The USA Hockey Junior Council is really something that most people could not imagine dealing with. Simply put it is a disaster, and an antiquated body that needs to be sent to the trash heap. Allow me to give you a comparison of how the Junior Council actually operates.
Lets say for discussion sake that the United States government set up an “Automotive Council”. The members of this “Automotive Council” would be General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. When Tesla wanted to begin car production, Tesla would have had to seek approval from the “Automotive Council” that was created by the United States.
The “Automotive Council” makes the standards for operation and all of the rules concerning design, safety, and other items concerning the production of automobiles in the United States. So when Tesla comes in to seek the “Automotive Council” approval to do things their own way, or differently, the “Automotive Council” is threatened and denies Tesla their sanctioning or blessing and Tesla is not allowed to move forward.
That is exactly how the “Junior Council” of USA Hockey has worked since its inception. The USHL, NAHL, NA3HL and formerly the EHL would vote on all expansion, all sanctioning, all standards, and rule changes.
With the USHL tied to a development agreement with the NAHL, and the NA3HL under the NAHL’s control, you can easily see that the EHL was out voted on anything that could be considered a threat to the other three. In fact, it only took the NAHL and NA3HL to vote and then nothing the EHL would want would take place.
It was this way when the NCDC sought Tier II sanctioning from USA Hockey. It was not that the NCDC and USPHL wanted to leave USA Hockey, they were forced to leave because the competition was in control of the rule making. Now, the NCDC and USPHL umbrella has more teams underneath it than any other organization in North America.
Imagine if General Motors, Ford and Chrysler could have said “no” to Tesla and kept the company from even being started! Imagine where the automotive industry would be today. It would be dying like it was not too many years ago. It would not be innovating, creating better, safer, more eco friendly cars driving the industry forward.
This type of scenario inside of the Junior Council has happened more times than I can count. New leagues, and teams denied the ability to operate because a few people were in control and threatened. The number of denials has to be well into the hundreds.
After those denials? Some of those in charge would then take the information and revisit the location for themselves in following years. Eliminate the competition, and then take the territory for yourself. This is exactly the predatory and dishonest behavior that USA Hockey has not only allowed, but created, and if you want to be in USA Hockey with junior hockey, there is no other way.
Now, the EHL has left, and a new league at the Tier I level is forming in the Western United States. The NCDC and USPHL is expanding at every level. Maybe it’s time for USA Hockey to ask how they have managed to destroy more than a dozen leagues and hundreds of teams over the last ten years?
If your customers keep leaving, its not the customers who are wrong, its the product you are delivering that is no longer satisfying the customer.
Now, youth hockey teams are talking about leaving. Yes, AAA hockey teams on down to house league programs are talking about leaving. Why? People paying the bills are tired of being told how they can make their hockey decisions, when those same people making the decisions are raising costs every year.
USA Hockey has simply gotten too big, and the Junior Council is costing USA Hockey too much by way of lost members and lost money.
The “Junior Council” can now rule themselves. I wonder what the “Junior Council” will do when they realize they are now outnumbered, and with a new Tier I league coming in 2023, the non USA Hockey crowd will outnumber the USA Hockey group at every level.
The customers will decide who survives, and if we are looking at Tesla and how they have done, I think USA Hockey is in trouble.