I had read where Ryan Murray played his 2008-2009 season with the Moose Jaw Warriors presumably of the SJHL, which is a tier I junior hockey league in Canada. Ryan Murray did play with the Moose Jaw Warriors in 2008-09, however the Moose Jaw Warriors are a Midget AAA team that play in the SMHL. So, what's the difference between playing a year of Midget AAA or Tier I junior as a 15 year old? It's actually quite tremendous when you're a 19 year old drafted by the worst team in the league.
See, the CHL and the NHL have sort of a 'transfer agreement' in place. In case you didn't know, the CHL is a Major Junior hockey league across Canada and (last I checked) four states in the USA. The CHL is the largest development pool for the NHL. The CHL is one body consisting of three leagues: The WHL, OHL, and cake eating QMJHL. Players are drafted into those leagues in various ways. Like the NCAA in the exploitation of teenage athletes, the CHL doesn't lie and focuses on making millions through the development of U20 players whose goal is professional athletics. The NCAA hipocracy doesn't like competition and almost all forms of participation in so much as being listed on a CHL team ruins your NCAA eligibility. There is one way you can play for a Major Junior team and maintain your NCAA eligiblity, but it is next to impossible for that to happen. Anyways...
|Using Host Families to Exploit Teenage Boys since 1975|
What the NHL and CHL have in place is an agreement that any player selected from the CHL in the NHL Entry draft cannot be sent to a minor league affiliate unless one of the following two criteria has been met:
1. The player has played or used four years of eligibility in Juniors
- Playing 25 games whether it be regular season or playoffs consumes a year of junior eligibility
- If Ryan Murray turned 20 by Dec 31st 2012, the CBJ could sign him and then send him to the AHL instead of returning him to his junior team if the CBJ do not feel he's ready for the NHL.
Now, Murray did play parts of four seasons in junior hockey. However, his first year 2008-09 he only played 5 games. I mistook Murray's 40-odd games with the Moose Jaw Warriors as a full season in Jrs, satisfying the agreement with the CHL. It was not a season in Jrs and does not count. Unless there is a change in the agreement between the CHL and the NHL as a result of collective bargaining, Ryan Murray will only be able to play in WHL or NHL next season. At this time, the AHL is not an option.
What I said in my "Welcome to the AHL" post does not change. You will not help Ryan Murray develop by having him play as a 3rd pair defenceman on the worst team in the league. Nor is it fair to ask the boy to be a 2nd pair contributor no matter how willing he may be to do so. He needs 22-25 minutes a game playing against men to develop.
I still feel the AHL would be a perfect place for Murray to spend this season. I still believe that Murray has outgrown the WHL but the Blow Jackets aren't where this kid should spend 2012-2013.
Maybe Ryan Murray can be the poster child for 19 year olds who have outgrown playing against 17 year olds in the CHL. Perhaps a new agreement can be reached where the minimum age for AHL eligibility is moved to 19, or maybe a 135 game minimum can be instituted instead of a 4 season minimum. Regardless, Ryan Murray will get little benefit from another season in Juniors or the Jackets would be throwing away cap space to sit this kid on the bench 45 minutes a game. But hey, this is Columbus, why not?
|Don't feel bad Murray, I've played 5 seasons in the CHL. I may be on board for a 6th!|