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NTDP back in the USHL - it's official


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#1 gbpuckfan

 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 01:14 PM

USA HOCKEY NATIONAL TEAM DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM TO JOIN USHL

GRAND FORKS, N.D.: The United States Hockey League in conjunction with USA Hockey is
pleased to announce that the USA Hockey National Team Development Program (NTDP) will
become full-time members of America’s Tier I league, effective the 2009-10 season. This will
mark the second foray for Team USA into the United States’ top league as a full-time member.
They were previously a part of the USHL in the 1998-99 and 1999-00 seasons.

“The re-association of America’s only Tier I program with the national program in place in Ann
Arbor will yield a powerhouse league second to none in the United States – and the strongest
opportunity ever developed for the world’s elite 17, 18, 19 and 20-year-old hockey players to
develop their skills on their way to college and professional distinction,” USHL Commissioner Skip
Prince said.

In addition to Commissioner Prince, Executive Vice President Gino Gasparini, Chairman of the
Board Jim Kronschnabel, Waterloo President Butch Johnson, and USHL coaches Jeff Blashill
(Indiana) and P.K. O’Handley (Waterloo) worked closely with senior USA Hockey management,
including Executive Director Dave Ogrean, on the details of their membership agreement.
“We’re extremely pleased to have the NTDP join the USHL,” said Dave Ogrean, executive
director of USA Hockey. “It’s a positive step and something that will be mutually beneficial. The
NAHL has been a wonderful home and we feel fortunate to have been part of that league for
more than a decade.”

The move effectively realigns USA Hockey and the USHL in a joint effort to promote and grow the
American Development Model – i.e., the commitment to developing world-class hockey players,
and world-class hockey competition, while protecting the amateur status and collegiate eligibility
of the country’s brightest young stars. “The combination of education and professional playing
opportunities the USHL offers its players – including, we’re now proud to say, the NTDP, as it
competes for our championship – is unmatched by any league in North America, said Prince.
“There’s nothing like this anywhere else in hockey, or for that matter, in amateur sports, and we’re
proud to take this major USA Hockey initiative forward with them.”

Team USA will play a full, 60-game schedule in the USHL, as well as maintain its commitment to
international and college competition. They will compete for the Anderson Cup in the regular
season, and will be a participant in the Clark Cup playoffs. Team USA will also participate in the
annual USHL Fall Classic, which has evolved to become the most heavily scouted and most
significant try-out showcase event in hockey. The USHL expects that nearly 200 scouts will
participate in this year’s showcase in Sioux City, Iowa, home of the USHL Sioux City Musketeers.
Team USA’s move represents a departure from full-time affiliation with another vital block in the
USA Hockey elite pyramid, the North American Hockey League, but USA Hockey and USHL
United States Hockey League management continue to work to develop opportunities for showcasing the NAHL and its players as part of the American Development Model.

The USHL is celebrating its 30th season of junior hockey in 2008-09. With over 150 players
already committed to NCAA Division I schools and 16 NHL Draft picks playing in the league, the
USHL is the nation's foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on
the web at www.ushl.com.
--USHL--
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#2 Fangers

 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 01:33 PM

so....

...the USA U17s moving to USHL and the U18's playing independent as they have been?

OR

...both teams playing in the USHL?

#3 gbpuckfan

 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 01:42 PM

I'm guess they will leave NAHL...

Then if Mahoning Valley comes, that's an even number of teams.
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#4 Fangers

 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 01:47 PM

I'm guess they will leave NAHL...

Then if Mahoning Valley comes, that's an even number of teams.



yeah, obvious that U17s leaving NAHL but USA currently functions as two teams, with the U17 playing all NAHL and the U18 playing a handful of NAHL teams but primarily plays colleges and an independent schedule. will they now function as 1 team? Will they now have two USA teams in USHL?

Not real clear to me....

#5 Yeti

 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 02:38 PM

The NTDP is comprised of two teams – the U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 squads. Both will play in the USHL and count jointly as one team in the league standings.


http://www.usahockey...etailedNews=yes

#6 gbpuckfan

 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 02:41 PM

well, that's interesting. . .

not to poo-poo this, but I hope the divide the number of games against each team evenly. Having Green Bay play 5 games against the U17 team and 2 against U18, but Chicago has to play the older team 5 teams but the U17 team just twice ain't exactly fair to me...

Interesting that will be eligible for Anderson and Clark. When they were in the league the last time, they weren't.

Will NTDP still get to cherry pick top players? Or will they have to draft and have tryouts like every other league member?
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#7 Hockey Fan

 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 03:41 PM

Allowing the USNDTP to field two teams in the league is absolutley ridiculous. Over the course of a 60-game season that will lead to a tremendous advantage as it effectively cuts travel in half. Additionally, they cannot be required to particiapte in the draft as they are the national developemental team so they will continue to hand select all players they choose. Will they increase the number of allowed international players for the other USHL teams? There are other questions I have as well...

Will the USNDTP be allowed to shuttle players back and forth between the two teams after the USHL roster freeze deadline? Will they fly on West Division road trips? Will they be bound by the USHL equipment agreement/contract (currently with RBK/CCM)?

They should be forced to choose which team will participate in the league (U18 I'm sure). There seems to be a lot of issues to work out prior to next season.

#8 gbpuckfan

 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 04:02 PM

Oh, you can count on them flying.

I've told this story before. Back when they were in the league the last time, GB played Friday in Des Moines and bused home. NTDP played in Chicago and flew to GB for the Saturday game.

Instead of a pre-game speech, head coach Mark Osiecki just wrote on the chalk board: "THEY FLEW HERE!"

Unfortunately, I don't remember who won...
===

As Team USA, I don't think they will have any international players, right?

===
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#9 Fangers

 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 04:50 PM

http://www.usahockey...etailedNews=yes

Thanks Yeti, missed that first time thru...

#10 24ruffn

 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 04:58 PM

The NTDP is comprised of two teams – the U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 squads. Both will play in the USHL and count jointly as one team in the league standings.


Get ready for a long line of complaints about having this team back in the USHL. This team will get all sorts of breaks and will not be subject to any of the rules the other team have to abide by.

The U17 team shouldn't play any USHL games, there was a reason they played in the NAHL.

Here's an idea, combine them into one team. Let the other players be subject to the draft and eligible to play for other USHL teams. Why have 46 of the top players in the country splitting time for 1 team?

Typical USA hockey decision. There's a reason Minnesota doesn't follow USA Hockey when it comes to rules and regulations. Most of the decisions revolve around politics and don't follow common sense.

Some compensation has to be given to the other teams to balance the advantage of having 46 tenders. I don't care if they play, making them eligible for cups and playoffs is ridiculous.

On a side note, look for Mahoning Valley confirmation soon. One was supposed to follow the other.
"One of the great things about hockey is that it's not in denial. Hockey is upfront about the need for 'character guys'. Teams with character guys tend to do well come playoff time".

#11 gbpuckfan

 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 05:23 PM

Well, the Team USA squads have already been taking the top players, so that's not new in any way. They've been taking the top 46 players for years - just now we have to play them. That's the objection many of us have had to this whole set for years (see: Herb Brooks' rant at 2002 All Star Game).

Despite our complaints, I don't see NTDP changing its player selection. We'll see.

I'm told the league/teams are being compensated by USAH for this, so that apparently is making the medicine go down easier.

I wonder if USHL teams will go to Ann Arbor? In one of the previous versions of this, all games against the NTDP were at the "regular" USHL teams. I doubt it - but less travel would also make this easier.
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#12 Ryan

 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 06:23 PM

As Team USA, I don't think they will have any international players, right?


Negative. They have a few international players here and there.

This season they have David Valek from Croatia. Couple seasons ago I think they had Colin Wilson that is a Canadian.
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#13 gbpuckfan

 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 06:45 PM

Negative. They have a few international players here and there.

This season they have David Valek from Croatia. Couple seasons ago I think they had Colin Wilson that is a Canadian.


really? Wow. Are there any Americans on the Canadian equivalent of this team?
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#14 Ryan

 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 07:45 PM

Doubt it. I'd guess the foreign players on the NTDP team are looking for a scholarship. Colin Wilson went to the WHL, though.
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#15 jrhockeyfan

 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 09:50 PM

The USNTDP has always been too political for the USHL. In the NAHL, they got to do what ever they wanted. So, are they going to follow the USHL protocols or are they just going to do whatever they want? Sure can't wait to see if they follow the USHL draft rules to begin with...

Plus, they can barely beat the NAHL teams, what makes them think they're going to do well in the USHL? When has their standings in the league been better than mediocre? When was the last time they won the Champoinships? Let's not even go to their attendance record...

They've always had their own agenda.... this will be very interesting.

#16 Ryan

 

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 10:01 PM

The only reason I am interested in the NTDP joining is to see some of these talented young players that may not have come to the USHL to begin with. It's probably not going to be a great thing when they get to hand pick their teams and everyone else has to recruit and draft and hope.

It would have been cool to see guys like Kane, E. Johnson, J. Johnson, Kessel, Mueller, etc.


Another thing I just thought of, what happens to the kids drafted in the futures draft that are with the NTDP? I guess they could just hold onto them, but they can't really play for the USHL team that has their rights because they will be on another USHL team. So teams may end up getting shafted with some players.
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#17 TheGreaser

 

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 06:05 AM

Having seen both of these teams play let me say there is a huge difference in talent. Both teams are loaded but that one year of maturity makes a huge difference. I can't see the U-17 being very competitive in the USHL they lost quite a few games in the NAHL. This is where the U-18 should be playing but I would leave the U-17 in the NAHL. The NAHL also used there combined records to determine their place in the standings. So both teams will only play half the number of games as the rest of the league.

The arena they play in is really small. Bench seats on one side. When I was there they did'nt really draw much of a crowd. Attendance may improve but there is not room for alot of people.

Edited by TheGreaser, 27 February 2009 - 06:08 AM.


#18 gbpuckfan

 

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 06:25 AM

The U18 team won the eastern division in - IIRC - 2000. They were not eligible for the playoffs, however.

And it sounds like player selection for both the NTDP and USHL will be same as now - except we'll play each other. If a USHL wants to keep a player protected who's on another roster (NAHL, varsity or NTDP), I would imagine they'll still be able to.

Since those teams play in other tourneys and games - ie it sounds like the U17 will still play the NAHL a bit, just not a full slate ... and U18 will still play college teams and other int'l tourneys - so they'll play more than just 30 games.

And USAH has money - members money - they don't need fans to pay the bills.
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#19 24ruffn

 

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 08:50 AM

Well, the Team USA squads have already been taking the top players, so that's not new in any way. They've been taking the top 46 players for years - just now we have to play them. That's the objection many of us have had to this whole set for years (see: Herb Brooks' rant at 2002 All Star Game).

Despite our complaints, I don't see NTDP changing its player selection. We'll see.


While it's true they have already been taking the top 46 players, it was mentioned as a possibility that NTDP program would be dissolved and those players would be playing in the USHL when it went tier I. Never even discussed once the tier I went through.

I agree the is no way NTDP will follow procedures the other teams follow. They will still get the pick of U18 players. The balance will be imports (to a degree) and overagers. They already will waive the attendence clause, Ann Arbor games draw less than ANY team currently in the league.

I'm not down with this decision, in case you can't tell. Wait and see, you won't be either. I would love to be wrong, but confident I am not.
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#20 TheGreaser

 

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:03 AM

Is there any chance they may move the USNDT out of Ann Arbor to a city that is closer to the USHL foot print. Do they have any investment in the city? Certanily not in the arena. To make this move it seem like a better arena to showcase the team in the best junior league in the country would be in order. I realize money is not an issue but why stay in Ann Arbor now? I'm not saying the arena is a dump either just it seems they could do better. It does have olympic size ice surface for practice but no seats.

http://www.a2ice3.com/facility.html

From the NAHL: http://nahl.com/news/story.cfm?id=872

Edited by TheGreaser, 27 February 2009 - 11:14 AM.





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