Publishers Statement On Tier III Ratings And Why Leagues Were Excluded

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Once again, it appears as though we have a few people taking issue with our Tier III ratings published the other day.  While we certainly appreciate your feedback, insight and comments, we wont be influenced by them and changing our ratings simply wont happen.

There is another website out there owned and/or operated by some people in the GMHL trying to make waves about how inaccurate our ratings are.  Unfortunately for them, they do not know how social media works and the only people reading their comments are the few hundred followers they have from within the GMHL.  Again, excellent work up there guys, simply more ammunition for why no players should ever consider the GMHL as a legitimate league.

Some people have made note that we did not include the EHL Premier or the WSHL in our Tier III ratings.  There are reasons for both, that I will now explain.

The EHL Premier, or EHLP, was excluded for two very important reasons.  First, the EHLP is a U-19 driven league.  Meaning, in our opinion, it is not a pure Junior Hockey development environment.  It is more of a hybrid AAA/Junior program.  We could not accurately reflect that with their inclusion.

Second, we simply didn’t scout the league enough to form a real conclusion because of its hybrid nature.  Inclusion on incomplete or limited information would not have been fair.

The Western States Hockey League, or WSHL was not included for a few reasons as well.

First, the WSHL advertises itself as Tier II, and while there are clearly some Tier II level teams, there are also teams that are not even of a Tier III level.

Many of the WSHL teams charge Tier III level tuition to roughly half of its players, while the more skilled players are paying nothing to play.  This combination of pay and non pay results in not only financial disparity, but competitive disparity which keep the league from being Tier II or Tier III exclusively.

Finally, we did not scout the WSHL as extensively as we have in the past.  Our coverage of the league was limited due to a lack of player information availability, and a lack of information concerning player movement on to higher levels.

Concerning all Tier III leagues, we do not account for ACHA commitments in development models.  We respect the ACHA, and there are many great programs in their confines.  Players however do not usually need to spend a few years paying to play junior hockey when in many cases those ACHA opportunities would be there for them without playing junior.

ACHA programs offer a great college hockey experience in many cases.  More importantly they offer great educational opportunities for people to better their lives upon graduation.

Junior hockey though, at the Tier III level, at its inception, was never designed to be a training ground or recruiting center for ACHA hockey.  It was designed for late bloomers, and developing NCAA D III players who simply weren’t ready for Tier II.

While those statements are sure to piss a lot of people off, we have found that it usually is painful when the truth is told.

Once again, thanks for reading.

Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher