Multiple sources are reporting that the Central Canadian Hockey League has formed a Governors committee to examine whether or not they should join the BCHL in leaving the CJHL.

This Governors Committee is said to be under the supervision of CCHL Commissioner Kevin Abrams. While that is not surprising, it would surprise many to know that Abrams is also the President of the CJHL.

People are now asking the question, “How can the President of the CJHL be looking at having the league he is commissioner of, not be an absolute conflict of interest?”

I reached out to Commissioner Abrams to ask him about this, and he has declined to respond. This in itself is highly unusual because not only does he always respond to other communication, but he often initiates communication through the TJHN Twitter page.

The CCHL, for those who have been following the BCHL story line, comes in second place when it comes to the use of American or “import players. Second place to the BCHL.

Like the BCHL though, the CCHL relies on American players to raise the level of play in the league, and to increase the number of NCAA commitments it claims.

More importantly though the CCHL relies heavily on American players who pay to play, and they pay in American dollars. Pay to play fee’s for American players are usually different than those fee’s charged to Canadian players. Smart business taking advantage of the roughly 23% gain in exchange rates. Not so smart when Americans find out they are paying more than Canadians in many cases.

The CCHL similar to the BCHL has often claimed they were above the level of the rest of the CJHL. It is why they used to call themselves Tier I, and yet they do not do that any longer. Note the logo used for this article is the old CCHL logo and not the new one that no longer uses “Tier I”.

Also similar to the BCHL, the CCHL has often claimed commitments that players had before playing in the CCHL.

Once again though, the CCHL like the BCHL would run into a whole lot of issues in making this move. Probably more issues than the BCHL has because there are so many other junior leagues in the Province of Ontario.

The idea of going it alone is certainly appealing if you have support. The problem for the CCHL is that they are surrounded by many other junior leagues who will not leave the CJHL. Those CCHL players who value the CJHL tournaments and National Championships would certainly jump ship if this move is to be made.

While putting together a group to research options is not a commitment to leaving the CJHL, it certainly is telling the CJHL you are unhappy with things. It also tells the other CJHL members how you think about them, and that will not go over well with those leagues.

In the end, I don’t think the CCHL will be leaving the CJHL. I think the CCHL like the other CJHL members see opportunity to collectively recruit better players that would in the past go to the BCHL. There is a lot of talk about the CJHL strength in numbers, and it will be interesting to watch over the next four months how it all plays out.

Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser

info@hockeytalentmanagement.com