September 1st. It is a day that can often cause confusion, nervousness, and excitement all at once. Today is the day that USA Hockey allows for protected lists to be submitted and they prepare to make those lists public on Friday.
The changes this year, ones that many coaches and players did not acquaint themselves with and they should have, are very important ones.
A note for you Tier III coaches out there tampering with other teams contracted players; you may want to read the new USA Hockey Annual Guide thoroughly.
It used to be that any contract signed for a Tier III team was not effective until September 1st. The new rule is that after May 15th a contract is binding. This coincides with the rules changing to only allow players to sign one contract leading up to a new season.
September 1st is also usually a day of discovery. Its the time when teams start to think about how they can pull off a season when they don’t have a full roster.
USA Hockey could put in an easy safeguard to keep players safe next year. No team should be allowed to take the ice with less than 15 skaters, three full lines and two goalies. A limiter in the Junior Hockey register program that would not release a team to play in any games until those roster limits are met is an easy program add on to write.
Any team that doesn’t have at least 15 skaters should be kicked out of the league. There is a duty of care associated to every player on every team. Putting a team on the ice that is not prepared in numbers to compete is putting players at risk of serious injury and possibly death.
September 1st. It is a day many here at TJHN look forward to. We call it “exposure day”. Some teams expose their strength, and some teams simply expose themselves for what they are.
Look for those protected lists on Friday here http://www.usahockey.com/juniorhockey
With the season officially begun, we wish all players a great, and safe season.
Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher