With QMJHL teams announcing their opening day rosters and many players home to enjoy a few weeks with their families, everyone on the outside looking in believes the hard part to be over.
One can’t imagine the disappointment and devastation some players and their families are going through right now.
On the other hand the realization of a lifelong dream has for now been attained.
You see there’s no guarantees.
Things can change in a heart beat in the hockey world. That’s what makes this pause before the QMJHL season starts so unique.
Teams may have finalized their rosters, but we have seen in the past that changes can and will be made. Everything can change. That’s the business, there’s no guarantees.
The excitement of making the team, can quickly turn into anxiety regarding the uncertainty of the process. One story comes to mind. Player A makes the team, is announced on the opening day roster and is sent home given his equipment and jersey and everything, returns to the organization for the start of the season and his told he has been released or returned to Midget.
The team had signed a free agent, so it became a numbers game.
You see there’s no guarantees. That’s the business and in many cases at the CHL level players, agents and families are left shaking their heads because of it.
Lessons are quickly learned at the Major Junior level. Some are harsh, some are devastating while others can be chalked up to invaluable experiences that propel the player to a new level and beyond.
Young players have to balance all the emotions right now, which is incredibly difficult. Expect the unexpected should be the mantra of any rookie or newcomer to the level.
The pressure, anxiousness and uncertainty that awaits separates young players from others. Young complete players usually adjust the quickest. Those that have faced adversity along their journey usually step in and make a seamless transition. Those that struggle are usually the players that have had things come easy to them in the past. You see there’s no guarantees at the Major Junior ranks and nothing comes easy. Obviously, every player thinks there ready for the start of the season, ready to take the next step in their hockey careers. Players that embrace the grind and work tirelessly on all facets of their lives on and off the ice at the Major Junior level will undoubtedly have early success. A player’s resiliency will define their path. Unfortunately, some things will be out of their control because there’s no guarantees.
Before you criticize young players, newcomers and veterans at the Major Junior perhaps take a step back and just think about just how hard they have worked to get there and maybe that will put things in perspective.