(June 14, 2013) With the first round of House/Rec tryouts set to begin tomorrow, TAHA is providing an update to the hockey community regarding the impending non-renewal of the Ice Jets Member Agreement.
The Ice Jets new attorney requested that USAH deem the non-renewal an administrative action under USAH Bylaw 10. As expected, USA Hockey Legal Counsel Casey Jorgensen has now confirmed that non-renewal in this case is an Administrative Action and subject to the provisions of Bylaw 10. While TAHA continues to assert that non-renewal is a contractual right given to both parties by virtue of the signed Member Agreement, we will nevertheless follow the provisions of Bylaw 10.
In a response to Jets' legal counsel's confusion about who will conduct the hearing, Jorgensen said, "I believe my prior letter was clear in that, as the party that took the Administrative Action not to renew the Dallas Ice Jets' Membership Agreement, TAHA will be responsible for appointing the hearing panel of at least three reasonably disinterested and impartial parties to conduct a hearing. The hearing is conducted under the procedures set forth in USA Hockey Bylaw 10."
In responding to a request from the Jets' counsel to "set aside the decision", Jorgensen stated, "TAHA's decision remains binding unless overturned in that hearing or on appeal."
Steve Stapleton, counsel for TAHA also responded to the Ice Jets' counsel on the enforceability of the Member Agreement and said, "You also state (without any justification and contrary to your client's previous statements) that the Ice Jets challenge the validity and enforceability of the Membership Agreement. Please feel free to supply me with any authority that you possess that stands for the proposition that the Ice Jets organization has a common law or statutory right to remain as a member association in TAHA."
Both letters from USAH and TAHA counsel are provided below.
The impact of all this is that since USAH has deemed the non-renewal an administrative action and subject to Bylaw 10, TAHA will appoint a hearing panel to conduct a hearing on the matter within the next 30 days. Should the hearing panel uphold the non-renewal, the Jets will be allowed to appeal to the full TAHA Board.
Until such time as the decision is overturned, non-renewal of the Jets' Member Agreement is slated to take effect on September 17, 2013.
(June 12, 2013) Last night the Boston Bruins and the Blackhawks faced off in a memorable triple OT game that saw the Hawks win it with a double deflection goal in the wee hours of the morning. It was a back and forth game with some excellent goaltending on both ends of the ice and some incredible puckhandling skill on display from both sides. And as the game moved along, it was commentary during the game that proved compelling.
Color commentator Eddie Olczyk, a veteran of more than 1,000 NHL games played and Mike "Doc" Emrick, lead NHL announcer for NBC and winner of the Foster Hewitt award from the Hockey Hall of Fame, waxed philosophical about small area games and the decision by USAH to mandate cross/half-ice for 8U players.
There was no mistaking how either felt about ADM and the cross/half-ice mandate. Both spoke strongly in favor of the decision made to downsize the playing surface and the tremendous benefits that young players gain from playing on the smaller surface.
Hockey, 'the way it was meant to be" means fun, involved and developmental for all players, not just the few who are faster and better stickhandlers already. The science of ADM is clear and the experts from youth to Juniors to the NCAA to the pros are in agreement that small area games and cross/half-ice is the most beneficial for 8U players.
And if you are in doubt still, just remember, Eddie and Doc aren't trying to get into your wallet. Listen below to the exchange and the strong support for ADM and 8U cross ice programs.
(May 29, 2013) The TAHA Board has voted unanimously to excercise its contractual right of non-renewal of the Ice Jets' Member Agreement effective September 17, 2013.
On Tuesday May 14th, 2013, TAHA conducted a Board meeting with the Ice Jets leadership to review the status of Jets' continued membership in the Texas Amateur Hockey Association. Although TAHA maintains that membership is covered by a contractual document that clearly allows for either party to non-renew the agreement, TAHA agreed to follow the procedure prescribed in TAHA Bylaw Section 5 at the request of the Jets.
Fred Seal, President of the Ice Jets, attended the Board meeting as the lone representative of the Ice Jets.
Following the Board meeting, the TAHA Board met twice to consider the decision on non-renewal and has subsequently voted unanimously to excercise non-renewal of the Jets' Member Agreement, effective September 17, 2013.
(May 28, 2013) On May 20th, USAH General Counsel Casey Jorgenson issued a determination letter on the prospects for Ice Jet teams to register through the Lafayette Hockey Association. While the letter was very clear on the "Team Membership and Registration Rules", the information provided by the Ice Jets to players and families and posted on the Jets' web site was inaccurate and misrepresented the rules and statements made by Jorgenson in the letter he sent.
Tonight, Jorgenson issued a clarifying letter (shown below) regarding the information on the Jets' web site that states in part, "...the Ice Jets' updated post implicitly suggests that House/Rec rosters are not subject to the USA Hockey Team Membership and Registration Rules that were cited in my May 20th letter. That suggestion is incorrect and misrepresents the applicability of USA Hockey registration rules."
Jorgenson continued, "The USA Hockey Team Membership and Registration Rules cited in my May 20th letter do not distinguish between Tier and Recreational Teams. Regardless of whether the team is a Tier or House/Rec team, or whether it is eligible for national tournament play or not, if a team is comprised of players wherein 80% or more of the players reside in one Affiliate, then the team must register through that Affiliate."
And in recognition of the Jets' attempt to bypass the impending non-renewal, Jorgenson commented, "As expressed in my May 20th letter, the Ice Jets' website post appears to be an attempt to contravene the USA Hockey rules determining which USA Hockey Affiliate shall have jurisdiction over teams."
As mentioned previously, the Southern Amateur Hockey Association (SAHA) has still not affirmatively stated whether or not they will accept Texas players in what is clearly an attempt to skirt the non-renewal. But in any case, if SAHA eventually chooses to accept Texas players on LAHA teams, all teams must follow the USA Hockey rules on player residency and will be monitored to ensure home game requirements are not manipulated.
Parents who have questions about these rules should contact a member of the TAHA Board.
(May 22, 2013) Although the Southern Amateur Hockey Associaton (SAHA) has not yet made a determination whether it will permit out of Affiliate teams from registering through LAHA, this morning USAH has handed down its ruling on Jets' teams potentially registering through an Affiliate outside of TAHA.
Casey Jorgenson, USAH Legal Counsel stated in his letter to the Jets and LAHA that "if 80% or more of the players on any team reside in the Texas Affiliate, then that team must register through Texas and is not permitted to register in the Southern Affiliate. If a team does not have 80% of its players residing in the Texas Affiliate, then it must register in the Affiliate where it played the highest percentage of its home games."
Jorgenson continued, "Based on past years' registrations, all but the Ice Jets 16U and 18U Academy/AAA teams have more than 80% of their players residing in Texas, and thus, unless the rosters will be dramatically different in 2013-14, those teams are not permitted to register in the Southern Affiliate."
USA Hockey went on to provide a caution against any manipulation of scoresheets or rosters to bypass rules and said, "USA Hockey will require that the Southern Affiliate closely monitor team rosters and all games played by all teams registered through LAHA (through scoresheets and other methods) to ensure that the teams are registered through the proper affiliate. That monitoring should include evaluating whether any manipulation of scoresheets or home/visitor designations is taking place in an attempt to avoid another Affiliate's jurisdiction."
The full text of the letter is contained below.
On Tuesday May 14, 2013, the TAHA Board of Directors held a Meeting pursuant to Article 5, Section 3 of the TAHA Bylaws to address whether the TAHA Board will ultimately exercise its contractual option not to renew the Dallas Ice Jets Youth Hockey Association’s (Ice Jets) Member Association Agreement (“Agreement”), executed between the TAHA Board and the Ice Jets Organization on September 17, 2008. Ice Jets President Fred Seal appeared at the Meeting, made an opening statement, answered questions from various Board members and delivered a closing statement. The TAHA Board asked Mr. Seal to provide to the Board all current organizational documents – Articles of Incorporation, By-laws/amended By-laws and any Resolutions showing the recent changes in Officers/Directors by Friday May 17, 2013.
None of the requested documents were provided to the TAHA Board.
On May 20, 2013, the TAHA Board of Directors met by telephone as promised to Mr. Seal and, after considering all the information presented to them, voted unanimously to exercise its contractual option not to renew the Dallas Ice Jets Youth Hockey Association’s (Ice Jets) Member Association Agreement, which expires September 17, 2013.
Today's events in Moore, Oklahoma and surrounding communities pains us all and serves as a reminder of just how quickly lives can turn. On behalf of the entire hockey community in our Affiliate we offer prayers and hope for the families touched so deeply by the devastating tornado. Your pain is our pain as today we are all Oklahomans.
Ours is a tight knit community and we know many would like to help. Supporters are encouraged to give online at www.salvationarmyusa.org or by calling (800) 725-2769. You can also text the word "STORM" to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your mobile phone; to confirm your gift, respond with the word "YES".
God bless you Oklahoma!
In early March, Judge Cortez granted TAHA's motion for Summary Judgment effectively dismissing the majority of the claims from Bob Greene's lawsuit. Greene and his new legal staff continued to file suplemental pleadings that were not dismissed in the Summary Judgment order and we were forced to return to Court on Wednesday, May 15th.
Once again, the Court agreed with TAHA and granted all motions and struck down the Second and Third Supplemental Petitions. The rulings, handed down this past Thursday, effectively closes this chapter and rids TAHA, the Associations, rinks, players and families of this frivolous action.
TAHA is currently scheduled back in court on June 10th as we pursue our counterclaim for fees.
Stanley Cup winner and three time US Olympian Mike Richter offers his views of cross ice/half ice for Mites and endorses the USAH ADM model. Richter, compares the smaller ice surface to playing pond hockey with few rules and more touches.
While there has been much conjecture and rumor swirling about the Ice Jets non-renewal, TAHA has agreed to conduct a Board Meeting on the topic of non-renewal of the Ice Jets Member Agreement on May 14th. The Notice below was provided to the President and Co-Hockey Directors of the Jets.
TAHA maintains that the non-renewal is a contractual right provided for in the executed Member Agreement and is not either an Administrative Action or a termination of the Agreement as described in the TAHA Bylaws. Nevertheless, in an attempt to provide every opportunity for the Jets to be heard and make their case for remaining a member of TAHA and USAH, we will conduct a Meeting on the topic later this month.
The TAHA web site is the only official source for information on this subject so check back here often for any updates.
Brent Sutter says he feels that too much hockey, especially for young kids, will hinder them rather than help them.
Sutter a two time Stanley Cup Champion, former NHL Head Coach, current Head Coach and GM of the Red Deer Rebels (WHL) and member of the famed Sutter family, made his remarks in an interview with the Edmonton Sun. Sutter said, "It is so noticeable on a hockey team that the kids who have played other sports and experienced different things are always the smarter players on your team, and they are able to handle adversity better.” Sutter continued, “They deal with adversity better because they are thrown into different environments and they trust their skills that they may have learned elsewhere to get them through certain things.
Bottom line is the obsession that some coaches have with year round hockey may well be the exact opposite of what is needed for your player.
Read the entire article here: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Wanted+hockey+True+athletes/8043213/story.html
Sutter Speaks Out On Year Round Hockey
Plano native Seth Jones (Dallas Stars 18U Tier I) is the Central Scouting Bureau's top prospect in the upcoming NHL draft. Jones would be the first ever Texas player to go first overall.
Plano Native Seth Jones
Rand Pecknold, Head Coach of NCAA finalist Quinnipiac talks ADM and Mite cross ice hockey. If there was any doubt that cross ice is the best option for these young hockey players it will be gone once you watch this enlightening video. Don't believe the "full ice" advocates with an agenda.
Updated April 17, 2013
Last week the Texas Amateur Hockey Association announced the Ice Jets Organization's Member Agreement will not be renewed for the 2013/2014 season. TAHA took this action as contractually provided for in the Member Agreement executed on September 16, 2008. It was, and remains our view that non-renewal with 60-days notice is a contractual right granted to both parties and is not deemed an Administrative Action subject to appeal or any of the provisions of Bylaw 10.
USA Hockey has clearly articulated that TAHA was "well within its right to take this action" but has now indicated they believe non-renewal may be an Administrative Action and subject to Bylaw 10 provisions. Although TAHA strongly disagrees with the interpretation, we are a loyal and cooperative member of our governing body and will follow the suggested actions requested by USA Hockey.
As a result, TAHA has agreed to grant the Ice Jets organization a hearing within 30 days. We will select a hearing panel and allow the Ice Jets to present their case on why TAHA should not execute this right of non-renewal granted by the Member Agreement.
Once the hearing has been conducted we will communicate the outcome as quickly as possible.
All parties should note that this is a TAHA decision and these actions, including the decision of the hearing panel are NOT appealable to USA Hockey by either party.
The decision to grant a hearing does not alter the original decision handed down on April 9, 2013 and the non-renewal effective date is still set for 12:01 AM Central time on September 17, 2013.
This was not an easy decision for the Board to render and it comes only after several years of repeated rules violations and thousands of dollars in legal fees incurred in dealing with Ice Jets' appeals and arbitration procedures. The Board concluded it simply could no longer protect the best interests of the game and participants while maintaining the Jets as a member organization.