Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Like it or not...Coming to a rink near you- Cages are for animalz

Well a month or so ago the OHA in Ontario (112 teams) decided they were going full face shields next season. Read that story here 

Then on August 14th BC's Peninsula Panthers of the Jr B VIJHL declared that they were going to make all their players wear full cages this season as well. Read all about that and their arguments for it here

 Read into this anyway you want, but me being a conspiracy theorist I see a big red flag when I see  the Panthers brought in BC Hockey CEO Barry Petrachenko to help grandstand their big we're the first Western Canadian team with full cages announcement. 

This in my opinion is a harbinger of things to come... the freight train has no brakes Casey Jones.

So lets clear up a few things, first of all at my age (months from retirement) I don't care, they can do what ever the hell they want, and I get the arguments from both sides... and I'll still attend the games.

However, all the younger players and coaches I know are foaming at the mouth about this. We hear... Cages are for animalz in the zoo, if I was a player I would demand a trade right away, they won't get any good players, I wouldn't want my players playing them and their high sticks that we see enough of when we go to the US, way more stick work elbows etc.

So as we said in a previous post, this will be like a science experiment, will the good players leave, will the good recruits go somewhere else, will it be a recruiting advantage and the good recruits flock to Peninsula, insurance is probably cheaper there, and the parents will mostly like it.

Frank Zappa was wrong it can happen here, Frank who??

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

July Ghostrider Update, and a few other things

Here is your July 2017 Fernie Ghostrider update.

Hey I went to Prep 9 too

Head Coach Craig Mohr just finished running what he called  a Prep Camp in Calgary that saw two teams scrimmage for three days. But not everyone is happy.

We're Mad as Hell and were not gonna take it anymore!

Hockey Alberta and for whatever reason BC Hockey???  are pissed with the number of BC Jr B teams hosting camps in Alberta and they want it to stop immediately. ( I can actually hear them stomping their feet right now)  Well they get to be the bosses so the camp was not an actual Ghostrider camp. It was just a summer skate for whoever showed up.

Some history, or my view of it

A few years ago Hockey Canada decreed that Canadians are Canadians so a player from Alberta was not considered an import here in BC. Before that you could only have 8 imports or something but now it’s open and only non Canadians are considered imports. 

That was a good rule change for southern BC teams who don’t have big minor hockey systems to feed off of  like they once did in the 80’s and 90’s.


BC and Alberta Hockey  Boy Scouts don't like camping any more

With the new hockey camps rule it looks like BC Hockey has decided to suck-hole to Hockey Alberta and help them try and hobble the recruiting process, even though Hockey Canada, the ultimate boss, kinda likes giving players a place to play and proved it by eliminating the provincial border with the import rule… they give with one hand and BC Hockey takes away with the other. 

Have faith ye

The day of no provincial borders is coming, but it’s a gradual evolution and it started with the import rule.

AnywayCoach Mohr says it was a good skate with several players who have a legitimate chance of making the team in September. As per usual many of the guys will be trying their luck at various Junior “A” Camps first… but if things don’t work out they have a spot here in Fernie.  

Coach Mohr also tells me that 1/  Mitch Titus, who was the team’s top scorer last season and rarely misses a game is coming back for his final year of junior hockey. The fans coaches and writers have to be happy with that development.

2/ Keagan Kingwell is taking an electrical apprenticeship so won't be back.

3/ Riley Siebel, Ryan Kennedy and Evan Traverse are all going to UBC this year.

4/ Alex Cheveldave is going to Marian University in Wisconsin where he will play hockey.

We wish nothing but the best for all of these players.

It’s looking like the Riders will have a couple of 16 year old’s in the lineup this year and we’ll have more on that in August as training camp approaches. 

And finally, and not a moment to soon

We stir up a lot of sh#@ here at the blog and some teams and coaches including the KIJHL President  are not fans... but former Creston HC and GM Jeff Dubois, was, and he understood when and when not to take things serious... so we will miss having him in the league. 

Dubios, for the record,is going to Alberni Valley as an assistant Coach and GM where he will team up with Matt Hughes, a former Columbia Valley Rockies HC and GM. Good luck in the BCHL Jeff!... and for that matter Matt.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

A not so friendly Hockey Canada reminder

This comes out every year at this time and should be nothing new. Last season it caught a KIJHL  player , don't let it happen to you.

Hockey Canada, its member Branches, Major Junior and registered Junior Hockey Leagues in Canada are concerned with the proliferation of leagues that operate outside the auspices of Hockey Canada.
Hockey Canada offers the best development programs worldwide. It has invested significant resources in the development of officials, coaches, administrators and players countrywide. We have a committed strategy toward a cohesive long term athlete development model.
These non-member organizations do not support the development of these programs. Further, they operate in a vacuum, with no consideration to the impact of their programs on minor, junior, senior, adult recreational hockey, female hockey, officiating development, coaching development or administrator development in Canada. These non-member leagues instead choose to utilize the resources already developed by Hockey Canada and its member Branches. The teams who make up these "leagues" operate in this fashion because they do not agree with the existing overall vision of Hockey Canada. They profess to have a better program yet often operate without a constitution, by- laws, create their own rule book and may not provide adequate insurance for their participants. Further, they offer the lure of "Rep" or "Junior" level competition when this is clearly not the case.
Hockey Canada, its member Branches, Major Junior Leagues as well as registered Junior Hockey Leagues wish to be exceedingly clear with our response to these programs.
Hockey Canada and its member Branches view all leagues that operate outside the auspices/sanctioning of Hockey Canada programs to be classified as non-member leagues. This currently does not include summer hockey leagues/teams, adult recreational hockey leagues/teams, high school hockey, and/or hockey schools.
  1. 1)  Any individual who participates (knowingly or otherwise) in non-member programs after September 30 of the season in question ("the Cut-Off Date") will lose all membership privileges with Hockey Canada for the remainder of that season, and may only reapply for membership with Hockey Canada after the end of that season. "Participation" in an non-member program will be considered to have occurred if the individual takes part in one game (including an exhibition, tournament, league or playoff game) after the Cut-Off Date.
    If a participant makes the choice to participate in these non-member programs, they must understand the ramifications of that choice and that the sanctions described in this paragraph will remain in effect even if the league or team folds, or the individual is released, suspended or fired.
  2. 2)  Hockey Canada and its member Branches across the country will make every effort to ensure that local minor hockey and female hockey associations in areas where non-member leagues exist are not supporting these leagues in any manner whatsoever. For greater certainty, "supporting" includes, but is not limited to, assisting an non-member league directly or indirectly through
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advertisement, promotion, ticket sales, volunteer activities, assigning Officials, sharing resources or enabling such a league to participate in Hockey Canada sanctioned activities. We will withhold tournament sanctions and will preclude such associations from benefitting from any Hockey Canada/Branch/CHL sanctioned event by whatever means necessary, including the withdrawal of any such event from any community within the geographic boundaries of that association if need be to stress this point.
This policy is aimed at those leagues that choose to operate outside the hockey structure established by Hockey Canada, its member Branches and the Canadian Hockey League.
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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The KIJHL AGM Hi Lites

Fifth year Fernie Ghostrider President Barb Anderson and Head Coach and GM Craig Mohr went to Kamloops June 9-10-11 for the KIJHL AGM. Here are a few of the hi lights of that meeting that fans should be interested in.

First of all we will have a 47 game schedule and there will be no crossovers again this year, meaning that we will not see any teams from the  Okanagan. This will be the second season of a cost saving experiment that worked for most teams but not for all. 

I hate not seeing teams like Osoyoos and Summerland but I like the 47 vs 52 game schedule. I believe the volunteers get  burned out by game 40 or so… but get rejuvenated when the playoffs start. I'm bettin on 52 games in 2018-19 though.

The KIJHL and the other two junior B leagues in BC have opted out of the Keystone Cup for various reasons but travel costs are number 1. Personally after the Cyclone Taylor Cup I could care less about the Keystone and their two games a day tournament. Anyway if you want to know more Read Beaver Valley’s $50,000 something account of their trip to the  Keystone by clicking here... it's not pretty 

The KIJHL’s Bill Ohlhausen is back for his 16th year as President… a sometimes thankless job that occasionally sees him take a beating from some of the GM’s and Governors whenever team discipline is handed out. They actually should thank him...

The KIJHL will also go back to a 7 game vs 5 game semi and final series’. Seems more traditional to me but the 5 games was not the end of the world IMO.

The league will shutdown in mid January for the Prospects Game. Last year was a trial for the PG so the schedulers fit it in but several teams had to play games with out their top prospects creating howls of protest in the background. But it all worked out for the better and it’s a go for this season. 

Going full face protection was talked about but rejected. See the previous post...someday it will get mandated. 

There is still interest from Quesnell and Williams Lake to join the KIJHL. It will happen sooner than later if you ask me and two powerful franchises will be created. Too bad with no crossovers we will never see them. I only hope teams move there vs expansion.

And finally, some Governors have been saying that it's looking like all the teams in the league are starting to get on the same page... this can only mean good things  for the fans.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Full Face Shields

According to this story 112 junior teams in Ontario will be wearing full cages this year.

The subject was been brought up here in the KIJHL before but the teams were not interested in going full face protection. Most of the hockey guys I know agree that with full cages the elbows, sticks, and hands go up and maybe player respect takes a hit as well.

There is evidence out there showing that  face injuries and dental claims go way down with full face masks. Also,  player insurance costs also go down as well, and as one coach told me, way down.

So far the junior leagues out west have not had to wear full cages, and if you polled the different league's governors and coaches they would vote no by a large margin ... but I'm betting that in the next couple of years there will be no voting, it will be mandated by either BC Hockey or Hockey Canada who, if you didn't know, provide the insurance for all carded players . So bank on it, cause for insurance reasons HC & BCAHA's gonna be banking on it as well and like it or not, no fighting and full cages is the way it's headed .

And finally, if a team wanted to they could tell their players, if you want to play here, you have to wear a full face shield.  And that would be interesting, like a science experiment. 

Some coaches think they would have a  hard time getting players, and that's likely... but maybe not, the team may actually get a recruiting advantage. Some (lots of ?) parents might want to send little Johnny to cageville, after all, average Johnny ain't goin to the NHL anyway, so why get hurt. And some players may actually want to keep the cage on.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

To all first time KIJHL Players

Stuff first time players should know

To any new players coming up to the KIJHL. Hockey Canada has a big hole in their carding system now, and behind the scenes there is a motion in to fix it. But it may not be in time.

The problem is Hockey Canada  has an electronic carding system and that means a player can be carded without his actual signature. This is a major flaw in the system for first time players and until they make is so a player and parent has to physically sign... things could go sideways. And here's how...

Some teams have been asking first time players to sign some sort of a commitment letter. Be aware that this could make it so a GM thinks he has the right to  automatically sign you when he gets his cards June 1st.  You may be happy with that... but if your not.

All players should know that they are total FREE AGENTS until they are on a HC Player Card card. No matter what you sign before hand , you are free to go and get what is best for you. If you want out of any commitment letter it is your right and BC Hockey will back you. The water could get murky after June 1st...  All honest GM's will call you and tell you they're going to put you on a card and if you don't want to be on their card it is your right.

And why sign a commitment letter anyway... what are you thinking, the team is trying to keep you away from all the other teams,  it is your right to talk to anyone you want to until your on a proper card. If your good enough, they will call after June 1st and right up to September.

# Things you should know 
 Have a great summer.

Some Rider Player news

The Ghostriders moved F  Nolan Lagace's playing rights to 100 Mile for the rights to D man  Brent Headon    who was in Nelson last season but was moved to 100 as part of the Alex Meeker  trade made last year.

Anyway, Lagace who will play as a 20 may not end up in 100 and may end up in Alberta before next season, and if he does he can play as a 21 year old next year in that league. Yes they can have a couple of 21's.

 And Headon who will turn 19 shortly may or may not end up in Fernie because of work but Coach Craig Mohr is sure hoping he comes here as large D men are always a welcome sight here in Fernie.

The Riders have also acquired F  Jace Woodley  a 20 year old from Sicamous for a player development fee   

I'm told goalie Brandon Butler had successful knee surgery and is now planning to attend SAIT next season. It's hard to tell if he will try out for the Trojans right after surgery, but it's possible. SAIT coach Dan Olsen  who was a Pass Timberwolf HC and GM  a few years ago was an excellent judge of goalies when he was in the Pass bringing in a few guys who went on to play a much higher levels.

Evan Traverse and Ryan Kennedy are going to UBC Okanagan, but I think they are just going to school.

Alex Cheveldave may end up in New York at a Div 111 school, he will definitely be playing hockey there.

Ben Shushkovski is also going to school and that makes two large D men the Riders will be without next season.

Coach Mohr has been actively recruiting and has a few players who may come here if they don't make junior A. As we find out more we'll post the info.