I'm actually impressed with the amount of thinking and composing you've done here Svamp. That's not bad at all. 👍
I agree to some extent here, and here's why. There's a core of 50 players who more or less circulate between around 10 or so teams. These are also the same players who talk about introducing money into the equation and the competetive side of the game. I don't blame them for doing so, but it sort of hurts the relationship between NHLGamer and the rest of the community. With a community as large as 5000+ players/accounts, you can't aim to please the 50.
Now, if NHLGamer want's to become an eSport-platform, it has to have a much larger playerbase, smaller thresholds and less "binary"/generic gameplay. It has to be an including and welcoming community who adds value for the players who participate, regardless if they play in Elite, Pro, Lite or whatever. It doesn't neccessarily mean that it has to be money involved, it can and has to be other things. The vast majority of the players can't, don't want to or has no interest in becoming a full time pro NHL-player. They have other things to do.
In my honest opinion, NHLGamer should be a community driven platform that appeals to the big masses. Lately I feel it has more and more shifted towards being elitist focused in order to please a few. I might be stepping on some toes for saying this, but the community will never be larger than the last player who decides to join it. I want to add that this criticism has nothing to do with anyone in particular. There's no one to blame here. I understand, know and appreciate all the hard work that all of the guys put into this everyday. You're doing this with your own free time and perhaps you feel that you want to take this to the next level. And if so, that's perfectly understandable.