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Hockey Mom Chronicles – And So It Begins…

Wow, hockey season is here.

I hope all of your players are on a secure and valid teams. There are lots of not so nice things going on that are just not right in Tier III hockey. It seems to get worse every year. Some idiot says to themselves “let’s start a junior hockey team” and then realizes it is not that easy to get players and there is no seed money to do it properly because they need the players to sign to get the money to order stuff and make the team work. Wow, that is a mouthful. I think that is Business 101 set up for failure.

Then the fall out begins and the poor kids who signed are screwed, no money gets returned and they have no team to play for. WHY? It has got to stop! When will parents (the payers) stop the madness? When will everyone learn, there are just so many players in the Tier III that can actually pay to play or are qualified to play Junior Hockey. Not only do they pay to play, there are billeting fees and cost of living. Soon hockey will only be for the wealthy kids. Actually that may be here now.

We are so blessed to be on one of the most professional run teams this season, we are excited about this year. Keep in mind we have fallen prey to the not so nice side of hockey. Lessons have been learned the hard way and I still shake my head, there is absolutely no recourse and these idiots are somehow protected and sanctioning bodies do not care once they get their expansion money. Seems almost criminal.

Hey parents, let’s start an organization that protects our money and our players. How about we actually take the contracts we sign and write in our own expectations. How about holding the teams, USA Hockey and AAU accountable to the paying consumer. It simple, sanctioning bodies take the expansion money, teams charge players and we should get what we pay for or you are all in trouble. It hurts my heart to see teams folding at this juncture. And I am sure more are folding in the coming days.

I had the opportunity to sit in on team meetings this past weekend of a brand new team in the USPHL. I was a little concerned on their ability to bring it all together for this season. They have 18 skaters and 3 are goalies, they are promising 3 more players are coming in. Now you can skate with 15, but injuries will quickly make you short benched. Of course, they do not have all the equipment, locker rooms not completed, I think the team will make it, it seems like the ownership is committed and they own another franchise that is successful. I am actually hopeful for this team, but others, not so much.

Following the meeting some parents asked me, because parents know we have been involved in Junior Hockey a while, “is the speech made tonight by the ownership truth?” My response: “hold the team accountable to the speech.” “If you are not seeing the results or the promises being kept, go back to the ownership and remind them of their opening speech.” Hold them accountable to your kid and your money. Then I said if you want the true answer…. “If your kid can play or has potential, that speech is true, if the player does not have potential in the coach’s opinion…. that speech is not true.” But I insist you still hold them accountable, it’s your money and you pay for progress in your player regardless.

Here is to the start of the season. May the strong survive and the idiots go away forever. It is my hope that one day someone comes in and fixes what is broken in Tier III hockey.

Hockey Mom.

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