Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Play Hockey for Fun, 'Cause You're Not Making it to the Show (odds = 0.07%)

I had a good supper tonight! My Mom had this turkey in the downstairs chest freezer, which had been down there for quite a while. So we fixed everything else that goes along with turkey (e.g. stuffing, cranberries, mashed potatoes, mashed turnips, carrots), and had a Thanksgiving dinner more than a month and half after the fact (and incidentally, the day before American Thanksgiving). I considered it as such, since everybody was too busy to have Thanksgiving dinner back in October (my parents are both shift workers, so that holiday came at a bad time this year.)

Later on in the evening, I watched a good, yet troubling documentary on the Fifth Estate on CBC. It was regarding Patrick O' Sullivan, the American 2nd Round NHL draft pick, the one who had an abusive father. The story was a microcosm of what many kids are forced to deal with when they participate in minor sports in this country. They face off against the unreasonable demands and expectations of parents who somehow feel that their kid has a chance to make it, or that by having their child get to the pros, it will redeem them for their past athletic failures. These attitudes are damaging, and they go against the true reasons of why anybody should involved in sports. Here's why:

According to a study conducted by Ontario Minor Hockey Association, out of the 22,000 players that participated in minor hockey in Ontario that were born in 1975:

  • Only 232 were drafted into the OHL (Ontario Hockey League).
  • Out of the 232, only 105 played at least *one* game in the OHL!
  • Out of the 105, only 90 finished their full elgilibility in the OHL.
  • Only 41 of the 22,000 played NCAA Division 1 Hockey.
  • Between the NCAA and the OHL, 48 were drafted in the last year (1991) where there was 12 rounds (4 snuck in via free agency)
  • Of the 48, only 35 signed contracts with NHL teams.
  • Of the 35 signees, only 26 have seen action in at least *one* NHL game!
  • Of those 26, only 16 are still active with their NHL teams.

So as you see, your average neighbourhood Gretzky only has a 1% chance of just being drafted to the OHL. Make sure your kids are playing for the love of the game first, not for false dreams of fame or endless cash...


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