Canadian Blog Takes Issue With Terry Frei

(above) The boyz up in Canada weren't too fond of Terry Frei's article about NCAA vs. major juniors hockey development yesterday

From: Coming Down The Pipe Blog
by Guy Flaming

I was emailed a link to this story that appeared in the Denver Post on Sunday written by Terry Frei. I've never met Terry, we've never had him on the show and I'm sure I've read his stuff before but do not recall seeing a CHL story from him in the past. I tell you this because I want to be very clear that I am not taking issue with his professionalism or objectivity here - that's not the case with a lot of American hockey journalists but I have no reason to believe that Mr. Frei is particularly anti-CHL [read rest of article].


Shram said... rips on Terry too:
"Check out this work from the Denver Post. If I was the coach of the Denver Pioneers I would call the Denver Post and ask that Terry Frei not cover the Pioneers again. Check it out.

With the University of Denver students out of school until after the New Year, Magness Arena on Friday was perhaps half-filled for the first night of the Denver Cup Classic and much more subdued than usual for Pioneer hockey.

Amid the relatively quiet atmosphere, center Drew Shore had three goals and an assist and much-touted freshman winger Beau Bennett had a goal and an assist as the Pioneers stretched their winning streak to five games with a lackluster 6-3 victory over Lake Superior State of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. [read the whole article here]

puck swami said...

Frei is an experienced NHL beat writer who was reporting exactly what he saw. And he was 100% accurate.

Without the students in the house, Magness arena is a morgue, and the game WAS lackluster.

puck swami said...

Guy Flaming's article is excellent - he's one of the few Canadians (and fewer Americans) who truly understand that you can develop well in both systems.

Guy gets it.

That said, DG is right in saying that for a Denver readership, the fine nuances of hockey development are over most readers' heads.

Mike B said...

This is a very interesting debate to me that will increase with time and, especially, with the increase of NCAA “student-athletes” that are making their way onto NHL rosters. I think that Frei’s main argument is that young hockey players are faced with a major life decision very early in their promising careers: college or Major Junior. Its been interesting how this argument developed over the years. When the NHL had just 6 teams, college hockey rotated in and out of being a “farm club” atmosphere. The DU Pioneers were nicknamed “the 7th NHL team” in the late 1960’s. Instead of playing the University of Lethbridge/Calgary/London, they would play the likes of the Russian national program and other promising young and foreign teams. Then, the development of the NHL feeder teams focused on the 16-20 year olds playing junior in Canada. There was a time, not too long ago, that the players that came down to play in the NCAA from our neighbo(u)rs up North were tier two players, meaning that they were not the top talent that the NHL was looking for. Present day tells a story of the choice that these players have between playing in very tough, physical leagues in Canada or coming down and playing here as student-athletes. If you are a extremely talented player at the early age of 14-15 years old, I think that the obvious route would be to head to a tier one program that may, or may not, pay you a few bucks to play for their team with the hopes of inking an early NHL contract with a signing bonus. The players that hail from the Great White North that are considered “late bloomers” usually go the route of playing for a team in the NCAA (much like Jumbo Joe) with the idea that they can work with the training staff to gain some strength and size to be ready to compete in the NHL. This brings up another development of the current NHL – Size and grit does not necessarily work with the current rules in the NHL now. Speed and skills are the attributed that the NHL teams are looking for in young prospects with rules that allow players to zoom around, rather than being grabbed and hooked.
I think that for the sake of argument (and this was pointed out in Frei’s article, take a look at all of the NHL rosters. I think that you would be hard-pressed to find one roster that didn’t have at least one NCAA product. This is GOOD for the game. If each team has the opportunity to look at both hot-spots and create and work with young players that have are in different developmental skill, this should enhance the sport.
Furthermore, just because some 6’2’’ kid from Regina is playing all-world hockey for the Regina Pats doesn’t mean that he is going to suit up for the Oilers next season. There have been plenty of kids that just don’t make it from either areas.
As far as the payment to these players goes, sadly they both get paid. Nothing like NCAA football where alums purchase cars and pay father’s of these athletes $187k (allegedly), but hockey players receive monies from these universities to pay for expenses (such as living expenses – food on the road, whiskeys at the Border, er I mean C&G Club). So, you cannot simply say that athletes in Major hockey in CA get paid that the NCAA guys don’t. They do. That is life.
That is my rant. GO PIOS! (whether they are from Canada or from Denver)