Friday, June 14, 2013

Ban Everything

Sorry that the blog hasn't offered up much this past week as you can either believe that I wanted to concentrate on doing well in my classes right before final's week or that my imaginary job interview for the New York Ranger's coaching position has hit a snag in the negotiations. OK it has been way too long since I actually had to study for finals but I am seriously dying of laughter at some of the things that are really going on in the hockey world.

Glen Sather and the rest of the Ranger staff are in Palm Springs and are very busy playing golf and doing a lot of drinking trying to come up with a game plan for this off-season. It is amazing how rumors are coming from everywhere BUT Palm Springs regarding the Ranger's search for a new head coach. I understand that Glen Sather doesn't exactly have a stellar reputation among Ranger fans but how about giving the franchise some credit already for not being as insane as some of the rumors out there are making them look.

Sorry I don't see Brian Leetch on the bench next to Mark Messier as one of Messier's assistants, a rookie head coach with almost no head coaching experience hiring a rookie assistant with even less coaching experience than Messier. IF and this remains a big if then I have to ask people why is it OK for off the wall rumors to gain media credibility but if it was Glen Sather suggesting them then everyone would be looking to toss Sather off the roof of Madison Square Garden.

And as insane as the Ranger head coaching hunt is fast becoming comes an actual lame idea that is being put into play by the CHL with assistance from Hockey Canada. I am going to post the entire email so you know I am not trying to pull a prank on you.

CHL announces Import Draft change

For Immediate Release
Tuesday June 11, 2013

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that 2013 will be the final opportunity for member clubs to select European goaltenders in the annual CHL Import Draft.

European goaltenders born in 1994 or 1995 may be selected by CHL clubs in the first round of the 2013 CHL Import Draft. For all current CHL Import goaltenders and any that may be selected in the 2013 CHL Import Draft, such goaltenders may continue to play in the CHL until they have exhausted their major junior eligibility.

“The goaltender position is the most important in our game,” said CHL President David Branch. “In partnership with Hockey Canada, the CHL has identified the need to further develop Canadian goaltenders by providing increased opportunities for them to compete in our league and succeed at the next level. The CHL will continue to be the world’s largest development league and the number one supplier of talent to the National Hockey League and Canadian Interuniversity Sport.”

The decision was made by the CHL Board of Directors at their meeting in May.

The 2013 CHL Import Draft takes place on Wednesday July 3 with the Vancouver Giants currently holding the first overall pick. The two-round draft will take place online with the order of selection rotating through each of the CHL’s three leagues using an inverse order of final regular season standings from the 2012-13 season. Each team in the CHL is permitted to carry two European import players each season who are selected annually through the CHL Import Draft.

Now I had heard rumors of this happening but I seriously didn't think that the CHL would actually do such a stupid move. With 60 teams that make up the 3 leagues of the CHL that means 120 goalies and while American goalies are not considered as imports then what are we actually talking about here?

Just looking at those ranked as the top goalies in the 3 leagues then you have a whole 9 goalies from the 3 leagues combined. Now the Europeans are not going to cry about this because they would rather see their players stay home to begin with but 9 out of a possible 120 spots makes you wonder what were the CHL thinking?

What is next will the CHL and Hockey Canada ban all Europeans? Maybe the Americans will be next since the Portland Winterhawks had 2 American goalies while London of the OHL had 1 more so 3 American goalies helped the CHL teams win their league championships. If the CHL and Hockey Canada really wanted to improve the quality of Canadian born goalies then the real answer is helping parents offset the costs involved in playing the position not banning Europeans.

The costs of equipment, of lessons and of goalie schools and teams fees are fast making goalie a position only the rich can afford. Help improve those conditions first and save any kind of ban as a last resort.

Sorry to me the sport doesn't get better with this kind of thinking and if anything the only ones who gain are the Europeans and the NHL. The Europeans now have a new weapon to convince their homegrown talent to stay home by claiming Canadian hate Europeans because they are too good.

The NHL when this ban takes full affect will no longer have to worry about the import players and their CHL rights as it will be draft and then straight to the farm teams if the NHL desires. There is also a couple of groups who might like what Canada is doing and that could be the USHL and the NCAA hockey programs.

They too would be smart to consider opening their arms for European goalies as it would help improve the quality of play especially in the USHL. The NCAA schools might be able to convince more European goalies to take the NCAA route to the NHL.

In any case the CHL are making fools of themselves here with this foolish and unneeded ban on European goalies. I think I will go hide in my math text book as it is much safer there.

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