The Grande Prairie Minor Hockey Association is not worried about a new league that may start up in the city. Recently, the group has been hearing from parents concerned about a non-sanctioned hockey league called the Hockey Super League trying to recruit the groups players. President DJ Golden says that his players are free to go to another team if they want.
“There’s been people in town that are trying to get that league going and they’re starting to correspond with our players and recruit them and try to talk them into going into that route. We don’t deny any of our membership, they should look at every opportunity. If they think that’s the best opportunity for an alternative for them then by all means, go.”
Non-sanctioned leagues are any league that isn’t governed by Hockey Canada or Hockey Alberta. According to a Facebook post by GPMHA, these types of leagues do not have the same structure, governance or insurance as sanctioned ones. Summer, rec leagues, hockey schools and high school hockey do not count as non-sanctioned leagues.
GPMHA originally learned about the league in October. Since then, Golden says he’s received numerous calls, letters and emails from parents. One letter in particular cites concerns about price, ice time and poaching of top talent.
Golden says this is something he’s seen happen before when programs started up in Edmonton and Calgary. He knows that if it does start up here he may lose some players but in the long run there’s more local talent to replace them.
“You’re always going to lose one or two people that aren’t happy and that’s fine. I don’t think it’ll effect us. We have a huge talent pool up here and the kids that go will go and those spots will be taken by other kids and it’ll give them opportunity.”
2Day FM has reached out to the Hockey Super League for comment but has not received a response.