard my speech at our combine, they would get pretty upset, because we lay out the truth.  The real numbers concerning the many paths to NCAA hockey.  

 

If you ever do get into a positon where you think you need an adviser, call several of them and talk with them.  Interview them, because a good one will be interviewing you.  You may end up wanting to hire someone, they may or may not end up wanting to work with you.  The biggest red flag is if an adviser solicits your business without you first reaching out.  If that happens, be wary.  Good advisers don't have to look for clients, the clients find them.


There is a difference between someone who plays hockey, and a Hockey Player. which one are you?

#12 Canarse

 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 06:16 AM

 

 

 

 

 

Here's another article along the same lines

http://www.sbncolleg...-things-to-know

 

Perhaps the most uninformed article I have read in some time.  Telling players they need an NHLPA Certified Agent, when the NCAA has made it clear they do not want agents working with their athletes is reckless.  

 

I figured your article released this morning was in reference to Jeff's

 

 

It was.  I have no problem with any person stating their opinion on anything.  We all have that right.  I have to take issue though with what is clearly only a partially informed opinion.  I do agree with some of the other things he has in the article though.  From a professional standpoint, it is very frustrating when these things come out because it places confusion in the marketplace. 

 

For years, I have begged USA Hockey to come out with standards, and practices guidelines for advisers.  They do not want to get involved.  We are now speaking with some NCAA institutions about developing a curriculum for a certification process, or maybe a degree program.  That unfortunately is taking quite some time as well since it is not seen as a priority.

 

While I agree with the premise that everyone should be careful with advisers, I don't think anyone should make the statements that were made without actually having a working knowledge of the process.

 

 

I read your article and it opens a question I have had as a parent for quite some time.  I've seen the NCAA rules you quoted in the article about agents/advisors in the past.  Yet, I know countless high school/youth/junior players that have advisors who are linked to agents that pay nothing.  It's very common and I have only heard of one case where a kid has lost NCAA eligibility for using an advisor in this way.  Why?

 

For the record we do not have, nor have we had an advisor.  Been fortunate enough not to need one to this point.

 

 

If they get caught not paying, they will not be playing for a while.  I know several players caught in the last two years who have been "red shirted" or otherwise ineligible to play.  When you go through your recruiting process, note that nearly every school now asks if you have and adviser.  That began roughly three years ago.  The agents are the reason why.  

 

As I said, if you're lucky enough to not need an adviser, good for you.  Not everyone needs, or should have one.  Advisers are not miracle workers.  We cant turn a house hockey player into a D-1 player.  It just doesn't happen.  Yet, people call and try to hire advisers all the time who shouldn't have them because they want someone to sell them the dream. 

 

That's the problem.  There are too many people claiming to be advisers who have never even set foot on a college campus.  Too many people who never played, or worked in the game who because they watch the game and know what off sides is, feel they can hang a shingle and call themselves an adviser.  Too many people who don't know the rules, and wont learn the rules. 

 

I know one adviser who has 300 clients.  I like the guy.  We talk, yet we compete for talent.  But 300 players?  I never take more than 30 players per season, and neither do any of the guys that work with me.  From a time management standpoint you can not service more than 30 effectively.  Because of those limitations we have a much higher percentage of success stories.

 

If other advisers heard my speech at our combine, they would get pretty upset, because we lay out the truth.  The real numbers concerning the many paths to NCAA hockey.  

 

If you ever do get into a positon where you think you need an adviser, call several of them and talk with them.  Interview them, because a good one will be interviewing you.  You may end up wanting to hire someone, they may or may not end up wanting to work with you.  The biggest red flag is if an adviser solicits your business without you first reaching out.  If that happens, be wary.  Good advisers don't have to look for clients, the clients find them.

 

 

Good to know, thanks.



#13 tpriest

 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 06:35 AM

Good articles and good conversation. As a parent with a 03 I can relate to a lot of this and what I have seen parents do in the last 7 years of youth hockey. I told my son many years ago that I wouldn't "sell the farm" for him to go play AAA like some of his old teammates have. This fall Tristan will be playing High school hockey for the Dubuque Devils in the Midwest Highschool Hockey League. I hope he has fun and they have a good team. Maybe he'll get seen at a state tournament or an away game where a scout might have a night off and check out a local midwest hockey game...maybe not, lol. I just hope when he's older he looks back and has a lot of great memories, and had fun!

We are a billet family for the Saints so I know what a lot of these kids families have to do to get them to the USHL. Kids leaving home at 14, being billeted away from home. Playing on every spring/summer showcase they can get in, camps...my God the money these families spend. If they tucked their 15-20 grand a year away from the time junior is 12-13 years old they'd have plenty of money to send him off to college when he was of age. 



#14 Bevalaqua

 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 08:19 AM

I know a few kids who have advisors who are also NHL agents, and are playing D1 and have been drafted by NHL teams...  They started coming to my son's games at Bantam year and one of those kids got drafted 2nd round...

 

But as far as I know, it is okay to have an advisor who is also an NHL agent - as long as you don't have any agreement that they represent you and as long as you pay them for being an advisor.   I refer to this article:    http://collegehockey...ly-advisors.php

 

"Many advisors are registered NHLPA agents, which can lead to some confusion among families. While the NCAA does not allow student-athletes to have agents, they can have family advisors – even if the same person is also an agent.

 

Do’s and don’t’s

Once you’ve identified an advisor, there are certain guidelines families must follow to ensure that relationship doesn’t violate NCAA rules:

  • Do not accept gifts of any kind from an advisor, including money, meals, travel expenses, equipment, etc.

  • Do not enter into an agreement – either signed or verbally – to have an advisor represent the player as an agent in the future.

  • Do not ask the advisor to market your son’s abilities to professional teams.

  • Do plan to compensate the advisor for their services; failure to do so may be considered the player receiving a gift from the advisor, which would be an NCAA violation. This compensation shouldn’t be extravagant – do not expect that one advisor is more valuable simply because they charge more. You don’t always get what you pay for.

Whether a family feels it needs an advisor is up to each family to decide. In the event your family elects to work with one, follow those guidelines and you can enjoy what can be a very beneficial relationship without jeopardizing NCAA eligibility."



#15 SCBlueLiner

 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 08:21 AM

Tpriest, MWHSHL used to be a pretty good league that sent several players every year to the USHL, that ended about the turn of the century.  Nowadays you aren't getting to the NAHL much less even a glance from the USHL playing in that league.  There is nothing wrong with playing for the joy of playing but if you are hoping that someone somewhere might see your 03 play, I'd think again.  I even question the ability of a player out of that league to land at a good ACHA school, maybe by playing for a Tier 3 junior team after graduation.  Unfortunately that is just the way the hockey world is now, and it stinks.  You pretty much have to go the Tier 1 route if you are in the Midwest if you are going to have any shot.  Minor Life may have some insight on the subject which I would value hearing, but that's the way I see things as of now.



#16 SCBlueLiner

 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 08:46 AM

Personally, I think the USA Hockey model is broken.  Unless you are lucky enough to live in Minnesota, Michigan, or Wisconsin, maybe North Dakota, where high school hockey is still played at a good level and is decently scouted then you are looking at shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for your player to have even the opportunity to be looked at for a chance of even going Tier 1 or Tier 2 juniors.  You know how many good players that model eliminates?  And the competition to get to that next level is happening younger and younger every year.  Today we have Bantams committing to D1 colleges, Bantams.

 

So I was recently at a USA Hockey District Camp and they had speakers putting on a seminar for the players.  They talked about the numbers of players in Minnesota and the numbers of players in Finland, and how Finland with fewer players to choose from puts out more elite players.  They talked about how they develop athletes first and hockey players second.  They asked the players how many were multi-sport athletes, and that multi-sport athletes are going to be well rounded and have better long term success.  They talked about how a hockey player is at peak performance at 26 years old and that the goal should be to develop elite 26 year old hockey player athletes, not good 16 year old purely hockey players.

 

Ok, I completely agree with everything they were talking about but there is one huge problem, what they want for player development and the hockey system that is currently set up are not compatible with each other.  In order to become that 26 yr old elite player you have to be playing at 22, and at 18, and 16.  These kids are put under pressure at 15-16 years old to make that Tier 1 team or they are left behind in development.  Don't make the team at 16 how do you plan on making one at 17, or 18?  Forget about late blooming athletes, it's too late.  So you tell these kids to play multiple sports, to put the hockey stick away for the summer, but if they do they are at great risk of not advancing and making that next team that will enable them to stay in the hockey "system" of development, unless you are lucky enough to grow up in one of the aforementioned states and can go from hockey to baseball or track or football.  In the most recent USHL draft 4 players were drafted from Moorhead HS in Minnesota.  That team made the state finals in 2016 and is full of multi-sport athletes.  How many Tier 1 players have the option of playing multiple sports?

 

I think a lot needs to be changed with hockey in the USA because there are a lot of good athletes, good players that are falling through the cracks.  Of course, I could also argue that opportunities on the other end of the spectrum, the NCAA, are severely limited and need to be increased.  Right now there are a lot of good players and not very many positions available in the NCAA.



#17 Canarse

 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 09:05 AM

Personally, I think the USA Hockey model is broken.  Unless you are lucky enough to live in Minnesota, Michigan, or Wisconsin, maybe North Dakota, where high school hockey is still played at a good level and is decently scouted then you are looking at shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for your player to have even the opportunity to be looked at for a chance of even going Tier 1 or Tier 2 juniors.  You know how many good players that model eliminates?  And the competition to get to that next level is happening younger and younger every year.  Today we have Bantams committing to D1 colleges, Bantams.
 
So I was recently at a USA Hockey District Camp and they had speakers putting on a seminar for the players.  They talked about the numbers of players in Minnesota and the numbers of players in Finland, and how Finland with fewer players to choose from puts out more elite players.  They talked about how they develop athletes first and hockey players second.  They asked the players how many were multi-sport athletes, and that multi-sport athletes are going to be well rounded and have better long term success.  They talked about how a hockey player is at peak performance at 26 years old and that the goal should be to develop elite 26 year old hockey player athletes, not good 16 year old purely hockey players.
 
Ok, I completely agree with everything they were talking about but there is one huge problem, what they want for player development and the hockey system that is currently set up are not compatible with each other.  In order to become that 26 yr old elite player you have to be playing at 22, and at 18, and 16.  These kids are put under pressure at 15-16 years old to make that Tier 1 team or they are left behind in development.  Don't make the team at 16 how do you plan on making one at 17, or 18?  Forget about late blooming athletes, it's too late.  So you tell these kids to play multiple sports, to put the hockey stick away for the summer, but if they do they are at great risk of not advancing and making that next team that will enable them to stay in the hockey "system" of development, unless you are lucky enough to grow up in one of the aforementioned states and can go from hockey to baseball or track or football.  In the most recent USHL draft 4 players were drafted from Moorhead HS in Minnesota.  That team made the state finals in 2016 and is full of multi-sport athletes.  How many Tier 1 players have the option of playing multiple sports?
 
I think a lot needs to be changed with hockey in the USA because there are a lot of good athletes, good players that are falling through the cracks.  Of course, I could also argue that opportunities on the other end of the spectrum, the NCAA, are severely limited and need to be increased.  Right now there are a lot of good players and not very many positions available in the NCAA.


You hit the nail on the head SC. USA Hockey says over and over "play other sports." At the same time their season runs from September until April. Then there are District camps in the spring and then the National Festivals in June and July! How in the heck is a kid supposed to play multiple sports? A HS aged kid can have hockey commitments all but about 2 months a year if they are part of the USA Hockey system. How is a kid supposed to play a spring or fall HS sport when he has to miss all that time for hockey? Most coaches of other sports wont allow it. So much BS.

USA Hockey conveniently ignores the fact that most of the potential athletes in the US can't even access hockey due to cost or location. I guess they believe it, so it must be true.

#18 hockeyboy

 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 09:33 AM

I wouldn't be to down on the MWHSL. The difference between the high end kids in this league and some of the tier 1 players is about a $15K bill the parents don't need to pay. There weren't any USHL kids in the league that I saw, but I think we could scratch out a NAHL kid or two. I know one that has several offers to tryout on the NAHL.

#19 minor life

 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 10:03 AM

Bevalaqua, you are correct, you can have an adviser that is certified and works with pro players.  Under one condition.  That condition is that you pay the adviser his "reasonable and customary" rate.  That was established nearly six years ago.  "Reasonable and customary" was originally an insurance industry term.  It is now also the term used to describe the "average rate for services rendered".

 

This means, if the agent/adviser makes 20K on a 4 year contract, he has a 5K per year average.  Meaning the amateur player wishing to use that persons services has to pay 5K per year in order to stay compliant.  

 

I just went through this with two commits.  One New Hampshire and one UMass.  In both cases we had to submit complete documentation for proof of payment.  Proof of every school, or junior program we contacted over the course of working with each player.  Phone logs, email logs, and notes pertaining to that work.  Sometimes you have to go through this investigation randomly, sometimes there is a reason.  

 

If you don't know what you're doing, and aren't meticulous in record keeping, players are at risk.  Anyone can be an "Agent" you don't need a currently contracted NHL player to be certified.  You pay the $1500 a year, sign prospects that are eligible for the draft, or AHL/ECHL guys and you get certified.  There is no test or anything like that.  NHL players have to use a certified agent because the CBA says so.  Guess who gets the $1500 annual fee?  When we get a pro guy now, we pass him along to a certified agent and split the commission.  

 

Remember, for all the published rules in existence, there are "NCAA memorandum" that are not published which more clearly define things.  The only way to get those memorandum is to either work in the school system, or attend NCAA compliance meetings.  I have not once seen another adviser or agent at a compliance meeting that I attend every year. 


There is a difference between someone who plays hockey, and a Hockey Player. which one are you?

#20 tpriest

 

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 11:15 AM

Tpriest, MWHSHL used to be a pretty good league that sent several players every year to the USHL, that ended about the turn of the century.  Nowadays you aren't getting to the NAHL much less even a glance from the USHL playing in that league.  There is nothing wrong with playing for the joy of playing but if you are hoping that someone somewhere might see your 03 play, I'd think again.  I even question the ability of a player out of that league to land at a good ACHA school, maybe by playing for a Tier 3 junior team after graduation.  Unfortunately that is just the way the hockey world is now, and it stinks.  You pretty much have to go the Tier 1 route if you are in the Midwest if you are going to have any shot.  Minor Life may have some insight on the subject which I would value hearing, but that's the way I see things as of now.

I totally agree with you SCBlueLiner. It's too bad it's come to this. There are the very rare cases where a kid is picked up out of a rink that isn't on anyone's radar but they are pretty far and few between. I'm not holding my breath...that's for sure, LOL!





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