Several sources have told me that USHL Omaha Lancers are planning a boycott of this weekend’s games amid incomprehensible turmoil surrounding the team.
At the center of the controversy are franchise budget cuts that have resulted in players not getting paid for meals on the road – something that is standard in America’s top junior league. On top of that, players would have been forced to pay for their own hockey sticks and ribbons – again, the norm in the USHL.
“All the equipment is paid for here,” said an executive from another team. “USHL does not cost any dollars to play. “
On top of that, video services were reportedly taken away from players, depriving coaches of a crucial educational tool. According to multiple sources, all of these cuts have led to an impasse between coach / GM Chadd Cassidy and the president and owner of the team.
What happened next is still a bit murky, but some sources claim Cassidy was sacked last week, only to be asked to stay behind the bench because the Lancers no longer had enough coaches to work on. the bench. Oddly, Omaha has actually been a good team on the ice this season, winning seven of their last 10 games, including their two competitions last weekend.
The Lancers have undergone many personnel changes recently and Cassidy himself is only in his first year with the organization. President David DeLuca was captain of the Las Vegas Fire Department before joining the Lancers in 2017 as business development manager, but was named team president less than a year later. He is apparently a longtime personal friend of owner Koots DiCesare.
Amid all of this chaos, family counselors are inundated with calls from players asking for advice and, potentially, trade with other USHL franchises.
According to Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota, other coaches and staff have now stepped down to support their players and Cassidy. More information on this story as it develops. Calls to Cassidy, the Lancers and the USHL have yet to be returned.