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Dear Canada – Rating The Junior Hockey Leagues 2017

Dear Canadian Hockey Fans, Players and Staff,

It looks as though some of you are pretty upset at the ratings we published on Wednesday.  I understand you are upset, and appreciate your feedback.  I would be upset if I were you as well.

What I would be upset about is not that the QMJHL was rated below the NAHL and BCHL, but that QMJHL development has fallen off that much.  Strangely, only one of many Canadian Commissioner’s who reads the site,  mentioned the BCHL being rated higher, but most Canadians complained about the NAHL being rated higher.

Can we put away the nationalistic pride for a minute?  Can we open our eyes and minds?

The NHL draft is not the only development measuring stick.  Moving from Junior B to Junior A, moving from Junior B to Major Junior, moving from Junior to NCAA are all measuring sticks.  And those are just a few examples.

For clarity sake, the ratings were NOT based upon which league was seen as being better in talent.  It was a development rating.

Anyone who believes the QMJHL is doing more for player development than the NAHL or BCHL needs to start doing some research.  The numbers do not support the argument.

If people don’t like the USHL being rated higher than Major Junior, then someone needs to tell the NHL. 55% of all free agent signings are coming through the NCAA.  Who puts the vast majority of players in the NCAA?  The USHL.

Are the remaining 45% of free agent signings coming from Major Junior?  No.  Many free agents are coming from European leagues, which brings the Major Junior number down further.

Again, I completely understand you being upset.  You should continue to be upset.  I think you should be more upset that not enough is being done for your country’s players in many cases.

You might even have a right to be upset that the world has caught up to your development and passed you in some cases.

I think you should be more upset to know that if Canadian Junior Hockey did not have United States born players, approximately twenty teams would collapse over night.  Yes.  Nearly twenty teams would fold over night if Junior teams did not have United States born players on their rosters.

None of us, including myself, want to be forced to face facts sometimes.  My favorite team, the Buffalo Sabres have been horrifically bad for a long time.  Yet for years, I always thought things would change based on blind faith.  Even when everything in my hockey mind told me they were still going to be bad, I held out hope.  The truth hurts us all sometimes.

Our rating opinions are supported by math and observations, while still being objective.  They are not perfect in my opinion.  I don’t agree with every storyline published on TJHN.

Do we think the CCHL is that much better than the MJHL when it comes to level of play?  No.  But they are definitely that much better at promoting their players and finding ways to move them up.  Again, a development discussion.

Rather than being pissed off at us though, why not begin a discussion?  Why not talk about how the development numbers in Canada keep declining?

Why not talk about how Hockey Canada and its ridiculous number of governing bodies beneath it are legislating themselves out of business?

Why not talk about why Canada relies so heavily on imported American players to sustain its programs?

Better still why not talk about why so many junior programs in Canada are struggling financially?  Or why so many players leave the game when they aren’t drafted in the CHL?

Do you really think commenting on Twitter about what junior hockey used to be like, and living in the glorious past is going to solve those problems?

I am sincerely sorry if any of what we have published offends you, upsets you, or makes you mad.  Our intent here at TJHN is to create a dialogue to make the game better.  We respect your traditions.  We respect your historical references in your comments.  We respect everything your great nation has brought to the game.

We respect your absolute right to make your thoughts known.  We also respectfully disagree with some of those thoughts and expressions.

Thank you for reading, and we hope you continue to be involved in the discussion.  It is the discussion that matters, not what our opinion, or what your opinion may be.

Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher

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