While once thought to be a non starter only a few weeks ago, it looks like the USPHL once again has life.
An email obtained by TJHN that went out to EJHL owners from USA Hockey states that;
“One thing USA Hockey is very concerned about is the confusion in the marketplace. We have urged the two sides to reach a resolution soon in order to avoid confusion as players attend tryouts, consider signing contracts and making commitments for the 13-14 season. ”
It goes on to say;
“However, because that resolution has not yet been reached, we believe it is important to advise that USA Hockey cannot endorse any contracts between any team and any player, except to the extent it is for one of the existing EJHL teams to play in the EJHL for the 13-14 season. USA Hockey cannot recognize any contracts (for roster protection, contract enforcement, etc.) for teams that are not currently in the EJHL, or for a team to play outside of the EJHL. Any tryouts or advertising for teams should only be in connection with a USA Hockey certified league.”
Paraphrased to mean that the four would be founding members of the USPHL can not sign players to contracts or have those protections and contracts recognized until they reach a resolution with the other EJHL members.
What this also means is that all of the other EJHL teams can be ready to sign players as soon as the season ends while the USPHL teams can not unless this has been resolved. A very big recruiting edge for EJHL teams in good standing.
Up until now, the New Jersey Hitmen, South Shore Kings, Middlesex Islanders and the Boston Junior Bruins have been in talks to resolve issues created by the attempted formation of the USPHL with other EJHL owners.
Reports out of New York have contradicted this information as of last night.
A reader called TJHN last night to inform us of a meeting that was held this week by a would be USPHL. This meeting was held to inform the general youth and junior hockey organizations that they would have a USPHL team in 2013-2014 to be playing at the U-20 level.
It was reported that this meeting was attended by “hundreds” of people within the organization and that people that were not members were asked to leave.
This witness has also informed TJHN that this organization has stated they intend to compete with the USHL and that they have already signed a current USHL player for next season. While TJHN has the players name, we will not release the name at this time in order to protect the player. Notedly though, this player is largely seen as a fighter.
Other sources are reporting that because the USPHL has allegedly accepted franchise fee’s from at least one owner that they “have to play”. Franchise fee’s are reportedly $350,000.00.
Reports from EJHL sources are saying that they are prepared to move on from the USPHL teams and that a proposed “scheduling partner” agreement will not be accepted where these USPHL teams would play a limited EJHL schedule.
The EJHL has been very active in recruiting replacement teams for the expected loss of these four teams. Multiple teams in other leagues are lining up to make the switch to the EJHL.
TJHN will update this story as more information becomes available