Keep Your Ghost Rosters to Yourself

I hate ghost rosters.

I know everyone puts them together and I’ve been guilty of that as well, but it’s just too damn early for that.

You can bet your ass that every single QMJHL team’s coaching staff and front office have their ghost rosters made and you know what that’s perfectly fine, that’s what you are suppose to do.

Don’t worry their ghost rosters are as protected and as secure as a Brink’s truck.

You see it’s way too early to start predicting opening day line ups and starting goaltenders.

Sure you can project, but don’t make it public.

I think the worst aspects of “ghost rosters” is when organizations or team personnel start talking about them publicly. It makes it sound like they have already made all of their decisions and have already picked the team.

Whatever happened to the try out process?

It seems like more and more kids are being signed without proving their worth or showing what they can really do.

Don’t get me started on resume over performance during the tryout process that just pisses me off, but it’s ridiculous to think that where the kid played the season before means something.

It shouldn’t, that’s why they call it tryouts. The player tries out for the team, they don’t magically appear and make it.

But you would be surprised that shit happens every year in minor hockey.

Don’t believe me, just ask around.

It’s so wrong, it’s always been wrong and that’s one aspect of the game that needs to drastically change.

Of course Major Junior teams sign players, that happens all the time, it’s an early sign of commitment, and much deserved and highly earned, but I was truly shocked to hear U-18 aged kids getting signed weeks or months before training camp even started.

In my opinion that’s wrong, but there you go “ghost rostering” at its finest.

Pencil the names in, project your lines, D pairings and specialty teams, and even your goaltenders if you want, but keep that shit private.

I get that junior hockey players shouldn’t care about social media, or what other people say, but when “ghost rosters” come out that all changes especially if they are leaked from a “reliable source.”

In my opinion “ghost rosters” have no place in minor hockey, they have no place in the public eye.

I guess it all goes back to the difference between predictions and projections and the hockey world’s addiction to that side of the game.

QMJHL Training Camps are up and running and everyone has already made their projected rosters or they are highlighting certain players as locks to make the team. It’s way too early for that, it’s way too early for ghost rosters.

Sure, it’s exciting to predict, but you have no idea how stressed or how much pressure QMJHL players are feeling right now.

The nerves and anxiety in a lot of cases is crippling.

Let’s be patient and see how things play out.

Let’s wait and see before we all jump to conclusions and post our ghost rosters.

There will always be surprises.

I hate predictions, but I hate ghost rosters more.

How about keeping all the ghost rosters to ourselves and compare notes privately.

The time to predict line ups isn’t right now. It’s time to watch hockey and appreciate the effort these young players have put into getting to this point of their careers.


  1. Always enjoy reading your posts… with respect to your perspective on Major U18 committing to players early being wrong, I have to respectfully disagree. What choice do they have in the current hockey landscape? For profit, prep schools on both sides of the border are aggressively recruiting high end players in major bantam and sometimes earlier (without a tryout). For them it is business and landing high end talent that can help them win on the ice and in the classroom is marketing gold for the future recruitment efforts of their business.

    As soon as March/April rolls around, many families with players moving to U18 want assurance from their hometown club or they look elsewhere and likely have had several offers to leverage. Certainly having regional U16 options to complement U18 is helping but the reality is if U18 teams don’t commit early to top players in many cases they lose them. If they want to run a successful program themselves so they can be a preferred development path they really have no choice…. you know that.


    1. Ok then Corey….publish the list before the tryouts….make everybody know who already made the team, avoid all the added tryout cost to a bunch of families and let the chip fall where they may! Do you think that would work?


  2. Stephane, I agree with your perspective that it should be public knowledge on commitments that have been made prior to the tryout process! That said, there is no guarantee all eligible returning players from the prior year return or committed players actually show up. Regardless if there is ten open spots, a couple or none, a player should go through the tryout process to make an impression and get noticed if their goal is to play on that team. If it doesn’t work out, how an individual handles the adversity and responds is often a key factor in selecting an AP or cracking the line up the following year. Just my opinion.


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