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Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the NLSHL considered to be a semi-professional hockey league? I will be the first to put it out that there is nothing professional about what is going on with some of these teams that's for sure!!

I am writing this because I currently coach a team in AESHL and we are constantly having to deal with issues from teams in that league calling players and trying to convince them to play out with them. Now, let me make this clear that I would never hold anyone back from a game of hockey and especially one which is considered to be a higher quality and better entertainment.
I can also understand how teams want to improve and be ready for a playoff and Herder run but there is a right and a wrong way to go about achieving this and improving your teams. I was part of the WCSHL back when we first started bringing in players to make us better, well I for one can tell you that the majority of what we brought in was no better than our home grown local players and the only year we won the Herder was when we were 90% locals with a couple pickups from "town" to make us stronger.

Why is it that we constantly believe the grass is greener on the other side and continue to waste money and time on the majority of these players that you bring in. If they were really that good, would they be toiling around in the NLSHL.......NO!!! This brings me to the point in question and the topic of this blog.

If you want to be considered professional and respected then treat everyone the same. I have several players on my team that are called just about every week to come and play and I am quite sure that other teams in our league are experiencing the same. I remember when all the talk was about the AESHL had no talent, was a washed down rec league, well if that's the case why are we losing players to the NLSHL? I will tell you why, because these teams spend like crazy to start the season, they soon then realize that they have made some terrible mistakes and now need to correct them to hopefully stay afloat to make it through the season and have all summer to fundraise again. However, in order to stay competitive what do they do...they come calling to players in the AESHL to hopefully help them survive. So how do they fix, they get the right people onboard to run these teams, they get quality people brought in...professionals!!! I don't think there's need to go throwing names and teams out there but everyone involved is fully aware of what is going on.

Here's a little word of advice for next year when you doing you're "scouting reports' on who to bring in to bolster your lineups....drop by and watch a couple AESHL games. No we are not as talented as most teams in that league, but there are several players in our league that if given the right opportunity would without a doubt be on any teams top 3 lines and several D-men that could anchor your back ends.

Another thing that you will notice is that even though we are considered a "B" category league, the guys in this league play or give their 100% game in and game out no matter what the score...these guys play with PRIDE. I remember in the playoffs last year when there was HNL meetings in town and several Managers and NLSHL executives took in our games and came up to me and said...."wow, I would do anything to have my players compete like that night in and night out, how do you get them to come to play as hard as they do?.... I simply told him that you show them respect and in return they and any player I have ever known will give you everything they have!!"

I love the idea that we have a semi-professional league here in NL but if you guys want it to survive and be successful, then run it like a professional business, get the right people onboard, respect the players and the AESHL and it could be something that only continues to get bigger and better, stop running it the way you are now because there is nothing professional about it.

If there's one thing you want to do, try following the lead of the C'Ville Caribous, they run and operate themselves as close to any professional team there is on the island. They were shorthanded last weekend and what did they do? They picked up the phone, called asked permission if they could talk to one of our players to help them out while shorthanded. We released this player in question and allowed him to have a go at the NLSHL and gain some experience. This came at a cost because each and every player has to sign a card and with the card there's a fee associated with it to register the player, so now in order to get this player back in our lineup we have to resign and register him again. Unlike other organizations in the league they would rather call up the players themselves and keep it a big secret that they are being asked to come out and play, grow up is what I say. You are dealing with men and men with character so treat them like that. If we had a regulatory body that actually followed and paid attention to tampering rules none of this would ever be heard of, but like anything and everything else it is swept under the rug and forgotten about! You know, we could've said no and moved on but we gave him a chance to compete at the highest level of hockey on the Island and helped a team out and so everyone wins.....isn't this what it is suppose to be about in the 1st place!!!



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