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The Death Pool – BC Hockey Puts Lipstick On A Pig With Junior A Ruling

Sorry, if anyone is offended by blunt speach. But it is long past due time for people to look at BC Hockey and call them out for being nothing but a political body that has no credibility in junior hockey.

In Hockey Canada and the CJHL, there is only Junior A, Junior B and Junior C. There is no Tier I or Tier II Junior A.

So the BCHL yesterday completely threw out all their previous rulings and made every Junior B league in British Columbia now Junior A with an opportunity to transition to Junior A tier I. In short BC Hockey completely validated the BCHL’s reasons for leaving in stating there are two levels of Junior A in Canada.

Who is the idiot or group of idiots making these decisions?

45 new Junior A teams in British Columbia? Sorry, but what the hell is BC Hockey thinking? There is no depth of players to support this designation.

In one fell swoop BC Hockey just gave every other Junior B league in Canada the very strong legal argument to seek Junior A status.

There are bad decisions and then there are incredibly bad decisions. Out of these 45 teams now designated Junior A in British Columbia about 30 of them will not even approach a Junior A competitive level within two or three years.

Creating 45 new Junior A designations does nothing but keep the player talent pool diluted. It does not consolidate talent into a top level league, which is what the creation of any new Junior A league would have done.

BC Hockey created a three year plan to make some teams Tier I and the rest will remain Tier II. So the CJHL must now be reclassifying themselves as Junior A Tier I? What is there now to keep the EOHL and GOJHL from seeking this new Junior A status that was created out of thin air by BC Hockey?

Clearly BC Hockey does not understand the “Tier System” designed and implemented by USA Hockey. Anyone seeking the Tier I designation as a league has to provide everything for free for players. Equipment, billeting, ice, transportation and anything else a player needs. Zero cost to player.

At Tier II there is only billet cost and insurance costs. Thats it. Tier III is where you have tuition and other costs.

Anyone adopting the “Tier System” needs to understand that system and the impact it has on players choices of where to play. The BCHL understood that system and that is exactly why their argument for Tier I status did not hold any water. The “Tier Syatem” is a business model and through that business model it is a natural talent recruiting seperation between leagues.

So unless BC Hockey will require these new Junior A teams to meet those financial standards the whole move to Junior A is laughable. The entire CJHL is not going to become “Tier I” and be free to play now.

So why did BC Hockey put this lipstick on the pig? There are only two real possible answers for this.

BC Hockey either has no balls to make the right decision and form a new smaller regionalized Junior A league, or the Junior B leagues involved were not willing to have the top teams leave to form this new league without having a chance to elevate everyones standards.

Either way it was politics. These kinds of politics are exactly what cause problems.

Who is making the decisions on which teams have elevated and which ones have not at the end of this process? BC Hockey? Based on what standards? When BC Hockey has dropped the ball consistently for years, people are suppossed to trust their ability to evaluate?

And the teams who are not elevated in the end. What of them? Will there be lawsuits based on someone being approved over others that in the eyes of experts are more worthy?

This is suppossed to be the move that allows for the creation of competition for recruiting against the BCHL? You just made the BCHL’s job easier because its clear BC Hockey is a mess.

With all due respect to the leagues who are involved in this process, and there are some fine operators involved. Even you all have to look at this and ask what the hell just happened? Some really good operators just got classified into a group that has operators not even close to their standards, and now they have to compete against them for “Tier I” status? Really?

And now, with this beautiful new Junior A designation BC Hockey thinks that NCAA scouts are going to come? Not a chance. Fourty five more “Junior A” teams? No thanks, scouts will come when there are 12 to 16 real Junior A teams. They dont have the time or budget to scout 45 more teams in Western Canada.

Now there will be hundreds of players receiving the Junior A designation who are not Junior A level. Over the course of three years that could be well over a thousand. And these players will believe they are Junior A because their parents will buy into this charade.

Scouts wont buy in though. All three leagues will be seen and treated as Junior B. Fair or unfair, thats what BC Hockey just did to these three well intended leagues.

For future reference, when you really want to put some lipstick on a pig of your own, the BC Hockey model is the one anyone should use when really diving into the pig pen.

What a disaster.

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