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Hudson Crusaders Folding Going Dark Or New Ownership

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Hudson Crusaders Folding, Going Dark, Or New Ownership September 2, 2012 9:34 AM

In a last minute move, the Minnesota Junior Hockey League has been blinsided by the Hudson Crusaders Junior Hockey Team. Let the market correction begin?

Yesterday afternoon phones were ringing with calls from players looking for new teams, and calls from concerned parents. Stories of Hudson Crusaders attenpting to sell players to other teams, coupled with parents voicing concerns over where the money they already paid has gone have kept me pretty busy over the last 24 hours.

As recently as a few days ago, Owner Harry Urschel and Head Coach Ted Urschel assured the MNJHL and its member teams that the Crusaders were in great shape and ready to play the 2012-2013 season. Last week Coach Ted Urschel informed people that he had as many as 40 players in training camp. Perhaps what he meant to say was 14?

The truth is that Hudson Valley did not have enough players ready to come and play for them. Unfortunately those few players know a lot of other players around the league and that news network was very active yesterday.

Hudson was offered help in procuring players more than three weeks ago from other teams and sources outside of the league. That help was declined in every instance.

The timing of this, a week from the beginning of the MNJHL regular season is perhaps the most egregious of all of the Urschels failures. Failure to let your business and league partners know in a timely manner of these serious problems causes problems for the other league members who are doing the right things for players.

A last minute savior may be in the wings for the Crusaders.

Early this morning I received a call from an unidentified source using a blocked phone number stating that the Ownership of the Hudson Civic Center Ice Arena may be interested in purchasing the franchise. Another source has said that an NAHL owner may be interested in purchasing the franchise.

Attempting to slam together a team for the season that starts friday,will likely be disasterous. Players will not be lining up to go to Hudson, and those that do will likely be younger, less experienced players that will not allow the team to be competitive when playing other teams.

Other teams in the league are said to be trying to send players to Hudson today. The league is being backed into a corner to help an organization that did not and could not do the work that needed to be done all summer.

Unfortunately, if the Crusaders were to go, it would cause the league to completely re-write the season schedule. Such a well respected league should have been given the professional courtesy of advance notice.

TJHN has learned that this is not the only USA Hockey Sanctioned Tier III team in the mid west that is in this condition. There appears to be at least four other teams that are in the same or worse condition. The problem is not isolated to the MNJHL either, although there are at least two other teams in the league that could not start the season if it began today.

We will update this story as it develops. For now, the Crusaders exist. The questions to be answered are; For how much longer? Under who’s leadership?

The official position of the MNJHL is that the Crusaders will continue. Where they will find the players to fill a roster in less than a week has yet to be seen.

Written By: Joseph Kolodziej

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