Last month word surfaced that the Canadian Hockey League was considering a ban on European goalies to help address -- in the CHL's mind -- the lack of quality goaltending coming out of Canada.
On Monday night, the league started to follow through with that plan as it announced import goalies will only be eligible in the first round of next month's CHL draft, and will not be eligible at all starting in 2014.
CHL teams are allowed to have two import players on their rosters. This move will make it so those players can only be forwards or defensemen.
Major move by @chlhockey Import goalies only eligible in 1st round of next months draft.Goalies will be excluded from the 14 import draft.— Daren Millard (@darenmillard) June 11, 2013
In the CHL's view, banning European goalies will give Canadian players more of an opportunity to play in one of the three major junior leagues (The Ontario Hockey League, the Western Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior League) to further their development.
Right now most of the top goalies in the NHL are European (or American) and Canada sees this as something that must be addressed. The problem with this "solution" is it doesn't really change much of anything or properly address the issue, which has more to do with the actual development and coaching taking place rather than playing time for a small handful of goalies (keep in mind that only 10 of the top 68 goalies in terms of playing time in the CHL this past season were import players).
Countries go through cycles when it comes to developing players (at all positions) and over the past few years the European countries have simply done a better job developing and grooming goalies.
And it probably starts much earlier than the Junior level.
This change isn't going to address any of that and seems to be nothing more than a short-sighted panic move and an overreaction.