Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What is the rule?

I am getting beyond confused about the way that imports work in BC Hockey. First of all check out the Hayden Trupp situation on Ryan Pinder's Vees Blog. It seems unfair that a Penticton born player is being considered an import. However, if he is considered an import, how can he play in the KIJHL or with the Vees as an AP if Hayden was born in 1992? Spokane Braves forward Dylan Tappe played as and AP for Westside on the weekend. He is also a 1992 born player from the US who would be designated as an import if he played in Canada. There is a special rule in the KIJHL that allows Spokane to use 16 and 17 year old American players, but the same deal does not apply to the rest of the league. So how can he play for Westside?

I'm asking this question not because I am trying to stir things up. Tappe and Trupp are not going to be the difference between either Penticton or Westside winning or losing games. Certainly no one should suggest Trupp being in the Vees line-up really had anything to do with their record so far. He's a young player getting his feet wet at this level whose impact days are ahead of him. Tappe again is just a young AP filling a hole with some key guys out of Westside's line-up. Both are going to be impact players in either Junior A or Major Junior as early as next season. The issue for me is that either I don't understand the rule or it is not being properly applied.

Here is what the Hockey Canada regulations say about imports in section K.6(a):
No player of Midget eligibility or under (refer to Hockey Canada B.1) may be transferred from Branch to Branch, or from USA Hockey to Hockey Canada, or from any other IIHF Federation to play other than Major Junior Hockey unless such player comes under Regulation H. 8 (b). There is an exception for those Midget players in their last year of Midget eligibility, when there is no Junior A hockey in their home Branch.
So what does Regulation B.1 say?
d) Midget Male and Female Open to players seventeen (17) years of age and younger in the current playing season.
So basically a Midget aged player can't be an import in Junior A or Junior B. As far as I know the Midget age is the same in the US as it is in Canada isn't it? There is Junior A hockey in the United States so there's no exception there, and there was nothing in Regulation H. 8 (b) that explained this. I looked in the section (E) that discusses affiliate players and it said nothing about special exceptions allowing import players to be APs at a younger age than they would normally be allowed to play in the league. That being said, it also doesn't say that they can't be APs. Still, I would think that if you are not allowed to be a full time member of a team... why are you allowed to be a part time member of that team?

Is this just a way around the import rule? If you AP a 17 year old American or even Albertan can you then use that player for up to 10 games and as long as you want once his lower level team is done playing? Or is this just a special exception for US teams that are playing in Canadian leagues like Spokane in the KIJHL? That would explain Tappe but not Trupp.

Again I don't think anyone is intentionally breaking rules nor do I even know for sure if rules are being broken. I'm just confused. Does anyone have a better explanation of the rules than what I can find in the maze of the Hockey Canada regulations?

Penticton didn't declare Trupp and import... BC Hockey did from what I understand. Westside didn't sneak an unapproved AP into their line-up. From what I can see Tappe was approved again by BC Hockey. I'm not calling out the Warriors, Vees, Braves or Penticton Lakers here. I think it is BC Hockey who may have made a mistake or I've misunderstood the rules.

What is your take?

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