Send Ryan Ellis to Milwaukee
Posted By: Aaron Sims
If he performs well in training camp, I’d like to see the Predators keep defenseman Ryan Ellis with the big club for at least 10 games to see if he can play there. If he can’t, I’d love to see him sent to the Admirals. Wouldn’t you think he’d develop better in Milwaukee playing against higher caliber opponents?
Well, he can’t.
The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) is comprised of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and the Western Hockey League (WHL).
An agreement is in place between the CHL and the National Hockey League (NHL). A player from the CHL has to either turn 20 by December 31st of the season OR have completed 4 seasons of junior eligibility to play in the American Hockey League (AHL). Also, CHL players are eligible to play in the AHL once their junior season is over (either by virtue of their junior team not making the playoffs or being eliminated from the playoffs) even if they don't yet meet the age or eligibility criteria listed above.
College players and European players (provided they are drafted out of Europe, even if they later play in the CHL) are not covered by this agreement. They only have to abide by the AHL's age requirement, which is that a player has to turn 18 by September 15 of any given season to be eligible to play.
Players can make the jump to the NHL, but not the AHL. Also, the NHL gets a ten-game period to see if the player can stick. Several teams have utilized this period, including the L.A. Kings with goalie Jonathan Bernier
The basis for this agreement is, apparently and obviously, money. The NHL agrees to send the teenagers back because CHL needs these players, its top players, to make money. If the CHL didn't make money, they couldn't produce players.
Is that really the best for the player? I’m not for keeping players around for a year that aren’t ready to play like Minnesota did with Colton Gillies and James Sheppard
. The years they spent with Minnesota, in my opinion, wrecked these young men. They need game action. Houston would have been a better option for them. Will Ryan Ellis develop being the best defenseman in Canada or would he learn more playing the pro game in Milwaukee?
Lately, I’ve been reading a LOT of comments from people saying that Canada will always support the sport, no matter what. It’s the Canadian Game (there would certainly be some teams and former teams that would disagree with that statement). If that’s the case, a Ryan Ellis or similar player playing in the AHL wouldn’t kill the CHL.
With money being tight for many NHL teams, it would seem to me developing your draft picks ASAP would only be good for business. If we can’t agree on that, let’s agree that the CHL shouldn’t be placed higher in importance than the NCAA. What’s good for the CHL, in this case, should also be good for the NCAA.
It would seem to me that former UW hockey coach Jeff Sauer
should be a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame
. In a college head-coaching career that lasted 31 seasons, Sauer posted a record of 655-532-57. He won two regular season titles with the Badgers, five postseason tournaments and made 12 appearances in the NCAA tournament (11 with Wisconsin). He also won two National Championships and finished runner-up one other time. His 655 wins rank eighth all-time in NCAA history. He’s represented his country as a coach in tournaments. In the summer of 2000, Sauer was honored by USA Hockey, when he received the JOFA/USA Hockey Distinguished Achievement Award. This award is given annually to a U.S. citizen who has made hockey his or her profession and has made outstanding contribution, on or off the ice, to the sport in the United States. I reiterate…it would seem to me that former UW hockey coach Jeff Sauer should be a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. The nomination process for 2010 closed the end of March.