GOJHL Restricting 20 Year Olds

As you may recall, back in January, after the trade deadline, I posted an article I wrote called How Many Is Too Many?  The article was an opinion piece on 20 year olds in the GOJHL, specifically the fact that Caledonia has 17 on their roster.


Well this morning, I found a story by Bill Doucet of the Cambridge Times about the GOJHL restricting 20 year olds next year.  That story can be found here.  Bill had spoken to both GOJHL Commissioner Chuck Williams and Keith Stewart, the Director of Hockey Operations for Cambridge, about the restrictions.  Keith reiterated the point I had made in my article, that the issue is who those 20 year olds are that Caledonia has signed vs. how many they have.


This is from Bill’s article:


Keith Stewart, director of hockey operations and player development, said he thinks that putting restrictions on 20 year olds may not be the issue, but their time served in the Canadian Hockey League is.


He said that he’s mentioned in the past that maybe the league not allow players with 50 or 100 games of CHL experience, but the argument presented to him was that it’s holding someone out of hockey.


While I see the point about holding someone back from playing hockey, and not wanting to turn players away from the GOJHL, anyone with the careers that Corey Pawley, Davis Brown, Chadd Bauman, et al. have had in the OHL could certainly find any team in any league to play for.  In fact, Davis Brown already played a couple games in a league in Sweden at the start of the season before returning to the Sarnia Sting.


A similar idea was pitched to me, by another Director of Hockey Ops in the Midwest.  In his email to me, which was the day that I posted my How Many Is Too Many story, he said:


The GOJHL is designed and geared toward the following. 


  1. Junior hockey competition
  2. Player development.


We are here in the GOJHL to compete for the Sutherland Cup and develop players towards playing at the following 2 levels of Hockey and education. 


  1. NCAA college hockey
  2. Major Junior hockey.


GOJHL Rule change that needs immediate implementation are simple. 


If you are on an active roster of a CHL team ( OHL, QMJHL or WHL) roster as a 19 year old at Dec 1st; You are therefore ineligible to participate in the GOJHL as a 20 year old player.


I’ve shared this idea with a few different GM’s in the West as that’s the only way to get rules changed.  Not to say that I’m not important, but in reality, I’m just a GOJHL super fan, I don’t have the power or influence to change rules.


In any event, this is certainly a story that I am going to be following and when I see a follow up about the vote, I’ll be sure to pass it along.



As a side note, and something I feel I need to point out, this is a rule change that can be done at the GOJHL level.  There are certain rules that can only be done at the OHA, OHF or Hockey Canada levels. I’ve seen quite a few comments, on both the forum and my  about how the league needs to change the rule regarding 16 year olds and longer suspensions for certain penalties, such as head checks.  The 16 year old issue, as I’ve said before, is a Hockey Canada rule.  They want to preserve the midget programs therefore they restrict 16 year olds playing Junior hockey.  Currently, each team gets 2 cards.  The OHF allows for all 52 cards at the B level to be used, so teams can make trades for 16 year old cards and that’s why some teams have 4, while others have 1 or 2.  In order for the league to get more cards, to increase it to 4 cards per team, they have to ask Hockey Canada for a rule change about that.



Now about suspensions.  The OHA are the ones that give out suspensions.  The suspension list is available on their website every year.  This is this season’s list.  Most of the suspensions are straight forward.  Most gross misconducts are 2 games and match penalties are 4.  Any that are 6 or 7 games, that’s the minimum and they have to appear before the OHA disciplinary committee.  If they make a ruling for more games, and you don’t like, you can appeal it, I assume to the OHF, and it could be reduced back to the minimum.  On the Pointstreak Transaction page, where you see a player has received a supplemental discipline 1 game suspension, that’s usually for something like having too many head checking penalties and they’re trying to curb your behaviour and make you sit out a game for it.  That also happens with fights.  I understand that this year’s minimum is 5 fights before you get a game misconduct.  The OHA can also render a suspension if upon video review of an incident they felt it should warrant more than what the list says.  Basically, it’s the OHA, they make the rules and we all have to live by them.


As I said, it’ll be interesting to see how this rule change evolves and I’ll post something as soon as I see it.  In the meantime, enjoy the semi-finals!

3 comments on “GOJHL Restricting 20 Year Olds
  1. David Honsberger says:

    Everytime you allow someone like a Davis Brown back into the GOJHL you are likely denying a younger, less experienced player an opportunity to play. They are then seeing less ice time, released, or a healthy scratch. That is not assisting younger players to develop while a player like a Davis Brown, who likely isn’t going any further in their career, continues to play. I don’t feel that is the purpose of our league.

  2. Junior says:

    This is a very interesting issue with valid issues from both points of view. Agree with the above comments to some extent – however – this argument continually favours the younger player. The majority of older players, both those with CHL experience and those without; want to continue their hockey careers. Comments like “likely isn’t going any further in their career” are unfounded and clearly biased. How does a casual observer know what is going to happen in the career of any player? What is the definition of “not going any further in their career?” A large percentage of older players will graduate to CIS, NCAA, or even semi/minor pro teams. They have put in the years of training and practice, paid their dues and earned the right to finish their junior eligibility. Older players also want to continue to develop as they move forward – they should not be denied the opportunity. If the league is truly a developmental league, the opportunity to develop should be offered to all players with the skillset to play in the league, regardless of age or background. In terms of players with CHL experience, how is it fair to these players that they develop the required skillset for the CHL through years of dedication and training, earn time in the best junior development league in the world, then when their time in the CHL is over, possibly be denied the opportunity to continue to play and develop? If the purpose of the league is truly player development, then it needs to offer continuing development opportunities to every player with the skillset to earn a roster position, regardless of age or background.

  3. Profile photo of Stacy Brooks Stacy Brooks says:

    You raise a very good point, and that’s why this issue is so complicated. What is the right thing to do so as to benefit everyone and not cast aside someone who wants to play in the GOJHL?

    There are those that believe that this is specifically targeting Caledonia, and although it looks that way, I don’t believe that it is. I believe that the league has witnessed what the Corvairs have done, in the ‘win at all costs’ theory and have said, we don’t want our league to be portrayed in that manner, so they are doing something to change it.

    The GOJHL wants to be known as a development league, for the CHL, CIS, NCAA, and every other hockey league that is above them. They want to be known for moving players on to the higher level.

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