Very interesting article on the hiring of Paul Kelly.
Very interesting article on the hiring of Paul Kelly.
Here is a more interesting one, written in Kevin Dupont's hockey column in this past Sunday's Boston Globe:
After reading the two articles, the interesting thing to me is how Canadian hockey seems to have taken institutional steps to prevent kids from playing Junior B and, as a result, keep their options open. Kelly (and I guess the NCAA), on the other hand, look at this as a marketing issue.
I have to think that the marketing campaign is going to be more about selling American kids who are deciding on Junior A that college is better option rather than heading to Canada to do the same.
With 111 Americans playing major junior last seaon, compared to 65 a few years ago, you can see why the colleges need to stop the bleeding.
Granted, half of those MJ americans kids can't probably do college work. They can go and that's fine. And for another quarter of them, Junior may be a better fit for whatever reason. But there are probably a bunch of Yanks in that 111 pool that could have been decent colllege players that chose MJ because they didn't have the proper information when they were 15 years old....
More from Kevin Dupont (who seems to be attached to both Kelly and Brian Burke) in today's Globe:
"Paul Kelly officially took office Tuesday as executive director of College Hockey Inc., the new Newton-based venture charged with lifting the profile (and revenue) of NCAA Division 1 hockey. Former Brown defenseman Kevin Lovitt joined Kelly for a press conference at Harvard, and is aboard CHI as Kelly’s righthand man. “I wouldn’t have taken the job if not for Paul, his credibility and integrity,’’ said Lovitt, a Warwick, R.I., native who graduated from Brown in 1981 and worked for Kelly at the NHL Players Association prior to Kelly being dismissed as executive director three months ago. College coaches Jack Parker (Boston University) and Ted Donato (Harvard) were on hand for the news conference. According to Parker, the college game has needed a strong advocate the last 3-4 years to compete against Canadian junior programs in wooing top talent. “Some of the propaganda coming out of those junior programs is unbelievable,’’ said Parker. “And it’s beyond belief what propaganda people will swallow if they think they can get to the NHL.’’ Parker said he tells recruits that he’ll bet the mortgage on his house that they won’t make it to the NHL, which is why they should come to college, play, and get their degrees. “And I’m right 95 percent of the time with that bet,’’ said Parker. “For all the Chris Drurys, Jack O’Callahans, Tony Amontes, and Keith Tkachuks who made it to the NHL, they entered school with a class that had six teammates now doing something else. And it’s worse for junior players; 95-98 percent of those kids don’t make it to the NHL.’’
Sorry Puck Swami but the war is over and it has been lost (by the NCAA). Only a hard core cadre of college coaches refuse to realize it and it is very ironic that it will take an outsider to show them the cold reality of the day.
U.S college hockey’s new general in the bitter recruiting war with Canadian major junior hockey wants to sit down and talk truce with the Puckmasters of the Universe who are clobbering NCAA division 1 hockey and its 58 teams into irrelevance.
Slap Shot - 444 might want to consider a restraining order.
dggoddard - Minnesota is THE ELITE Program in all of college hockey.
wasmania - you have to be the very best to get ice time with the great gophers!
it would be nice to see if this could lead to a growth for college hockey, not just in talent to the teams that already exist, but maybe getting some new schools to get division 1 programs.
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Kelly is in Colorado Springs today and will be in Denver tomorrow to attend both DU/CC hockey games.
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Kelly on the Pipeline Show accusing the MJ teams of paying Americans.
"I know that that's happening, it's not supposed to happen but it's happening. Scouts know it's happening, teams know it's happening, players know it's happening, and frankly it's happening primarily with American players. Those elite American players who are being lured to come up over the border, there is certainly benefits being paid which are not being reflected or publicly made available. It's happening, and anybody who doesn't think it's happening has their head in the sand."
It is about power and control, but there's also plenty of programming of kids once they reach programs about how much relative effort they should put into academics as opposed to athletics. The NC$$ and the factory schools lecturing anybody on ethics is... humorous.
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I actually think this is a potentially a really interesting development because it's a way to maneuver around the stringent NCAA rules.
I also find it interesting that it is funded by USA hockey, who in reality, probably shouldn't care whether a kid goes to MJ or college hockey, so long as he can represent the US in international competition and also have the best shot at making the NHL.
However, now that there is a way to start to educate kids before the age of 16, the key is to identify the key sources of influence that are able to channel these kids to MJ. Is it parents, advisors, MJ teams and affiliates, etc? If College Hockey Inc is going to be effective, it needs to understand the playing field, and allocate its resources effectively.
The way I see it, only good things can come of this for college hockey.
Young players today are more educated and informed of their options then ever before.
Perhaps that is the real problem the NCAA is now facing.
What I found interesting is reading between the lines in all this. I really believe that Kelly is out to find a middle ground and try to co-exist in a peaceful manner with the CHL. As he said in his own words, he would like to provide a semblence of order to the minor hockey landscape.
He will meet with the CHL commisioner during the WJC in Saskatoon to find this common ground but he must realize that right now the CHL has the upper hand and if he doesn't come armed with some consessions the NCAA is willing to give, he will be disappointed with the talks as Branch has no reason to give anything at all.
Well a couple of comments. We have a MJ team in our town here in Michigan and they just got a kid to switch over from one of the top US college programs. I guess he wasn't getting enough playing time there. So I would say from my observations that US colleges are not getting the talent they would like. Having said that.. MJ has always been able to get the best kids. Is MJ paying kids? Good chance in some form.
I am all for this marketing campaign though mostly because kids need to be able to have the proper information.
I would also disagree with swami. I think the vast majority of kids can do college work. Just look at football.
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If he can convince the NHL to threaten hold the payments to the CHL, they'll be more likely come to the bargaining table. Its an interesting strategy and it just might work.
If the CHL is breaking their own rules by paying players or "robbing" kids of a college education when they are just 14 years old, the NHL is going to be very uncomfortable with this in this PC age. Especially with so many NHL franchises based in the US.
Also by shining the spotlight on what the CHL is doing, the Canadian courts might get involved. These CHL teams are breaking many their own rules and if someone really looks into it, maybe some laws. If you are paying minors, might some child labor laws not come into play? Are these kids or teams paying Canadian or US taxes on income or gifts received? Are the kids "working" more than 40 hours a week? Is "hiring" US (ie-foreign) kids legal under Canada's labor laws? It opens a whole Pandora's box.
Last edited by dggoddard; 12-17-2009 at 09:54 AM.
I wonder if they did some sort of survey of the US kids playing MJ - really probing on why they thought MJ was the best option and what about MJ made it so attractive for them (more games, much less focus on schoolwork, better covered by scouts, etc)
For the kids who have the ability to meet college admissions standards, I'd be interested to know the real reason from their perspective (not ours)
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