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ExHockeyguy
05-26-2014, 08:58 AM
After having recently watched the Canadian Major Jr. (Memorial Cup) championships on NHL Network; plus the USHL and NAHL championships on FastHockey, etc. and the IIHF World Jr. Championships I got to thinking again about the competitiveness between these leagues. I remember back in the late 70's, early 80's when "Hockey Night in Boston" was real big promoting Massachusetts High School hockey and the fabled Darby Yeager and Lance Lofaro would put together special tournaments. One was the Mass-Minn challenge which was very successful in terms of publicity. Another was a Series between the QMJHL All-Stars and a select group of high school seniors and college Division 1 freshmen. It was a series of games filled with fights, sticks and brutal hockey where the QMJHL destroyed the US contingent (I could be wrong but that's how I remember it). Steve Kasper (later of the Boston Bruins) I believe was on the QMJHL team.

So what I'm getting at is - what do you think the outcomes would be between games involving OHL, QMJHL and WHL teams with their US counterparts such as the USHL, NAHL or USPHL? We've all seen from an international standpoint (i.e. world championships) that most any country can put together 20 high quality skaters...but what about the totality of players in each league? Remember back when hockey East started and there was the interlocking schedule between HE and the WCHA? That was great hockey.

Just wondering as the summer begins...

Ralph Baer
05-26-2014, 02:13 PM
After having recently watched the Canadian Major Jr. (Memorial Cup) championships on NHL Network; plus the USHL and NAHL championships on FastHockey, etc. and the IIHF World Jr. Championships I got to thinking again about the competitiveness between these leagues. I remember back in the late 70's, early 80's when "Hockey Night in Boston" was real big promoting Massachusetts High School hockey and the fabled Darby Yeager and Lance Lofaro would put together special tournaments. One was the Mass-Minn challenge which was very successful in terms of publicity. Another was a Series between the QMJHL All-Stars and a select group of high school seniors and college Division 1 freshmen. It was a series of games filled with fights, sticks and brutal hockey where the QMJHL destroyed the US contingent (I could be wrong but that's how I remember it). Steve Kasper (later of the Boston Bruins) I believe was on the QMJHL team.

So what I'm getting at is - what do you think the outcomes would be between games involving OHL, QMJHL and WHL teams with their US counterparts such as the USHL, NAHL or USPHL? We've all seen from an international standpoint (i.e. world championships) that most any country can put together 20 high quality skaters...but what about the totality of players in each league? Remember back when hockey East started and there was the interlocking schedule between HE and the WCHA? That was great hockey.

Just wondering as the summer begins...

The USHL is the only US league which would have a chance.

Bonin21
05-26-2014, 03:03 PM
The USHL is the only US league which would have a chance.
And even the best USHL teams probably wouldn't hang with the better CHL teams. Top few USHL vs. lower half CHL might be interesting.

joecct
05-26-2014, 07:19 PM
Forget all (and I mean all) of the Eastern US junior leagues. There are too many teams with almost no barriers to entry, and extremely watered down talent.

ExHockeyguy
05-26-2014, 08:57 PM
And even the best USHL teams probably wouldn't hang with the better CHL teams. Top few USHL vs. lower half CHL might be interesting.

So maybe USHL more on the par with BCJHL and the like?

Bonin21
05-26-2014, 08:59 PM
So maybe USHL more on the par with BCJHL and the like?
The what? lol if you mean the BCHL, the USHL is better.

jnacc
05-26-2014, 09:59 PM
Canadian Junior A hockey (Tier II) has seen a dramatic decline in quality over the past 10 to 15 years. 15 years ago the BCHL and AJHL were every bit as good as the USHL, the BCHL perhaps even better. The OJHL was easily on par with the NAHL as was the eastern based MJHL...today the BCHL would be hard pressed to field 4 teams that would be competitive in the USHL while leagues like the OJHL are a clear step below that of the NAHL.

The CHL, on the other hand, is relatively stronger than they were a decade or so ago. A top USHL club would fare well against a low-end CHL team but would have a very very difficult time against an average to good CHL team. No USHL team is at a level where they could be remotely competitive in a Memorial Cup tournament.

Ralph Baer
05-27-2014, 08:36 AM
Canadian Junior A hockey (Tier II) has seen a dramatic decline in quality over the past 10 to 15 years. 15 years ago the BCHL and AJHL were every bit as good as the USHL, the BCHL perhaps even better. The OJHL was easily on par with the NAHL as was the eastern based MJHL...today the BCHL would be hard pressed to field 4 teams that would be competitive in the USHL while leagues like the OJHL are a clear step below that of the NAHL.

The CHL, on the other hand, is relatively stronger than they were a decade or so ago. A top USHL club would fare well against a low-end CHL team but would have a very very difficult time against an average to good CHL team. No USHL team is at a level where they could be remotely competitive in a Memorial Cup tournament. I don't think that the BCHL and AJHL have declined as much as the USHL has improved. OTOH, it does seem that the OJHL has declined in comparison to the western Tier II leagues.

Bill
05-27-2014, 09:21 AM
I don't think that the BCHL and AJHL have declined as much as the USHL has improved. OTOH, it does seem that the OJHL has declined in comparison to the western Tier II leagues.The OJHL became too watered down several years ago with far too many teams. To their credit, they recognized the problem and have been reducing the number of teams over the past few years.

Split-N
05-27-2014, 09:58 AM
Forget all (and I mean all) of the Eastern US junior leagues. There are too many teams with almost no barriers to entry, and extremely watered down talent.

This!

Truth is, there are far too many Jr. hockey "franchises" that are nothing more than moneymaking schemes that feed on the unrealistic dreams of pampered kids and gullible parents. The only real barrier to entry is the parent's checkbook. The net result is that high school hockey in many places has been emasculated while U16 youth hockey gets weakened by Jr. leagues willing (even anxious) to take "underage" players. And, unlike Canada, USA Hockey seems powerless to do anything about it.

davyd83
05-27-2014, 11:58 AM
Canadian Junior A hockey (Tier II) has seen a dramatic decline in quality over the past 10 to 15 years. 15 years ago the BCHL and AJHL were every bit as good as the USHL, the BCHL perhaps even better. The OJHL was easily on par with the NAHL as was the eastern based MJHL...today the BCHL would be hard pressed to field 4 teams that would be competitive in the USHL while leagues like the OJHL are a clear step below that of the NAHL.

The CHL, on the other hand, is relatively stronger than they were a decade or so ago. A top USHL club would fare well against a low-end CHL team but would have a very very difficult time against an average to good CHL team. No USHL team is at a level where they could be remotely competitive in a Memorial Cup tournament.

Back then, the USHL was Tier II, the same as the BCHL. The USHL is now Tier I.

CLS
05-27-2014, 01:54 PM
This!

Truth is, there are far too many Jr. hockey "franchises" that are nothing more than moneymaking schemes that feed on the unrealistic dreams of pampered kids and gullible parents. The only real barrier to entry is the parent's checkbook. The net result is that high school hockey in many places has been emasculated while U16 youth hockey gets weakened by Jr. leagues willing (even anxious) to take "underage" players. And, unlike Canada, USA Hockey seems powerless to do anything about it.Well, it's cheaper than sending your kid to a prep school. Not only is that more expensive, but the kid has to actually :eek: take school seriously

jnacc
05-27-2014, 05:31 PM
I don't think that the BCHL and AJHL have declined as much as the USHL has improved. OTOH, it does seem that the OJHL has declined in comparison to the western Tier II leagues.

Have to agree that the USHL has improved (at the expense of the NAHL) but at one time I would have rated the AJHL well above the NAHL and the SJHL as an equal to the NAHL...both are, IMO, below the NAHL circuit now. The BCHL is only marginally better than the NAHL and that is very debatable. The OJHL has been bleeding talent for a long time now. They recently instituted a pay to play model, similar to the old EJHL but not as expensive. This will drive the remaining talent base out west to the BCHL or into the U.S. based leagues.
Cripe I remember a time when just about every major college program had OJHL representation and some of the better programs relied exclusively on the league for recruiting top notch talent. Today, most OPJHL grads can be found at the smaller schools and are often the non-scholarship players.

joecct
05-27-2014, 05:50 PM
Back then, the USHL was Tier II, the same as the BCHL. The USHL is now Tier I.
To distinguish themselves from the NAHL. The USHL and NAHL used to play for US Junior hockey supremacy. Then the USHL decided that they were too good and stopped playing the NAHL. So USA came up with the Tier system to distinguish the USHL from the rest of the great unwashed.

If you think I am very cynical about USA Hockey, you're right.

giwan
05-27-2014, 06:19 PM
To distinguish themselves from the NAHL. The USHL and NAHL used to play for US Junior hockey supremacy. Then the USHL decided that they were too good and stopped playing the NAHL. So USA came up with the Tier system to distinguish the USHL from the rest of the great unwashed.

If you think I am very cynical about USA Hockey, you're right.

You are right the Tier I vs Tier II moniker is a joke. Not only in Juniors but Youth as well.

jnacc
05-27-2014, 06:24 PM
To distinguish themselves from the NAHL. The USHL and NAHL used to play for US Junior hockey supremacy. Then the USHL decided that they were too good and stopped playing the NAHL. So USA came up with the Tier system to distinguish the USHL from the rest of the great unwashed.

If you think I am very cynical about USA Hockey, you're right.

Correct me if I'm wrong but did not USA Hockey institute that designation based on what players could receive from the respective Junior Leagues. At the time everyone under the sun was designating themselves with the Junior A tag but some leagues forced the full cost of participation on the players, others only partial costs and one in particular picked up all player cost...guess which league that was. The USHL is the premier A league now because players incur no cost to play. All equipment, travel and billeting expenses are paid for by the respective teams in the USHL. Players in the NAHL do not have to pay ice fees nor travel cost and some equipment is paid for the by the team but they do have to pay for billeting.