Why did I decide to dedicate two chapters in Hound Town to the organization within the CHL and OHL and the ‘Program’ developed by the Soo Greyhounds?
Over the years, I have witnessed the frustration potential players, parents, advisors, minor hockey officials and fans have in attempting to understand the total picture of what teams in the OHL provide for the benefit of these young men that move away from home and are placed in the hands of total strangers for the most part. I have attempted to demystify the hockey operations of a team in the OHL. It is important for those interested having these young men pursue their dreams, should have factual information available to them in readable form.
To me, it has always been important to remember that the OHL is a development league for not only the players but also for the staff. Development is not only the honing of hockey skills but the development of all of those associated with the team, especially our players. It is up to the league and the team to do the best we can to enhance the opportunities in hockey and in life by protecting them, educating them and teaching them the importance of giving back to the community. This has to be placed in perspective. We are dealing with players who are very young and prepared to sacrifice to follow their dreams. The same goes for staff, who are older but have their dreams as well.
It has always been interesting to me that so many people that I have encountered over the years think that it doesn’t take much to operate an OHL franchise. I have watched at close hand how a number of individuals from both the hockey and business world were overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. Like most things in life, you may not realize it until you are in it. That’s why, I believe that it important to outline the many parts to operating a franchise.
Next week, I answer the following question: Is the community as important to other teams in the OHL as it is for the Soo Greyhounds?