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  1. Boy this pretty constructive conversation broke down quickly
    6 points
  2. Feeling like getting back onto the original topic with some fresh chum. Did the SHAHA 06 team beat Pens Elite again over the past weekend? Short answer is yes and they are still ranked in the top 20. Not bad for a lowly South Hills program with a roster of local kids.
    5 points
  3. Folks, while the ad nauseum discussion about the flaws of various organizations might be especially interesting on this topic in particular, I'm thinking that the OP intended this thread to serve as a reference of when everyone is scheduling tryouts. Perhaps another thread about tryout shenanigans would be more appropriate for those discussions. There are probably many, many people who would appreciate a quick reference for tryout dates. Just my $0.02.
    4 points
  4. I’m sure this won’t be popular, but we can blame organizations, personal interests, politics all we want. In the end, in Pittsburgh (maybe different than some other cities and Canada notably due to municipal rinks and funding), it takes two things for someone to be ‘successful’ as this thread is apparently defining it. First, parents with cash to support private skating lessons, etc. Second, a talented and legit D1 athlete of a kid. I really think we ignore the second. We think if you spend $15k per year from the time your kid is 7 years old, if they don’t make it, it’s someone’s fault other than (1) yours as the parent that funded it or (2) your kid’s lack of legit athletic ability. If that organization brings in a kid from Ontario, LA, or frankly the pens black team when they turn down to 1 team at the pee wee level, it must be a problem with the organization. PPE has many faults. Other organizations like PPE do as well. What about some PW teams (I won’t name the specific organization I’m referring to this year) that cut 4-5 kids that have been with the program since mites because pens black kids tried out? They got star struck and those kids that got cut went to another organization that beat them early in the year. Should we bash that org? It’s not just PPE- it’s all levels. It’s naive to think it’s isolated there. I’m not defending it or supporting it. Just highlighting the variables and constants. To expect any organization to turn 50% of the squirt program (who, let’s face it, probably aren’t really the best athletes, just the kids that have had their parents push them to hockey early and forked the cash to have it show at an early age) into D1 commits is unreasonable. Go ahead- take the top 7 year olds and move them all to one organization. Keep them all together through thick and thin. They’ll likely form great bonds and make great memories. I’m not saying that’s not a good thing. To the contrary actually, what an awesome experience to have as a kid. But to think you’ll turn them into D1 athletes simply because they’re good 7 year old players, to my point, I think at least, is delusional.
    4 points
  5. Do yourselves a favor. If you kid winds up playing ACHA, have them focus on grades first and hockey second. Even the coaches will tell them that. Club hockey is for fun, friends and exercise. And a little bit of competition. It will be done before they know it and the grades will taken them farther than hockey will. Just trying to give some serious advice
    4 points
  6. Pretty sure you missed multiple points here. Frankly, I have no interest in engaging with your any further. I'm pretty sure you're the reason I have to look both ways while entering a roundabout! Take care!
    4 points
  7. This thread is has now run its course. Start a new thread on the Preds or whomever. PB
    3 points
  8. I would like to know where excel and having to have a catholic education fit in to devoloping a good hockey player? Couldn't just be the money, could it?
    3 points
  9. LOL I knew the chum I threw out there was good but underestimated how many would be circling to feed. Oh, and yesterday at UPMC I saw a Chevy Suburban with a Lil 66'ers Elite sticker on the back window. Yikes.
    3 points
  10. Nothing like driving from Erie to South Bend so you can play the other team from Erie. SMFH
    3 points
  11. Only "Team PA" team I know of is the brick team that gets their butts kicked every year. I'm sure if there is money in it for them Pens Elite would put it together for you.
    3 points
  12. This much is clear. They have 4 rinks already and control or influence over the orgs in their rinks. PAHL cant stop it. As with anything in this world, money talks. When you have 4 billion in capital to work with, can the single owner rink afford to not listen? If this is going to continue, which it is, is it better to cooperate or dig in and fight as long as you can? I dont see how PAHL can fend BB off, if they wanted to. Its really in the rink owners, who own a single rink squaring off against a corporation that owns 36 now (think he just bought two more), can you afford not to? Im sure there are some owners that will not sell but if the orgs dont join their AHF league, the org and the rink will suffer in a dying PAHL division. (Look at DVHL - which still exists, so not all hope is lost). Maybe its worth cooperating to salvage what can be salvaged, or at least accept certain levels of compromise. Whats better for youth hockey in this area? Is it a knock down drag out fight or work with the incoming to keep the programs that are building, investing and improving. Im on the middle on this. I think BB could be good thing, it seems like it could be a better product than PAHL and MidAM. Is it perfect? Nothing is in youth sports is. Either way its coming, surf the wave or get toppled over and hope you float to the top. I dont rejoyce about the Vipers current situation, it will be hard to find a new home. Alpha is buying up all of Shadysides ice, so their school league is using a lot of that. Its possible they could move there. Butler? Shadyside Academy, what Alpha doesnt buy? What about that Hunt Armory, I dont know it or who plays there, would they have ice. I dont think any of the one sheet rinks would have enough, like Nevin. I can see Vipers losing a bunch of kids to Huskies, Renegades, or Aviators. Its tough, hope they find a solution. If you havent at least read up on the AHF, Blackstone Investment group, Black Bear sports, Murry Gunty. Websites and social media are a good start. Make an informed decision about whether or not its a worthy fight or worth compromising. One thing that does concern me is while we have a lot of bad parents and coaches in youth sports, there are a lot of good folks who put their time in and work to do things right. Watching people like that work hard to do it the right way getting pushed out does suck. I hope they find a way to stay invovled if thats the case. Sure its demoralizing, but if your character is true, another opportunity will be there for you to continue to support youth hockey.
    3 points
  13. Little League Baseball has adopted the USA Hockey model of stations where players are completing different tasks at different stations, then rotating every 5-10 minutes. Fungos in one area, grounders in another, BP, fly balls, running bases.......kids at this age are known for kicking daisies in the outfield and making dust clouds on the dirt infield when they are bored. If kids are standing around at a Mite practice that is a major problem and the fault lies with the coaches on the ice - kids that age have the attention span of a gnat. Keep the kids engaged and moving around should fix that problem.
    3 points
  14. The top 16UAA team in the country came out of PAHL last year and they weren't perfect in the league! Didn't they win the league in OT last year? Sounds like a pretty good league to me!
    3 points
  15. Isn't PAHL also run by parent volunteers?
    3 points
  16. Is there anyone in a leadership position with PAHL on this message board? We've been looking at things from the Black Bear perspective and anticipating and speculating their next move. But it's just as valid to look at PAHL and think through ways they can improve and even respond to these coming changes. Does PAHL have a game plan? Or do they feel this takeover is just inevitable, just like the DVHL out east?
    3 points
  17. Man, you are really stretching the anti-PPE argument here. Do you know who all the applicants were?
    2 points
  18. So I see that North Pittsburgh has kicked of the tryout date crap show. Let's use this thread to post all known tryout dates for reference. I'm actually surprised I haven't seen others yet, given that NP posted this a few weeks ago. Co-Ed Travel 10U (2013-2014 Birth years) - April 10 to 14 12U (2011-2012 Birth years) - April 15 to 17, 19 & 20 14U (2009-2010 Birth years) - April 22 to 24, 26 & 27 16U (2007-2008 Birth years) - April 29 & 30, May 1, 3 & 4 18U (2005-2006 Birth years) - May 8, 10, & 13 Girls Travel All Girls Travel Tryouts will be held on April 29 & 30 **ALL DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE**
    2 points
  19. Let's keep this to just a listing of tryout dates. For discussion about it you can create a thread about a specific team or org. Thanks. PB
    2 points
  20. The U11 Esmark Team shutout Pens Black 2-0 this past weekend on the way to a championship weekend and has beaten them 3 of 4 this year. Lets keep in mind that the majority of the Pens Black Team has had the "World Class" Development in Cranberry for 4 years (1 yr Little 66ers and 3 years Pens Black + most do Excel). The Esmark 2011s are a first year team that have multiple 2012s playing up, kids that hadn't played AAA before this season, and even a few kids that were cut from Pens Black along the way.
    2 points
  21. Esmark has produced teams that have beaten PPE before. At the older levels they seem to be the program that competes best with PPE around here. And based on the number of kids from the Pgh. area that play for PPE, they should probably be called just PE, drop the Pittsburgh.
    2 points
  22. If there ever is a legit competitor to PPE in Pittsburgh it will be at one of these two rinks. But I do agree with some of the other sentiments in this thread; a commitment to local kids is important.
    2 points
  23. Or......ha ha ha....quit chasing the extra A and just play the local league. Crazy, I know. At least until Bantam. Put resources back into what already exists. It would be so nice to have a AA league filled top to bottom with AA teams. PAHLs midget program currently has 2. It's fun to actually play school hockey and compete for a National banner in PAHL. PIHL actually has built their program up. The televised games, the social media. Don't play 80 games in a year for an independent schedule. Play school and PAHL. Really need to see what Blackbear is going to do. I think you are going to continue to see all these faux AAA teams because there are always people chasing. They think their kid has the talent and didn't make the team, they form another. But I do think that the market is poised to have a viable alternative to PPE since they don't want the local kids when it counts unless you have the cash. RMU and Sourhpointe are the best locations to do it to make it accessable for everyone around the city.
    2 points
  24. I go back to PPE is a private organization. Like it or not & I am anything but a fan of PPE for the record. They have a very clear model. We can either complain or be part of the solution. On one hand people complain that BB is coming in & buying all the rinks who will hopefully compete with PPE. On the other hand, we do not like how the PPE does business & it will magically change with 13,000 social media posts..... Ya & the easter bunny is real also! All positions should be heard & respected, but this is getting bat shit crazy. There is no organization that is close to competing with PPE because we have week AAA organizations. The Vengeance has the facility but week board, SHAHA has great board but horrible facility, Preds I think they just forgot to drop the 3rd A for some reason & Esmark needs an entire program but still is a pretty tough location to get to for most even if started at a mite age group. Either solve this issue, support BB coming in to compete with PPE or get off your ass & help build something that can compete with PPE that way kids have another option to play high level AAA hockey in PGH!
    2 points
  25. ChiefKeef, tell me how PPE hurt you? There has to be an emotional and personal story behind your endless diatribe. I'm not saying that some of what you are preaching isn't true, but man this is getting exhausting.
    2 points
  26. Class A is going to be very good with Fox Chapel being the favorite and any one of a half dozen schools having a chance Class AAA is wide open IMO and watch out for Pine Richland who is red hot
    2 points
  27. Haven’t tried the Glice brand but have heard good things. We have a 18x24 area in the basement of Snipers Edge tiles and they are great for stickhandling and shooting. Synthetic ice is definitely an investment. Our setup with the panels and shooting tarp cost around $5k. Skating on them (and all synthetic ice) takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it can be a very useful training aid. We purchased during the beginning of Covid lockdown and my boys have skated and/or shot on them pretty much every day so it’s second nature to them now. When teammates come over to use them for the first time is can be a bit of a struggle to adjust. The “cheaper brands” like snipers edge, hockeyshot, skate anytime, poly glide all produce a lot of shavings so be aware of that. Can Ice (the pro series not the new smaller panels) is the only one marketed that says it doesn’t produce shavings. They also dull the blades very quickly (less than 2hrs of use) so investing in a Sparx machine is almost necessary to get the most of out the panels.
    2 points
  28. Ray is a very good person. Seems to be a very good coach too. I actually had him as coach waaaaaay back. Early in his coaching career for sure. I hope he wasn’t forced out. Hopefully he ended his career as a coach on his terms.
    2 points
  29. Yeah I don’t know his father personally but I’ve heard the way they talk about him. Like he was the problem. If I were him I’d be sending the director cease and desist letters on using his child’s likeness to promote the program. Then we all found out what a bunch of thunder cunts they are. So again, that guy deserves a statue for going against the machine. Right down on 5th Ave.
    2 points
  30. I had a coach telle the difference is in time commitment. So like at RMU the lower in the leagues you go, less practices and games, and yeah, not much difference for skill.
    2 points
  31. And once again it's proven that we can't have any kind of civilized discussion on this board for more than three posts. It will be interesting to see how things develop over time if it is true that Black Bear controls the board for Allegheny as described above. As a misunderstood genius once said, "the times, they are a-becomin' quite different". These next few years should prove to be fascinating for hockey players in SWPA.
    2 points
  32. Yes, I think that's what he means. The Chicago Showcase started in 1985 and I believe was last held in 2009. The Pittsburgh team did have a few good showings in the 2000s. There were a few local players who made connections there that helped them get to prep school, junior, etc. In general, there were quite a few players (not just from Pittsburgh) who credited this tournament with helping advance their careers. I believe that the local team required participants to play on a PIHL team. Since 2010, it has been called the Americas Showcase. It was held in PGH for a several years, then moved to St Louis, and not sure when they last held it. I don't think this incarnation of the tournament had quite as many good teams, and I don't think it had the track record of the Chicago Showcase as far as player placement goes. However, times have changed a lot in the last 13 years or so and I'm sure that's a part of it too. https://www.americasshowcasestlouis.com/page/show/3414808-about
    2 points
  33. I think you make a lot of great points. While I have my suspicions of BB sports monopolizing the market, it could do some good. I do believe there are some other rinks throughout the PAHL footprint that could use a very thorough house cleaning. I think the corporate non-parent sector joined with the “right” parents and volunteers could make a viable team. There’s always been politics in youth sports and no place is immune to politicians being in the mix but it’s out of hand. This could be a solution. Maybe not a cure but a step in the right direction. I think BB needs to address with its customer base is simple…. 1. How to avoid pricing families that are on the borderline out of access to the game. 2. plans on keeping travel reasonable for all levels and limited for those playing on the lower level teams. The A minor and B teams don’t need to go to incredible distances for play. 3. how converting to for profit status effects playing in PAHL, how that effects one’s ability to fundraise etc. I think some town hall type meetings in each respective rink allowing for parent Q&A. the coming weeks and months are going to be very interesting and I think all of us paying parents deserve as much information as possible before decisions are made.
    2 points
  34. No, I am talking about slamming his stick, face turning red screaming because 5-7 year olds couldn't catch a pass. If you scream at kids as a coach you're failing. Communication and leadership is how you'll gain their respect. This just proves he hasn't gotten his temper under control.
    2 points
  35. YES someone does, for their own GD safety!! WTF does making the NHL have to do with child safety? because the likely hood of them making the NHL is basically nil they should just do whatever the heck they want on the ice? Why not just forget hockey altogether and just have a U8 Thunderdome? and dear lord, how much clearer could pucks11 be that they were referring to GAMES not practices. but here we go, posts about it being a coaching problem if kids are standing around during practice. no wonder kids today can't listen worth a crap
    1 point
  36. Most of the freshman going to d1 are 00-03, some of the more gifted 04 would opt out of finishing or playing Junior hockey and move to d1, I think midam will be fine and will be putting lots of kids when the 06 and younger kids come up. Look back at a number of factors, ADM cross ice mandate I think came with 06 age for 8u, I know some programs did put it in place earlier, but since it was mandated I have seen leaps and bounds on development over the last couple years, Younger kids are miles ahead of what they used be in skill and skating. I think the Sydney Crosby program started just before the cross ice that got more kids involved, I would say it started around the 04's birth year and grown year over year. I also think most kids around the 99-03 birthyears where getting into the sport when the pens sucked, where bankrupt and threating to leave town which effected the Pittsburgh market more than others in midam, but still had an effect. I have a pretty good eye on the area talent from 04-10 and can see midam has tons of talents. Also as much as some may hate PPE, before they brought in the crew from Chicago and pushed the Excel Program, lots of the younger kids did benefit from the program and has caused other programs to step it up and as the program continues to push out the local kids as they bring in out of town and out of country kids, those kids still manage to develop elsewhere. Logan Cooley #3 in the draft this year was the first of this new crop, I think people are noticing there is a lot of talent in this market and you will see lots of kids in Tier 1/2 Jr and eventually D1 college from the midam market.
    1 point
  37. I think you hit the nail on the head. Its finding a way to leverage the best of both. Taking the large capital backed corporate machine, and combining it with the "right" parent volunteers to help run as coaches, board members and managers. The challenge is meeting in the middle. You cant stop BB, but you can work with them if you meet them in the middle. Another thing to mention is the perception of PAHL and MidAM. As parents we fund the salaties these PAHL and MidAM reps make, and some of them make a lot of money. As the people that fund thes orgs, we have no say in how they are governed, therefore we have no say in how they are run. I read the PAHL minutes, and its same ol same ol, same PAHL. People are tired of it. No one knows what these PAHL and MidAM executives do. We dont see the accountability on the teams, coaches, parents, etc. IMO, so many independent teams and AAA teams exist as people are tired of playing in PAHL. I think this is where BB and the AHF can bridge that gap. Look at all the AAA teams in the area, not all are AAA but parents are willing to pay the AAA dollars to play outside of the only othet option, PAHL. Thats is also happening with AA. So many of these AA teams are playing independent schedules on top of PAHL schedules, and parents are happy to send it. Viper Stars is a good example. 4500 to play on their u14 and up teams. Practices, off ice conditioning, and a 60+ game schedule. If you look at my hockey rankings, many of the other AA teams are playing schedules of similar size. Maybe AHF can offer a comparable product for cheaper, given the size of the org and the various markets they are in.
    1 point
  38. This is one reason people are fed up with Mid AM, same with PAHL. For a non-profit, these people are making a lot of money and the source of the money (parents) have no say in who governs.
    1 point
  39. Yep, with behavior like that these kids are never going to get to the NHL. Someone needs to keep them in line.
    1 point
  40. You nailed that Mite practice! Sounds like kids having fun at that age! Isn't that the most important thing. Also it's the coaches job to keep all those mite kids entertained and doing positive hockey things. Your example above has them having to much time on their hands at practice. But I love it and that's the real deal.
    1 point
  41. Unless he was swearing at them, who cares. I coached Mites and some of the nicest parents I know would HAVE to scream at Mite kids because they don't listen for crap. You have little Johnny skating doing whatever he wants, Timmy going to the boards to wave to Gma and Gpa, Danny riding his stick like a horse, Sammy picking his nose, Alex squirting other kids with a water bottle, Mikey sitting down in the middle of the ice (where he can get hurt), Joey playing rock paper scissors with a kid from the other team with his gloves off, Collin skating in the middle of the ice trying to get other kids to see his new trick he learned at practice the other day and little Brandon swinging his stick everywhere but at the puck
    1 point
  42. Ok, so what is so bad about PAHL? What are the suggestions to make it better? Other than the Fair Play Points what are the other problems? Seems like a decent league for kids who want to stay local to play!
    1 point
  43. I just hope it's not another rebranding or something like that. Maybe a logo change. Or change in color scheme. Just to keep things "fresh" for the kids.
    1 point
  44. It's about HockeyFan6687 kid according to rumors on the street
    1 point
  45. I'm nominating this for best phrase to ever come out of this board
    1 point
  46. What’s the “Major Announcement” that the rink is advertising on the way into the rink then?
    1 point
  47. I just really don’t think Black Bear will be all that involved in a year or two. They’ll make a good showing the 1st year then move onto the next conquest. Now, if it was a corporation taking over just 1 rink, not 34, maybe they could make a difference. But I just don’t see it here. They’re too big to care about 1 rink. And reading reviews from other organizations they’ve taken over, the outcome is never good. I am on the NHAHA board. Nothing big, but there none the less. And I didn’t even seek it out. A job needed filled that someone asked if I could do. Knowing little to nothing about the NHAHA board, I said sure thinking I’d just be doing the job. It wasn’t until a little while later I learned it was a job that came w a board position. So I didn’t start on the board with any other reason than to help. Now that I’m there, I believe I’m in it for the whole organization. My vested interest is seeing it grow, players develop, and for NHAHA to be seen as successful. But do I have a bit of selfishness in me? Sure, we all do. My selfishness is to see that my son continues to have a team/organization to finish his “career “ at. I’m not looking for him to climb the extra A ladder. I’m not looking for him to be on the best team. I’m wanting him to remain in an organization and with teams that 95% of his friends are at. I have 2 kids. My oldest wanted to climb the ladder. He did B, A, AA, AAA and is now playing ACHA D3 hockey. My youngest thought he wanted that. He made the 08 team and it was a disaster. I can give all the reasons but they aren’t the point. The point is it broke him. Therapy needing broke him. It’s taken a couple of years but he’s finally back smiling and having fun on the ice with his A level team. That’s what I work so hard for…to keep that. To keep him where he is happy and thrives. There were 2 other kids on that 08 team that had similar issues as my son. They are on his team now. They are smiling, happy and enjoying the game. That’s what I want to see continue. I’m not looking for anything but a place for these kids to be able to continue to play the sport they live with their friends they’ve had since ADM. Again, I see merit in an organization coming in. I do see it’s strong points. I just don’t think Black Bear with their 34 rink empire is the answer. A little hole in the wall rink in New Kensington PA is never going to make them millions of dollars. It’s probably 1 of the easiest ones for them to forget about.
    1 point
  48. It amazes me how people come on these message boards and trash people by name while offering no solutions nor raising their hand to offer their “expertise” (because they could obviously do it better) all while hiding behind an anonymous account name. Carry on.
    1 point
  49. Looking at recent posts, I'm not sure I'm on the correct thread. Ha! So what is the projected timeline for getting a 3rd sheet of ice? Happy New Year everyone!
    1 point
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