The United States Premier Hockey League’s Jim Hunt (Jersey Hitmen) joined the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils broadcast and promptly dropped some humongous misrepresentations about his program.
About three minutes into the interview, Hunt is asked about his organization. “… the USPHL NCDC is comparable to Tier II leagues in Canada, like the BCHL,” he answered. The recording can be found on the USPHL.com website.
How can one of USA Hockey’s chosen ones have the raw courage to make such a claim? It’s embarrassing to say the least.
If the USPHL’s NCDC was equal to the BCHL, why would league president Richard Gallant send his own son to the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen after a season with the Islanders NCDC team?
With a purely mathematical comparison, Mark Gallant’s season with his father’s Islanders (2017-18, 47 Games, 14 Goals, 22 Assists) was much more productive than this past season in the BCHL (2018-19, 56 Games, 10 Goals, 10 Assists). To his credit, he did light it up in the playoffs with eight goals and an assist in seven games.
Here’s what I’m thinking, Mark Gallant would likely be the first person to tell us that the BCHL is certainly playing at a much higher level than dad’s NCDC.
“Wishful thinking,” North American Hockey League Head Coach Moe Mantha said in regard to Hunt’s claim. “He’s just telling people what they want to hear.” Mantha’s coaching track record includes stints in the American Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and the United States National Team Development Program.
Could you only imagine the pounding Bliss Littler's Wenatchee Wild would give the Boston Jr Bruins? That would be ugly.
Then there are the numbers.
The BCHL crushes the USPHL when it comes to Division I college commitments, a fact that Hunt is fully aware of.
So why make such a rash public claim? It’s always about the money. That claim, on that broadcast, will go a long way towards driving unsuspecting families to the USPHL. The claim convinces families that the USPHL is the better developmental option.
The real question; why is USA Hockey letting the charade go on? Why do they let Hunt continue to fly USA Hockey’s flag at all?
When are they simply going to put a stop to the madness? It would not take much. Maybe an automatic full-season suspension for any player coming back into USA Hockey from non-sanctioned leagues, regardless of the situation. Such a move would put an end to the craziness in one final blow.
I know this, the USPHL would never had launched under Dave Tyler’s watch. Tyler would have crushed Gallant’s scheme with one stomp.
It’s high time that USA Hockey strapped on Tyler’s old boots for one last fling.