Omaha Lancers Players Walk Out, Coaching Staff Resigns After Tensions Boil Over

The Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League (USHL) are in disarray as boiling tensions — that started with mass budget cuts and amplified by the recent firing of successful coach Chadd Cassidy, have consumed the team.

According to the Grand Forks Herald, tensions began building earlier this season as the Lancers, owned by Anthony DiCesare, made major budget cuts that included the team’s video software, player equipment and even postgame meals for players.

Former assistant coach Tate Maris told the Omaha World-Herald that the Lancers cut the budget in half for buying hockey sticks, team meals were inadequate and a contract to use video scouting software was not renewed.

As a result, Lancers players walked out Thursday morning and are refusing to play this weekend’s games at Waterloo and Lincoln. The entire remaining staff resigned, including acting head coach Sean Walsh, assistant coach Tate Maris and trainer Nick Hart.

The USHL released an official statement Thursday evening:

“I’m proud of our guys and how they handled this,” Maris said to The Athletic. “These are kids who had to make a very very tough decision that in the end, I think will impact their careers positively, and I’m very proud with how they handled it. It’s been a tough day, but I feel very good that a stand is being made and that the kids are taking their hockey career and future into their own hands, which takes guts to do.”

Finances have been a consistent issue dating for two years, several sources tell The Athletic, including the players’ parents being asked to cover certain team expenditures over the last two seasons.

The USHL is the top junior league in the nation and a pathway to college hockey for many of its players.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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1 Response to Omaha Lancers Players Walk Out, Coaching Staff Resigns After Tensions Boil Over

  1. redLitYogi says:

    I guess this a reminder that running a team is expensive even when there aren’t big salaries involved. Whatever other businesses the owner runs are probably slammed by the pandemic and now he’s got no cash. I wonder if we’ll see more similar situations at the junior levels in all sports. My guess is the USHL will have to find a way to ameliorate the problems to get those kids back on the ice. But the players and coaches did a very fine thing here. I hope their attitude to forcefully stand up for better working conditions and compensation is something we’ll continue to see grow throughout society as a whole.

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