Saving The Hudson Crusaders


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Saving the Hudson Crusaders September 3, 2012 10:18 AM

The Minnesota Junior Hockey League is attempting to forge ahead with the Hudson Crusaders for the 2012-2013 season. Many ideas on how to stock the team with players so that the schedule does not have to be overhauled have been floated to member teams.

The league and the Crusaders agree on one thing, the Crusaders do not have enough players to begin the season. This also means that the Crusaders can not meet their operating budget without more tuition being brought in by the addition of players.

One idea being discussed has teams "lending" or "short term trading, with trades back" of players. If teams playing Hudson lend or short term trade players to allow Hudson to play scheduled games, on very large problem still remains; no tuition will be gained by the Crusaders.

Another question to be asked is how does this get explained to players? It is unlikely they will want to play against their team mates and house mates. How do you explain this to player parents who are paying for one thing and possibly getting another.

What happens if a player gets injured by someone who would normally be considered his team mate? Risking the chemistry of each and every team lending players.

What if players dont report to Hudson for the short term trade? They dont have to report. Conversely, what if players want to stay in Hudson once traded? The player is not required to report back to the "lending" team and could then bolt for an AAU team. If they want to stay in Hudson, that would effect the "lending" teams annual budget in a negative way.

How do players explain this back and forth trading on their resumes? Bouncing from team to team is a red flag for scouts and recruiters.

If they have 15 players paying tuition, and 3 or 4 players per night are being lent to the Crusaders, they will eventually run out of money during the season. In short the only thing that can really keep Hudson afloat is signing players that will stay with the team all year. How this happens with less than a week before the season starts is the big question.

Wanting to save Hudson from a league standpoint is noble and shows loyalty. Great qualities in a business partner that Hudson should appreciate. Loyalty can only go so far though. What happens if the players dont come? Can the league afford to take over and operate another team? The Steele County Blades are already owned and operated by the league, and its doubtful anyone thought of possibly having to fund another team, or partially fund it.

With four days before the puck drops on the MNJHL season, the league needs to act quickly and adress these potential problems.

Written By: Joseph Kolodziej

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