The rumours are flying now, but this year’s QMJHL Trade Period is shaping up to be one of the toughest for overagers.
It’s extremely difficult seeing overagers being traded.
Obviously, it’s just the business side of the game, but it’s still an extremely tough time of year for the player and their families.
Usually teams are accustomed of having four or five “20’s” report to camp and competition between the three spots is extremely fierce.
Earning the right to be an overager in the CHL is incredible honour,
but sometimes it’s just not in the cards for some overagers when it comes to the organization and championship aspirations. Many overagers feel abandoned or left in the dark at times when it comes to the inner workings of the team especially when the team is loading up.
Obviously, the 20’s have given their heart and soul to their team and have taken on a massive leadership role. The best organizations and GM’s keep an open and honest dialogue which is imperative, but some don’t include the veterans in any of their plans.
Some organizations treat their 20’s just like any other asset and that’s the toughest aspect of all of this.
Can you imagine being with an organization that has plans to go on a run only to find out that they are shopping you on the open market after three and half years?
Well that happens, that’s part of the business side of the game which is incredibly difficult for these players to understand.
One can only imagine how these character veterans feel. Sure it all boils down to a numbers game or identity, but it’s a very difficult pill to swallow for any player on the bubble looking in.
The agony, the disappointment and the devastation obviously takes along time to subside, but many overagers report to their new teams and take on leadership roles with them almost instantly while playing out their final months in the league.
The Trade Period might an intriguing time of year to report on, but the personal side of the trades are sometimes heart breaking.
That’s what makes this time around so difficult.
It’s been a tough year for 20’s all around with many solid players not even in the league because of competition.
Before getting angry and upset at the Major Junior teams for parting ways with the player, many team officials go out of their way to broker deals with other organizations across junior hockey to ensure they have a place to play in the second half, but it’s still brutal to think about these decisions and discussions going on behind the scenes especially at this time of the year.
Clearly one shouldn’t envy those people in the game making all the tough hockey decisions, but you have to think about the player who was potentially promised a spot for the championship run.
Promises like that are devastating.
The business side of the game is off side at times.
We can all understand it, but I It’s hard to accept it.
You see that’s where transparency and honesty have to reign supreme.
You can approach the business side of the game many different ways.
The organizations that treat their players the best ultimately show honesty and compassion in times like these.
I realize it’s business, and that every organization has tough calls to make, but I’m sure they have all treated their players and especially their overagers the right way.
Hockey decisions have to be made, it’s how they are conducted that matters most.
At the end of the day it’s a business and trades are part of it, but we should never ever overlook the value, resiliency and character overagers bring to a major junior team day in, day out. Quality 20’s leave a lasting impression on organizations well after their time as come to move on.
Leadership and character can put teams over the top when it comes to championship aspirations that’s why 20’s are so highly sought after.
Nevertheless, perhaps the 20’s a team possesses already are just what they need to go all the way and that a supposed “upgrade” will ultimately throw off the balance of the team and dressing room.
Hockey decisions have to made, but we should never ever forget about the personal side of any trade especially those involving overagers.