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The Death Pool – 2024 And The Summer To Come

It was only about fifteen years ago when things in the United States began to change. Independent hockey was spearheaded by the Western States Hockey League and Ron White breaking free of USA Hockey. The GMHL was making great strides in Ontario around the same time with Ken Girard and Bob Russell fighting off the actacks of Hockey Canada.

These two leagues were the ones who really set the tone for the future. Hockey Canada didnt want to listen, and USA Hockey allowed the cartel of other leagues to determine the fate of smaller leagues. Like all good leaders, the NCDC, USPHL, and EHL left USA Hockey after getting tired of being told what they could or could not do in order to keep their business groing and successful. The BCHL, and five teams from the AJHL have done the same in Canada. Meanwhile, Ken and Bob are still doing their thing in Ontario despite every hope and effort of Hockey Canada.

This is just the beginning of the rewriting of junior hockey history in Canada, and the continued growth of independent hockey in the United States.

The USPHL Premier has added a Canadian division for the coming season. If you think this is the last action the USPHL will take in Canada, then you havent been paying attention.

Many are talking now about the NCDC in Canada. Many existing clubs in other leagues are looking at the USPHL and NCDC options. Why? There are many reasons why, principal being autonomy and player exposure.

Many in Alberta are talking about new AJHL expansion opportunities after teams jumped ship for the BCHL. Rumors would suggest at least two and maybe three new teams being formed.

Still, BC Hockey has to figure out the mess they created with 45 new Junior A teams this season. Which will become Tier I Junior A and which will simply remain Junior A. Will BC Hockey ever explain why they are creating this label when its not needed and makes no sense?

Will other leagues opt to leave Hockey Canada? Multiple league discussions are taking place.

Will the NAHL expand more? If so where? Multiple sources still reporting that talks are ongoing with at least three more cities.

Will the NCDC expand more? Its almost a certainty that the Western Division will add two or three new teams to the very popular division.

What does all of this taken together say about the next four months? There will be some pretty surprising deals made. There may be some landscape altering moves made that will effect the bedrock of hockey in Canada. It is Canada that will provide the most fireworks.

Like USA Hockey in 2008-2009, people who own the teams that make up Hockey Canada are restless, and tired of not being able to self determine their futures. That restlessness, will spill over these next months, and the face of junior hockey in Canada will not look the same.

As teams are eliminated from playoffs, look for more information to be “leaked” and you will find it here.

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