In light of all these teams (Muskegon, Flint, Corpus Christi, etc.) going from the professional ranks to juniors, I thought there were some telling things that came out of the NHL draft.
The much ballyhooed United States Hockey League, which is getting Muskegon, had 22 players selected in the draft, with four going in the first round.
That's OK, but no one is soon going to make a case that the USHL is major junior hockey.
The North American Hockey League, which is getting Flint and Corpus Christi, and which has a product I think those fans are going to be very disappointed in, had 16 former players go in the draft, including five in the first round.
That's very deceiving, though, since those five were part of the U.S. National Team Development Program, which has played as part of the USHL and NAHL, and three of those players -- Jack Campbell, Derek Forbort and Jarred Tinordi -- are also claimed to be USHL alumni.
What do you think of this?
Speaking of the NTDB, check out who its new coach is: Click here.
Not a big deal to me
I've seen this story gain some traction on the Web. Seems to be much ado about nothing.
While I would concede, the IHL is deserved scrutiny on issues like this because it has taken the moniker and, more absurdly, reincarnated the record book of the old, real IHL.
But I don't see how transferring the Lumberjacks franchise to expansion Evansville is remotely a big issue.
The only point is to give Evansville an infrastructure to work with. It gives them the first opportunity to negotiate with, and try to sign, players who had been with the Lumberjacks. Other than that, I don't see what the fuss is about.
The only people who should have a gripe are players who were with the Lumberjacks and cannot now negotiate with a team like Fort Wayne, unless they don't receive a contract offer. But it's almost the same difference if you are chosen in an expansion draft.
Really, this seems to be for the betterment of the league since it makes Evansville a little stronger than it would be as an expansion team. And at the end of the day, the Icemen will sign, what? Two guys from Muskegon?
Not worth getting pissy over.
Besides, what did the Lumberjacks' owners think would happen, after they turned their back on the IHL? And I can assure you, some facets of the Lumberjacks' departure from the IHL were contemptuous.
- For those of you who enjoy "We've got Game," the internet radio show hosted by Justin Cohn and Ben Smith, we're trying something a touch different this week. As Ben is on vacation, I will air our show on FM 100.1 on Tuesday, 6 to 7 p.m. The replay will be on our Web page shortly afterward. I will remind you when it's posted on the Web, but if you could tune in live for the maiden radio-dial voyage, that'd be great, too.