Couple years ago the debate was swirling about the WHL recruitment system and how much it was driven by $$$$
I stated that I had first had knowledge of a specific team offering a specific player a six figure sum to switch from Tier 2
to major junior.
Long time posters on this sight called me out because I would not give the direct source of this information.
Well it was true then as it is now-----money talks---and blue chip players are offered big money to offset the loss of a scholarship should they leave the NCAA.
Hey it is what it is ----but the WHL starting its recruitment/propaganda machine with kids going to WHL sponsored camps---the year before they are even eligable for the bantam draft points to the fact that their influence is becoming all pervasive.
Major Midget tinkering (such as the Victoria Royals recently) is another example of this interference.
I suggest that if minor hockey programs are not geared to mass participation( and exactly the opposite tack from major junior and its monied elitist proclivities) that you will see an ever weakening hockey landscape at the grassroots level in Canada.
If the Major Junior teams funelled this graft money into the local minor hockey programs and were able to keep territorial rights to the players developed maybe that would strengthen local associations.
Something has got to give --as the rich teams are only tempted to get richer-and the rest struggle to survive.
All I see the last few years is Major Junior buying influence to the detriment of overall developement.
Hockey Canada's answer is to hold their hands out for a cheque while changing rules that hurt JR B and JR A franchises---(as far as player age eligability etc is concerned.) that again weakens the grassroots developement system------talk about biting the hand that feeds you!