WINNIPEG, Manitoba – From coast-to-coast the Central Junior Hockey League (CJHL) has 127 teams across Canada and for years, players have played Junior A hockey in Canada at no cost to the player or parent, but as the 2013-14 season gets under way the winds of change are slowly blowing changes to junior hockey in Canada.
The Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) and the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) have decided to revamp their business plan with hopes of generating more cash flow to offset the costs of owning and running a Junior A franchise. Running a Junior A franchise is not cheap when you consider teams always paid for the following: ice time, equipment, travel, food when on the road, hotel on the road if the team stays overnight plus paying the coach to coach the team.
Starting in 2013-14 both the OJHL and CCHL will now start charging players to play. The CCHL will charge each player a fee of $3750. With the first $1000 going to equipment, the next $1000 goes towards a league fee and $1750 going to help offset operating cost. Plus players will also have to pay $300 a month in billeting fees.
The OJHL has yet to set its fee but it’s expected to be in the range of $3,000 to $4,000 for the upcoming year, in addition to the $300 players already pay to the Ontario Hockey Association and $750 to the OJHL. Plus players will also have to pay a billeting fee.
How does this compare other junior league in Canada and the USA?
Northern Cyclones of the Eastern Hockey League charge $4000 plus $300 team apparel charge plus $300 a month in billet fees. With an additional travel charge if the team makes the playoffs.
Ft. Wayne Federals of the Minnesota Junior Hockey League charge $6400 plus $360 a month in billet fees.
Wisconsin Rampage of the Minnesota Junior Hockey League charge $6490 plus $300 a month in billet fees.
Tri City Outlaws of the Northern Pacific Junior Hockey League charge $6500 plus an additional $300 if the team makes the playoffs to cover travel and lodging. If they qualify for the national tournament players are responsible for the cost of flights from Tri City to Rochester, MN. If a player is selected to play on the NPHL All Star team that will play in Rochester, MN and agrees to attend the player must cover all expenses which is estimated at $600 plus flight cost to Rochester, MN. Plus there is a $300 a month billet fee.
The Shelburne Red Wings and Alliston Coyotes of the Greater Metro Junior Hockey League based in Ontario, Canada charge $8500 team fee plus $500 a month in billet fees. For players born outside Canada insurance is mandatory at $700 plus there is a $1000 a player charge for players wanting English lessons.
Blind River of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League charge $2500 plus $400 a month in billet fees.
Now it is up to the coaches and general managers to sell it to the parents.