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School, Trade, and Junior Hockey

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Can the CHL make themselves more student-friendly with a couple changes to rules when it comes to trading players?

Rimouski Oceanic v Blainville-Boisbriand Armada Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The CHL just had its trade deadline. That means that players as young as 16 are traded and have to change schools right before they write exams. This might not seem like a big deal, but it can be especially if an athlete would like to go to university when they get older. And with the older players who are in university, they can be traded after the new semester has started, which can make things messy unless they are taking all online courses.

What can the CHL do about this? They can create two separate trading periods to meet the demands of the different ages. It would be simple enough to only allow players who are in high school to be traded in the two weeks after high school exams are done. This would be especially important during any year that there are provincial exams for students to write. This would be grade 12 in Manitoba and teachers actually make sure that students are prepared for the different types of analysis needed for the English exam over the course of a semester. If a student is thrown into this exam without adequate preparation to write the multi-day exam.

For university students, they work on a different semester system and complete their first round of courses before Christmas. Now, it would be smart for any full year courses to be available online as well in case they get traded, but it would also be fair to not allow players to be traded before mid-December and then did not allow them to be traded after the first week of January before classes start again. Now, there would be more to work through because of the World Junior Championships and the rules surrounding those players, but overall, it would benefit the athletes.

Junior hockey has many flaws. Some of them are inherent in the system and some of them can be addressed through some creative thinking. It might be harder to regulate the movement of older players, so that can be left until later. The movement of younger players is vital though and making sure they are able to complete high school without it being too disrupted.

The CHL says it supports education. If it does, then it should make it so teams cannot disrupt a players education by trading them right before they write exams. Not everyone is going to play professional hockey and for some players those exams are important because they want to go to university. If the CHL can help them and put an emphasis on academic success by not having kids move right before the end of the semester, it would make the CHL look really good. As for older players being traded during the season while they are in university: hopefully these players are taking online courses. If not, the league should be having academic advisors recommend this to university students because they will be able keep up with course work no matter where they are.