#1 There are so many \"Academy\" teams now that there is enough out there to schedule a full season of hockey to support a second team.
#2 Even if it is a \"B\" team, it gives the Rats an opportunity to hang on to some marginally talented kids and see if they pan out for Split 15. Im no Rats fan, but it makes perfect sense seeing as at 15 the \"elite\" kids fall back to the median and the T2 hardworking/late bloomers catch up.
#3 Gives the Rats an opportunity to field NB teams at both T1 and T2.
#4 $$$ Straight Cash Homie $$$
From an organizational standpoint it makes perfect sense to me.
It makes sense from the rats perspective as a business and feeding program perspective. But it's more the dads egos, all their respective programs have full season options at u14. But they want to be able to mislead and saying their little johnny or jimmy plays for the "river rats" (full season, cough-cough)!