Last week JuniorHockey.com posted an article titled, "Juvenile Delinquents" which was aimed directly at TJHP. Before I jump into setting the record straight, I do love that we were never directly cited in the article. You could say that it's for legal issues and not wanting to call us out directly, but I like to think that it's because, regardless of what was written in the article, Steph is afraid of what we have built here and truly sees us as a threat to his Junior hockey "consortium.”
With that being said, I do believe that there is room in our capitalistic nation for more than one Junior hockey website. As most people know there are a lot of viewpoints in the Junior hockey world so listeners, readers, parents and players should be getting information from multiple sources. So why not more than one site? The best and the most impartial site will eventually rise to the top and it will be obvious who is at the top.
Here is the article -- let's dive in.
First off, I LOVE the picture he used. We might have to incorporate that into one of our logos somehow. Great job so far. The reason this article was written was because we commented on a JuniorHockey.com article that was republished from 2017-18 and was recycled content. We simply said that these guys have zero originality, they recycle content and their content is driven by whichever league is paying them for advertising at that moment. We are just sharing our opinion.
I am pretty sure if you go back and look at old JuniorHockey.com articles you will be able to see the exact moment that the USPHL was paying them, and then when they stopped. You could also see when the NAHL and NA3HL jumped on board because they completely stopped writing anything negative about both leagues. It is apparent that this site can be bought, and whomever is paying them completely drives the content. I think the biggest red flag is they aren't even allowed to mention the USPHL in any articles or even on their Facebook discussion group.
Any content-based entity, whether it’s a newspaper or a blog or a website, would NEVER stop mentioning a newsworthy person or league unless they knew they were at risk for libel or defamation. The only reason you would fear libel or defamation threats is if you make statements without backing them up with facts and/or sources. Sharing an opinion – and identifying it as an opinion – isn’t that hard to do. Presenting something as fact without speaking with anyone involved, or citing a credible source, puts an entity in danger of libel or defamation. We can’t count high enough to record our competitors’ use of the word “anonymous” in reference to sources.
How can a "Junior Hockey News" website not talk about a league that is a very large part of the Junior Hockey Landscape? That is ludicrous to me. It is one thing that you don't want to write about them on your site, but it's another thing that you have a Junior Hockey Discussion group for parents, players and fans to talk and discuss with one another but you won't allow the letters "U-S-P-H-L" to be posted in the group without deleting it? So we have a website here that is supposed to be a location for parents and players to get information, whether anyone actually reads this stuff or not doesn't matter, and they are getting only one-sided perspectives on what is going on in Junior Hockey.
Back to the main point and the JuniorHockey.com article about us: Steph was bullying us and repeatedly calling us "juveniles", "delinquents", "kids", "wannabees", "pod boys," and a long list of repeated names that all mean the same thing. So, at least there is some thought process behind the name calling …
I didn't want it to come to this. I wish we could just share our opinions, entertain the interested audience and talk Junior Hockey with all the different people who are involved in the game. Steph felt the need to publicly bash us and try to make himself feel better, but at the end of the day I think this truly paints the picture of the type of site that JuniorHockey.com has turned into.
All I have to say is that I hope he keeps the promise of starting professionally produced podcasts covering Junior Hockey since it went so great the first time around. Another recycled idea? I fully support them doing this and I will be an avid listener as long as he isn't the one hosting because these old podcasts are a gold mine -- something that is laugh out loud funny. Here is a little sneak peak of what to expect...
One last thing, Steph mentioned how we are career "pay2players" as if that was a slight to our playing abilities. Isn't that what a majority of his fan base is? It’s definitely the vast majority of Junior hockey players in the world. Is he saying that it's a bad thing to play Tier III Junior hockey? We decided to keep playing the sport we love at the pay-to-play level because the NHL never came calling, same as the other 99 percent of hockey players worldwide. A great tactic to run down your readers, but hey, you do you.
I didn't bring a knife to this gunfight due to the fact that I think the actions and the downward spiral that JuniorHockey.com has taken speaks for itself.
In conclusion, please Steph, do the Junior hockey community a favor and go away...quietly.