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ChiefKeef

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ChiefKeef last won the day on November 11

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Pee-Wee (3/11)

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  1. To the uneducated parent, please disregard statements such as ‘if you’re looking for an advisor your player is a lower NAHL player’. There are no absolutes that your player must be represented by an agent at 14 or even 16 and moving on to play junior hockey at 16 1/2. Kids blossom at different times. Kids get noticed at different times. Kids get noticed by agents or advisors at different times. Your 15 year old not having an agent doesn’t mean he’s a lower NAHL player. As if there’s anything wrong with that anyway. There are a number of advisors out there who will happily take your money. Just like there are a number of paid subscription websites out there who will drool over your kid if you subscribe. The problem is not the advisors or the faux scouting sites, it’s the elephant in the room that hockey is a rich kids sport. There’s a lot of obnoxious parents out there who view their child’s come up like they view everything else in life, as in they can purchase it. So they hire an advisor for 5k to ‘promote their kid’ or sign up for X site and all of the sudden their kid is ‘top 10 left winger in the country at the 08 by’ (According to the site they just signed up for @ $90 a month). There’s so many shithead parents in this sport driving this kind of thing that people would be stupid not to take advantage of it. Right now, more parents are reading what I just said and going to sign up on one of these sites (that no scouts pay attention to) rather than encouraging their kid to make sacrifices and become a player who, advisor or not, is going to play this sport long term. With that said, it’s good to ‘eventually’ find someone who’s reputable, that will help you navigate the landscape, especially when getting into the junior hockey world. Whether you pay that person, or they are free.
  2. It’s not a rah rah for the Vengeance. If all those local 08’s can play there, and have success, then no-one else’s kids are too good for that program. Granted, you need to have a portion of the higher end kids in your BY opting in to have it work. Why would they leave to get exposure? They’re getting invited to and doing everything all the peewee parents and bantam parents obsess over. Like the exclusive spring teams and CCM 68. Not advocating for any of that stuff__ as opportunist parents and especially hockey dad coaches find ways to heavily taint those selection processes. However, for the time being, it’s the end all be all (kids and parents will learn that none of it matters) and the Vengeance kids are right there with other top kids in country. I’m not going to debate the Vengeance vs Esmark or whoever else. The Vengeance have either pulled it off or almost pulled it off with multiple birthyears, in regards to getting the high level players. The Pens are terrified of them at the younger ages. The worst possible scenario for the Penguins is people opting for Harmarville in squirts. It will start an irreversible trend, it almost did at one point. The people signing up for squirt hockey, are oddly enough, the only ones that can change this. The power balance lies with those parents. If the majority of the high end kids at that moment opt out of pens, then things will change. The families who are already in Cranberry are a lost cause for the most part. Some will figure it out, most won’t. BUT … Whatever issues the Vengrance or anyone else have going on is small beans compared to what is going on in Cranberry. If you, Mr. Esmark or iceman advocate, and some other egos around town had any sense__ or if you actually cared about local hockey__ minds would be gathered and figuring out ways to make something bigger and better available to all those 06’s, 07’s, and 08’s who had to leave Pens. Then soon to be 09’s, 10’s and 11’s. It’s the same story every year, yet everyone who could do something about it sits around and fiddles their thumbs, pointing fingers back and forth from New Ken to Ice Castle. Who gives a shit about NP kids playing at Vengeance. What about the people who have to drive 2-3 hour to Cleveland or leave town altogether__ because the Pens fuck them all over. Is that subject not deserving of being discussed as to possibly educate other parents on what they are getting involved with? The Vengeance attempting to do something about it is not celebratory? What the fuck is your preferred program doing about it? Painting the lobby walls every two years and expecting people to show up and show out? Is it even hard to justify to parents where they should put their time and resources? The proof is all there. Somebody make a slideshow and break it down. You have X percent chance of having long term success in this sport (meaning anything after amateur hockey) after X amount of dollars spent at PPE based on PPE’s results for X amount of years. Then compare it to other programs around the country. People would lose their fucking minds. The hornets had kids moving on and sustaining it left and right. That was what, almost 10 years ago now? The Pens bought out the hornets, why haven’t they been able to keep up that momentum or anything even remotely resembling it? Why do other hockey programs around the country with significantly less financial and time commitments, some in small cities with smaller overall talent pool__ why do these programs out perform a program who wants kids on the ice 4 hours a day, and in a gym two hours a day? At a massive time and financial commitment from both kids and parents. And why is there so much turn over on bantam and midget teams? Why do some teams have 0 Pittsburgh kids from their respective BY on them? What does that say about the Pens development process? Why is all that money and time not producing what other programs produce at a fraction of the cost? They blame it on the kids and families, ala one of their coaches on here saying you need kids to be ‘committed to the lifestyle’. And how kids just don’t want to do it. As if going to a private school, and spending all day there and at a rink until 9pm isn’t enough of a commitment. Anyone who makes it out of that program and actually plays on the junior team, or fulfills the scholarship. Not just getting drafted or committing (as the pens lobby TV’s would have the naive parent believe), does it despite the Penguins. And they do it at a handicap because that program doesn’t have any kids best interest at heart. On the other hand, maybe the pro team is complicit in it and they like the money being generated (if applicable; I don’t know what money goes where, can’t speak to that end). Either way, the parents have the option to not enable it, and going off of recent history, probably give their kid a better path developmentally. Spend 1/4 the time and money in the process.
  3. I said the Vengeance probably have 1/4 the bullshit. Every program does. If you ask the Pens guys about theirs, however, they make a sour puss face and point to Honeybaked, or Mid-Fairfield etc. As if two wrongs make a right. The problem for the Pens is while other programs have their bullshit, other programs also move way more kids along into junior and college programs. The Pens just have a lot of bullshit with very little to show for it year over year__ and it’s not for a lack of talented kids, or a lack of ‘kids who are committed’ in Pittsburgh as one of their employees suggested. The parents decide who the best program is by taking the better players there. If these mite and squirt parents looked at the reality of the path through Cranberry, they may choose elsewhere thus making those teams good. Two birthyears… 14’s and 15’s… sack up and change the world. 13’s belong to the streets now. Yes, everyone does mind the rankings. However there’s minding the rankings and then there’s making it your whole identity as a program. The former does the latter.
  4. Yes. Not creating teams until September allows the Pens to hold kids hostage from going to other programs. It’s also to hold them hostage on a black team, because by Sept. they have no other options. It’s really fucked up__ and the fact that people don’t revolt right then and there is wild. The mite development league and 66’rs was created with the intent on sinking their hooks in early. I think they would even admit that. Unfortunately no one finds out until it’s too late that these guys just small fish in a smaller pond full of naive fish. I always have to hand it to them in some ways though, for as much grimy shit that goes on behind the scenes there, they also do things right out in the open. They would have you think they’re shot callers in the youth hockey world. They aren’t. They don’t even know what they’re doing in a general sense. One year a coach tells you ‘that’s wrong’, the next coach screams at you for not doing it ‘the wrong way’. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some good people involved there. As I always say, whatever good they try to do is always diminished by the overall narrative. It is beyond cringey to see how parents tip toe around these guys with self preservation in mind. People outside of Pittsburgh think PPE is a joke, especially hockey people. They create a tough schedule. That’s it. Win a few, lose a few, get that top 10 ranking and start cashing the checks. Thats how entitled this town, which isn’t a hockey town, has made that program. These guys would be chased out of a real hockey town, within a year. Pittsburgh people just keep lining up, because the high from driving around with that car decal is too good to pass up. Fuck the kids and their development. Give me that sweet sweet validation that my off-spring are a cut above the rest, everyone on I-79 will know it. Let me relish in the Facebook comments ‘he’s going to be playing with Sidney one day!!1!!1!’ … from my friends and family who don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground regarding hockey. UPMC Lemeiux is ground zero for the corporate mind who wants to buy or influence decisions when merit itself can’t get it done. They eat that shit up. If that’s you, you’re a Pens Elite Family. Or as they would say, ‘Pens Elite material’. If you can write those checks, keep your mouth shut, and kiss the ring then they have a spot for you until they don’t need you anymore. Even if your kid is the ‘best’ in PGH as all the squirt/peewee parents like to determine__ there’s still going to be promises made to outsiders once the time comes. You’re bought in by then and they know you’re not going anywhere. Take a seat and be quiet. Trust the process hssssssssssss…
  5. Why do the Pens tell squirt parents they won’t name the teams until August/September? Yet they have to commit in April. I feel like you would know for some reason.
  6. Who said they were all world. The conversation has simply been that every 06 Pittsburgh kid is in Cleveland. Last year, that 06 Barons teams with all the Pittsburgh kids on it shit kicked the 06 Pens team with everywhere else’s kids on it. The pens aren’t proficient at what they claim to do. They play a tough schedule, secure those top 10 rankings regardless of win and losses, then promote themselves as some powerhouse organization. Their results with giving kid’s opportunities to develop don’t even match up to lower level orgs around the country. The director thinks he’s creating the Chicago Mission 2.0. He is a pioneer in one sense, that he saw inflation coming for about six consecutive years now. As the prices have rose steadily over those 6 years, sometimes with 1k increment jumps to the next year. No more ice time, no additional training. Cost of freezing ice in Cranberry is just higher I guess. All that’s being created though is a haven for rich parents whose kids are otherwise unhappy elsewhere. Or parents who want to be sucked off by a program, and feel the warm feelings and validation of being wanted and recruited__At the expense of local kids. As I mentioned in the last thread (linked in the first post)__ the business model is to rely on locals squirt - peewee. Tell them everything they want to hear. Let them experience a soft ‘fucking’ in bantam minor. Then drop the bomb when it’s time for excel. We all know what you squirt and mite parents are thinking__ my kid is too good. Our team is too good. Ironically, no one has been more deep with local kids than the 06’s at the Pens. As of last year, 15o, they had what… 2 locals left on the team? Stop taking your mites there, stop taking your squirts there, if you’re still there in peewee’s start looking for alternatives in the next year. Or you will find out the hard way. Just like the rest of us whose kids were top notch, some of the best in the country, getting invited to all the exclusive spring teams, having the number 1-8 ranked team in country. If you can get two consecutive squirt birthyears to pull their head out of their ass (to no fault of their own; they’re new)__ but if you can educate these people on what they would avoid by going a different route early on__ you will get every birthyear to follow and that will be the end of this unfortunate period in Pittsburgh hockey. It’s a win - win for parents. Take all of PPE’s customers (as they call them) and put them in Harmarville for a season. Take out of the equation the pens jersey, the glorified concession stand, and the rinks. What will happen is the 08 Vengeance at every birthyear. There’s some seriously talented players on that team, your child, Mr squirt Dad is not better than their best player. So put your ego aside and get the crew rounded up. Go play for Zeiler or someone down there. Kids fucking love him. Forget the pens elite car decals, nobody cares about those past age 12. What do you want more? Your (local) kid to have a shot at development or 4-5 years of Facebook photos in a Pens jersey? Any doubts? Again, look at 08’s. They’re getting invited to all the popularity contests they would have if they were at Pens. No kid on that team is missing a beat. At probably less than half the cost of the cult, and almost certainly 1/4 the bullshit. Do you know what else they won’t do in Harmarville? They won’t force your squirt player to commit money to the team__ then not tell you if he’ll be on on the gold or black team until September. That whole process was created to undermine any other local programs attempt to get some of those squirt players away from Pens. There’s not a single legitimate reason why the squirt coach waits that long to create the team. Other than to serve PPE’s interests. Thats your first red flag, but if you miss it, don’t worry many more coming. What are the results? Why is some team in Jersey who practices 3 nights a week putting kids into juniors and college > the Pens 24/7 cult buzzsaw? Just an example. Very interesting when you start to look at the Penguins Elite’s results in developing kids. Columbus outperforming them heavily? Many such cases around the country, Why? They’re on the ice more than anyone… Why is the director now holding ‘excel’ camps in Sweden? Coincidentally there are now kids from Sweden at Pens. Mite/Squirt parents. When the phone call comes. Ignore it. Even if you’re at 66’rs now. Play the game, organize behind the scenes in those few years, then leave, don’t look back and change your numbers. If one of the Scientology members is still able to reach you, tell them you don’t have any money. They will leave you alone. Better yet, go have fun and play regular mite hockey with everyone else. Enjoy the local tournaments and that age in general. That’s one of the most special time frames in the process. Don’t let them take that from you as well___ even if your intentions are still to go the PPE route.
  7. Any pro pens stuff you’re reading here about the 08’s is either from an 08 pens parent or one of their employees. Obviously. I’m guessing Sal is a pens employee. They always give themselves away quickly__ just look for them to blame the parents in some capacity. It’s always someone else’s fault but theirs. Questioning the coach of the 08 vengeance is laughable. My child has never been coached by him__ I’ve simply had conversations with the guy, and have seen him in action enough to know his pedigree. I’ve had many conversations with Pens coaches__ some of which can’t even string a competent sentence together, while others are just your dime a dozen slick talking salesman. A good one here and there. Gene seems to care about his players, so if I’m an 08 V player__ I’m taking comfort in the fact that my coach is the best option in town, I’m actually being developed for long term success past amateur hockey, my home organization isn’t trying to exploit me of any expendable income I have, I don’t have to be in a cult by participating in excel, I don’t have to worry about getting boned because my peers parents are hiring the directors son to come teach their kids hockey at their house, I don’t have to worry about my development being so shitty that I may not get looks I would have otherwise got playing elsewhere, I don’t have to pay 40k a year to play hockey, my program isn’t actively looking to recruit players from everywhere but here for optics and money etc.
  8. Forbin, that’s the only way it stops. By getting the majority of squirt parents to buy in elsewhere. If people can get past the jersey and the rink, it will effect change for the Pittsburgh hockey community. PPE was smart though, they got involved with mite hockey so they can sink their teeth in early. This gives them every opportunity to recognize and try to break up any attempt at a birthyear going a different route. Think of union busting. As I mentioned in the tryout thread__ if all this crap actually led to good odds of kids getting places then so be it. It doesn’t. The Pens results with moving kids on are far behind other programs around the country and the exploit, and take advantage of local kids until they have no use for them any longer seemingly. A lot of these parents think it will never happen to them because their kid is too good__ please see linked thread above.
  9. Since the 07’ tryout thread has changed topic to PPE, makes sense to start a thread about the current topic. Definitely some required reading to see some of the experiences around the PPE.
  10. Well regarding money. Families are what, over 60k invested by Peewee major? And that’s just dues and travel__ not Grade school/Middle schools excel or any extra curricular. Actually, now that they’ve sunk their teeth into mites and 5 year old hockey, it’s probably over 80k leading up to peewee major. I would think it would be a decent thing to do by having a conversation about the state of that program. The data is all there to prove how shitty they are at what they claim to do. It’s just on the people who have been through the intangibles to tell the other side of the story. So I don’t view it as complaining as the other poster said. I view it as having a conversation on a medium meant for conversation, one that’s heavily trafficked by western pa hockey parents__ and potentially educating some people on what they’re getting into. It’s easy for some to say__ purchase the team or complain. When you don’t have a kid who has to leave home at 14 due to PPE incompetence. That organization should be serving local kids. Not pillaging them for all they are worth until it comes time for the academy prep school cosplay__ then either sending locals packing or catering to outside kids at the expense of the local. Get more squirt parents in the loop and reject PPE early on__ the whole landscape will change within two years. People operate under the guise that PPE is the end all be all for their kids. It’s those initial groups of ‘top’ squirts choosing where to play that dictates the power. Educate those parents and watch the hockey scene turn back into one that is free of the toxicity that permeates it from Cranberry. It’s that simple. Let them know that it’s cool to wear a pens jersey but it’s a lot more beneficial to have people who are invested in your child, working with your child. Prime example: the PPE coach on here thinks it’s black and white, kids just need to work hard because there’s no ‘magic wand’. Dude doesn’t even consider that there could be more to it than working hard, and that that has to come from the people who are involved with your development. Maybe that’s enough for a squirt player to have success hockey2020, as you well know, but there’s a lot more to it when hockey starts to matter at 14. And your program doesn’t know what or how to deal with it. And they aren’t even interested in finding out, because you’re enabled by parents who don’t know any better. I’d say PPE is on easy street, but it’s much more sinister than that given all the resources you extract from families. I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that PPE does have ‘some’ good people working there. Unfortunately their individual contributions cannot escape the shadow of what the executive directors version of the program is. Better said, you can have a good year with a good coach, you’re still going to run into the wall when it comes time for high school Excel. I would name said people who are just there to coach, but it would probably draw the ire of their boss who would view them as a threat, or that they’re co-conspiring with a person on a message board to under mine him. The situation is that dense. The UPMC rink is still leaps and bounds better than most, whatever issues it may be having. The 200x85 sheet of ice is the same everywhere… what goes on, on it is what matters. That’s where the Pens ‘cracks’ show…
  11. Well if you aren’t then that’s my bad. I apologize. I admittedly did not read your full post and focused on the solution part. It sounds a lot like the arrogance that comes from them, albeit I see now that you meant it in a different context. I admittedly just don’t like your solutions, with all due respect. I disagree with some of what you said about them being a private organization. In theory that’s true of course. However, if you’re going to operate under the umbrella of a pro hockey team, use their likeness to sell your product__ then you should probably not stray too far from the codes and ethics familiar to said program. As of right now, The Pittsburgh Penguins look complicit in harboring a youth hockey program that is widely known to screw over local Pittsburgh kids. The same kids who’s parent most likely have spent thousands over the years on Crosby jerseys and tickets to PPG. Furthermore, to my major point, they aren’t even good at what they do. That rink is a meat market of teenaged kids, where they heard the cattle on the ice, bark orders and hope everyone figures it out. It’s uninspired, non-detail oriented, vanilla crap that doesn’t benefit kids growth. It’s simply the repetition of being on the ice. Which is better than nothing, but there methods do not stack up to their competitors when it comes to taking athletes and developing for long term success. There’s no refuting this, it’s in the data.
  12. You sound obvious. Time will tell though. I bet we can revisit this convo down the line here and see if what was being discussed had some merit.
  13. I see we have the whole PPE squad on here now trying to do PR lol There’s certainly a lot of kids taking you up on your 2nd option huh?! Last years 06 pens team had kids that came in for that season, then got drafted. That’s half the point__ they aren’t developing kids, they’re attaching their names to kids success without having much of a hand in the process. Solution counter: - Stop the mass turn over on every team, every year. This entails a complete culture change. Stop Seriously talented local kids from falling behind their counterparts nation wide. Not getting opportunities they should have gotten because they spent all that time trusting the process and skating around punching bag dummies while other programs kids were getting legit training. - Stop blaming your shortcomings as a program on kids and families. Your model is seriously flawed. Most of the hockey community outside of Pittsburgh doesn’t take you seriously. When your program is brought up, eyes roll and sighs are let out. - Do away with Excel academy. The on ice portion of it is nothing more than a glorified skills and drills session that people can buy (at their own pace) for much less than the 30k it takes to do Excel. None of your results as a program justify having and forcing this program on players. You simply aren’t good enough at what you do to have this be an expectation. OR Two birth years folks. Two consecutive squirt birthyears choosing the Vengeance or some where else and it will get the ball rolling for birthyears to follow. Look at the 08 group at Harmarville thriving__ those kids are all doing great and getting invited to all the things they would have been if they were at Pens. If you can’t get over the rink, or the jersey just remember what you hear from those of us who’ve been through it. The parents decide who the best organization is. Take PPE’s whole ‘customer’ pool and put them in Harmarville for a year. I personally think you would see kids thrive, but at the very least, they would be doing the same. Albeit with people who actually care about them. And no 30k for Excel. No smoke and mirrors around every turn. No organizations heads trying to sell them down the river when they’re 14__for the optics of bringing in an out of town kid.
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