We know that major junior hockey in Canada is a business.
There are franchises worth millions of dollars and there are advertisers who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on teams and leagues.
As an example of franchise value, the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League are worth an estimated $12 million.
Then there are ticket prices that are soaring to new heights.
For instance, the average ticket price to watch a round-robin Memorial Cup game in London during the past week was $98.
And I have a friend who has two tickets to Sunday’s Memorial Cup final that cost him a total of $250.
I like junior hockey. I write about it and I like it.
But $125 to watch a Memorial Cup championship game?
I’ll stay home and watch it on TV.
WHAT TO DO?
They are better-than-average players who were born in 1997.
They have already played two seasons of midget hockey — one in minor midget, another at the major midget level.
They do not belong to an OHL team and their options include being an extra forward with the local Jr. A team, going out-of-town to sign with a team in another Jr. A league or staying home and playing a third season of midget hockey.
What do they do?
Take a little time to make that decision.
It’s still only May.
But don’t go too far into June without a September commitment of some sort.
In the meantime, don’t play hard to get.
Teams from the Midwest Jr. Hockey League are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new Canadian International Hockey League as members of the United Hockey Union under the umbrella of the Amateur Athletic Union.
MWJHL commissioner Scott Gardiner — who also coaches the Traverse City North Stars — has noted that having the CIHL as a UHU partner “will be a great day for junior hockey.”
And Detroit Fighting Irish coach-general manager Dan Vasquez has called the partnership “a big day for the MWJHL, CIHL and junior hockey.”
At meetings slated for the Detroit area today and Saturday, the UHU will officially endorse the CIHL as its fourth junior league under the sanctions of the AAU.
The CIHL will join the MWJHL, the Northern States Hockey League and Western States Hockey League as UHU-AAU members.
As for who will be a part of the CIHL in 2014-2015, league founder Tim Clayden said he will begin to announce member teams “in the days and weeks ahead.”