Gauntlet is thrown in battle for star high school players

  • Article by: DAVID La VAQUE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 27, 2013 - 2:45 PM

Hockey coaches are tired of losing players to Major Junior teams.

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april24Feb. 27, 1312:58 AM

I checked the stats on all of the kids mentioned in the article and none of them has posted stats remotely close to what would get them drafted. What are they left with then? Going to play in some crappy minor league after junior is done? I don't think these kids realize what you give up by going to Major Junior. The whole "scholarship program" comes with many caveats that ensure the team doesn't need to pay out on them all that often. The only Minnesota guys I can think of that played Major Junior and made it are Jamie Langenbrunner and Dustin Byfuglien. Given the odds I'd gladly take a college scholarship where I can go to school and get a free education, get treated like a god for four years and increase my odds at the NHL. These kids make this call at 15? Sadly, most will be out of the game by 20 whereas in college they'd be stars preparing for the Junior years.

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klaahsenrFeb. 27, 13 3:59 AM

So Baer (and family) chose to attend Benilde...Hockey player aligning with Catholic School (which so happens to field an all star team of hockey players with the best coaches...i mean teaches great moral values and discipline along with giving top notch education) = ok. Hockey player aligning with junior hockey league (which so happens to field an all star team of hockey players with the best coaches) = travesty. Sounds like the pickers and choosers don't like to get picked and choosed on. Sincerely, Public School Irony

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northsportsFeb. 27, 13 1:24 PM

Pauly's decision was/is ratalitory in nature and is a double standard as mentioned by klaahsenr. Retaliation/retribution is an anger/control issue and is not conducive to good relationships. Missing a practice or game etc. and being subject to proper discipline is totally acceptable in this situation but retribution is not and especially towards a high school student who is involved in the vaunted high school experience. The bottom line is that talent is going to flow towards the best opportunity which is simply competitive in nature. As coach Pauly asks his players to compete and within the rules shouldn't he be subject to the same and not be able to dole out retribution when someone simply seeks a possible better alternative ? BSM itself is not even a purely true experience in the high school hockey realm as it feeds off of other high school and youth hockey associations to produce an all-star team. BSM has no vested interest in the development of these high schoolplayers until they are in the about the 8th grade of 14 years of age which means most of them have already been playing in their youth associations for about 10 years. The parents of these players have the largest investment and the local youth hockey program has the next largest investment so where does Pauly get off here ?? Really immature reaction in my opinion !

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gophs4everFeb. 27, 13 1:51 PM

Quoting Ken Pauly on anything relating to the principals and integrity of Minnesota High School hockey has got to be one of the biggest oxymorons I have ever heard. I am shocked to read that he is the president of the coaches association. Did no one else apply or show interest? Come on coaches. Wake up, he's a con man. He's robbed all of you blind and has no principals when it comes to the integrity and preservation of the traditions and principals of the sport. He runs a midget program and plays in a High School league and then willingly accepts accolades as a result. It's nothing more than a Ponzi scheme. Borrow other peoples players (money) to pay for his own egotistical goals. Eventually the borrowing will run out and the true colors of this program and man will be exposed. Someone did to him what he has been doing to others for years so he cuts the kid? It's a travesty for the kid involved and I can't believe for a minute anyone can justify his actions on this.

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vengeance712Feb. 27, 13 2:12 PM

How is this different than tennis? The whole 'AAU' culture is pathetic anyway. These are schemes to trick kids/parents into thinking their kid is 'the one' while it's nothing more than siphoning dollars and building a sales pipeline. I've seen subpar kids (and thus parents who are footing the bill) get sucked into thinking they have a legitimate chance of playing a sport at a high level, when in reality there's no shot in h-e-double hockey stick. Some of the kids named in this article are truly exceptional athletes that are playing their best card, while others will regret losing out on a spot at higher education and great life experiences.

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honeybooFeb. 27, 13 2:19 PM

Coach Pauly seems to forget where he poached Baer from - St Louis Park Schools. Now Pauly is part of the recruitment food chain he gripes about. How amusing now that Pauly is getting a dose of his own medicine. There's no shortage of irony or hypocrisy when it comes to prep sports recruiting.

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garcialaterFeb. 27, 13 2:19 PM

Real housewives of beverly hills might be slightly less dramatic and annoying than this state's "hockey culture".

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honeybooFeb. 27, 13 2:22 PM

"But we want it to come through loud and clear what we are about, what the high school experience is about and continuing to stand by those things." (TRANSLATION: Don't mess with my varsity roster - it's all about my legacy as a coach.)

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dorkeemnFeb. 27, 13 2:22 PM

The rules and consequences should be laid out at the beginning of the season for the kids on the team. But, no coach should be allowed to kick a kid off a team for the season for missing a single practice to visit a team or a college. Period. Pauly is the kind of coach and this is the kind of political stunt that drives kids to do what the kid in Farmington did a couple of weeks ago. If I were the parents in this case, I'd be finding a lawyer and filing a lawsuit against the coach and Benilde. Then we'll see who gets kicked off.

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jcinmnFeb. 27, 13 2:33 PM

I would think that the NCAA would welcome a kid who's played 1 or 2 years of Junior Hockey. From my understanding, most kids go to Junior because there are more games per season and a better chance to develop your skills.

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