Another NCAA coach has voiced his opinion on the CHL vs NCAA debate, and Boston University head coach Jack Parker did not hold back one bit. Parker lost Charlie Coyle to Saint John of the QMJHL just before the World Junior Championship. Recently Coyle who has 28 points in 17 games with the defending Memorial Cup Champion Sea Dogs, signed a pro contract with the Minnesota Wild. Parker's comments and my reaction after the jump.
The entire article can be found here at The Boston Hockey Blog but here are some highlighted quotes.
When asked about Coyle signing a contract:
"I haven’t kept up with him at all, I would presume he would be able to score easier in that league against 16- or 17-year-olds."
On Coyle's point totals in the QMJHL:
"The quality of play can be shown by somebody that you see come here and barely gets a point and then he goes up there and gets 20, It’s a lot easier and it’s not as good a competition. Charlie was an 18-year-old as a freshman and a 19-year-old here and playing 22-, 23-, 24- and sometimes 25-year-olds. Now he is a 19-year-old playing against 17-year-olds. There is no way that’s as good for him. But it looks better on his stat sheet."
On why someone should choose college over the CHL:
"Unless you’re real dumb or you don’t want to go to school at all and want nothing to do with school, or you're an 18 year-old phenom that is going to be in the NHL at 19, college hockey is the way to go."
It's the last one that most, including me will have to pick up their jaw from the floor after reading. The word 'dumb' is an unfortunate one to use in this situation. I think we can all agree there are smart and dumb players on both sides of the game. Is Parker really labeling all CHL players as dumb? I don't think so, but he is generalizing with a few statements.
Not every player in the CHL is 16 and 17, just like not every NCAA player is 23 and older. Take the Edmonton Oil Kings for example. Of their 25 man roster 18 players are 18 over over right now (2 of them turned 18 during the season). That means less then 30 percent are 16 of 17 years old. Here are the numbers courtesy of the WHL.
Age_____# of players_________% of league total
I like Jack Parker, have always enjoyed having him on our show, and think he does a great job with Boston University. I know he's frustrated right now at players leaving, I would be too. But trashing another league isn't the answer. Why not instead speak out against the rules that are opening the door for college players to walk through to the CHL? Everybody is entitled to their opinion and I respect Jack's but in this situation I feel it's a bit misguided.
While we're talking about this issue, I'll bring up another accusation that is often lobbed at the CHL. If you know there is under the table dirty dealings going on to lure players north, then expose it. We hear about rumours all the time, but yet not a single person has been willing to go on record about it. I do believe that where there is smoke, a marsh mellow roast isn't far behind, but without proof it's just rumours.