Well, it looks as though an article published on Monday touched on some nerves within the NAHL and NA3HL offices. Rightly so. Facing unvarnished truth can often be shocking, and unpleasant.
With Facebook and Twitter comments flowing in, as well as some pretty funny emails, I figured I would address the NA3HL issue now that I am home from vacation.
The definition of Axiom is;
“A statement or proposition which is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true.”
To say that the NA3HL has an “Axiom” for advancement is mythical at best. The facts, the NA3HL’s own facts over the course of years, do not provide any concrete facts that support a claim to an “axiom”.
The only “Axiom”, or established, accepted, and self evident truth is that the NA3HL is a pay to play hockey league that has declined in quality due to greed and over expansion.
One Facebook poster commented that the NA3HL had 60 in season call ups. Congratulations. That is less than 2 call ups, per NA3HL team. With nearly 1000 players in the league over the course of the season, a total of 60 were called up in season. Not exactly a strong development number or something worth bragging about.
Another Facebook poster wants to talk about “tenders” being “opportunity”. A very true statement if “opportunity” wasn’t also being sold as “pre draft camps” or “open camps” to every player that has an email address.
Yet another Facebook poster wants to talk about one specific team as being a model franchise. Yes, I would agree, the North Iowa Bulls are a model franchise. The problem is, none of the other teams in the league come close to the model. One team is not an example of what can be expected throughout the entire league.
When NAHL teams are REQUIRED to “tender” NA3HL players, it is not development, it is not advancement. That is called following the leagues rules, and nothing more. It is a gimmick to recruit players who are easily fooled by numbers.
Propping “commitment” numbers up with ACHA commitments that players could have had coming out of High School without playing in the NA3HL is not development or advancement. At best it is a claim of delayed lateral transfers.
Based on this information, and the definition of Axiom, there is only one truth that can be accepted and that is the NA3HL is a Tier III hockey league. It markets itself as something more than it really is, and it does a great job at selling the dream of advancement with very few facts to support that sales pitch.
The truth is that the NA3HL is in business because they have what I regard as the best marketing and branding machine in North America. I respect the work they do, and how well they do it.
What I do not respect is the way in which numbers are twisted to attempt to make a few very good organizations represent the quality of the league from top to bottom. It is a practice that is disingenuous at best.
What many do not know is that I was there at the very formation of the NA3HL out of the CSHL. Yes, from the very beginning I knew the design and plan how to fill the leagues teams with players buying the dream of development and movement on to the NAHL. I heard the very first sales pitch.
Tier III hockey is a business. Leagues under any set of initials do NOT move players. Teams, and people within those organizations help to move players on. NOT ALL teams are created equal. Just because one team in one league is good, does not mean that all the other teams are just as good.
League offices are funded by teams paying for the league to market, and distribute propaganda. This is not some benevolent activity as some would like to have you believe.
Finally, to one poster who thought my opinion, or anyone else’s who works for TJHN, could be bought. Clearly you have not followed how critical we have been of our advertisers over the years. Every league, or team that has a train wreck on their hands, gets written about, regardless of sponsorship. When opinions can not be bought, it is called providing truthful and accurate information.