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Everything posted by Corsi

  1. Then who is at fault? Players and parents who can and want to do it, the organizations who let the teams chart these courses, tournaments that recruit these teams, skills coaches who work with these players, PAHL, MidAm, or USA Hockey as a governing body. I guess my point is that you shouldn't be blaming the parents or the players for doing something that is readily available for anyone who wants to do it and has the ability to do it. So if everyone other than PPE and Vengeance continued to play PAHL "AA", do you not think that the players that are playing what you call "faux AAA" wouldn't all still get together under one or two teams/organizations and do the same thing? This box has been open and it isn't going to get shut no matter how much people don't like it. I've long advocated that the best way to possibly combat some of this is better education for parents and players at younger levels as they are entering the game, so they are aware of what the path looks like and what the odds of "making it" truly are. Until something like that happens, it doesn't make sense to be critical of the choices other people are making as far as it concerns their family and their finances.
  2. This is the point that I was trying to make earlier, and all of this I feel ultimately comes down to a few things: 1. Can a player play at that level? Be it "AAA" or PAHL "AA" or another PAHL level. 2. What are the players/parents comfortable with as far as travel and financial commitment is concerned. I understand why people on here criticize the cost, but who's business is it to criticize families on how they choose to spend their money. I might not think that my nextdoor neighbor needs to spend $50,000 on a new car because a $30,000 car will do the same thing, but it's their money to spend, not mine.
  3. Yes, that is very accurate. If you figure a team that has a volunteer coach vs. a paid coach is probably saving the group as a whole maybe $10k for a season, so there's a good bit of expense right there and then you add in playing additional "one off" games to fill a schedule someone has to foot the bill for ice and officials. It is ultimately up to the team what they are comfortable with spending and the amount of travel they are willing to do.
  4. 100% I would make an educated guess and and say you are probably in the high $4k - low $5k once you add in the "ice and other things". Travel expenses are their own animal, but I would guess the number I threw out above would be pretty accurate for just the hockey related expenses excluding travel.
  5. 100% correct, but call it what it really is... not "competition", a THREAT to their "little Crosby".
  6. Yes, 100% agree. One other thing I would add is if you are interested in moving to a different organization or a higher level, take the time to talk to another parent who has a kid on that team, or in that organization and see what they say and what their view of that team/organization is. There's always a chance that a given team at a higher level might not be a good fit for numerous reasons, but the biggest issues I've heard about over the years have been: 1. Coach's style isn't a good fit. 2. Player wasn't ready for that level of intensity/commitment. 3. Not a good fit with other players/parents. 4. Financial commitment/travel schedule. Parents definitely need to do their research prior to making a decision because each of those issues can be addressed prior to jumping somewhere. Don't be afraid to reach out to a head coach and ask to speak with them get an idea of their philosophy on coaching and other aspects of what a season would look like.
  7. I think that is where personal choice comes in. If there was better parental education when players were just becoming involved in the game, then the reality of .001 would resonate and parents would be put in a position to make a much more well informed decision. I'm also not saying that this is the best way to structure things, in fact I would argue that it isn't, but the reality of the situation is that this is the way that ALL youth sports are being structured now. Regardless of if we are talking about hockey, soccer, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, if a family chooses to participate on any advanced level, there is going to be a cost associated with moving up to a higher level. Every family will have a different level of comfort when it comes to pushing their player to develop. If the player doesn't want to attempt to be part of that .001 I don't have a problem with that, the same way I don't have a problem with a player who is pushing for that .001% opportunity. As long as players at all levels are getting a chance to continue to participate, I don't see a problem with it, but there should also not be a judgement passed on parents or players regardless of what end of the development spectrum they choose to pursue.
  8. My kids have all aged out, but here's the advice I would give: Play at the highest level that your player is capable of playing and your personal economic situation allows. If you enjoy traveling on weekends and spending time with the parents, then do it. If you don't or your personal situation doesn't allow it, then don't do it. Hockey has changed, and the correct path isn't always a straight line anymore. Hockey, and ALL youth sports, has become a business and that's not going to change. If your player has the skill to play at a high level, do it... if your financial and social situation allows you to do it, do it... if you and the rest of your family are comfortable with it, do it. All anyone on here can do is give advice based off of what their experience and knowledge tells them. If someone doesn't agree, that's fine, but instead of attacking, share the difference of opinion and debate, no reason to get personal or go on the attack. Ok, back to hockey... With all the tournaments that are available now and with LiveBarn, if a player is really talented they more often than not get noticed. Players from PAHL teams get invited to Mid-Am Evaluation Camp. Very rarely do those kids get chosen, but they get the opportunity. From what I understand from speaking to evaluators the difference tends to come from the difference in the intensity of the game as the level of play ramps up. Regardless of what you have to say about "faux AAA" teams, if they are ranked in the 40's to 60's and the PAHL "AA" team is ranked in the 120's the difference between the teams is usually due to the teams strength of schedule. With a more difficult schedule usually comes a higher level of intensity and can a "good AA player" adapt to the speed, physicality, and intensity of a "AAA" game?
  9. I would say 3 ways, one was already mentioned: 1. Are you getting asked to come to PPE, by people affiliated with PPE? 2. Let people from outside of Pittsburgh see the player and evaluate them. Most of those evaluators know that if you are in Buffalo or Detroit doing a camp or an evaluation weekend, they know that you are most probably not moving there to join a team, so the evaluation would, most likely, be accurate. 3. Go to clinics/camps with players that are playing on "high-end" teams and see with your own eyes where your player stacks up against those other players.
  10. BeaverFalls, you made 2 very good points. Yes, the biggest issue right now is the lack of parental education which leads them to believe whatever they are told, and thus the arms race to be on the team with the most A's while not knowing where their player really is in the pecking order of players. If coach X tells them that Billy has a future these parents blindly follow it. Also, yes camps and lessons are key but eventually the skill level you are playing with and the size of the organization become key. It's not helpful to have a player with AA/AAA skill playing on an A major roster if they are just dominating.
  11. Yes, I believe State College has had a few over the years, mainly at younger age groups, but that was years ago. Those teams seemed to have broken up and players have moved on to other organizations. Looks like none of those organizations have anything above "A" anymore.
  12. My understanding is that Appalachian Elite is/was a team that was created in that area as a response to the Mid-State Mustangs. From what I heard in past, it was a group of parents from that rink that weren't fans of Mustangs and started that team/program as a direct competitor. I'm pretty sure at one point both played split seasons between Mustangs or App Elite and their PAHL teams (Jets, Trackers, Icers, Warriors, etc). I think that at one point App Elite and the Johnstown Jets rosters were almost identical.
  13. Its only 1 sheet of ice, but the only 2 groups that rent ice are Bethel Park scholastic and SHAHA. They get priority and there is no or very very few public sessions and such there.
  14. If I remember correctly, they did the Hockeyville updates, but the issue was that there is concrete behind the boards, because the ice sheet is below the stands. The NHL and the NHLPA decided that it wasn't safe to host an NHL game if there wasn't any "give" to the boards as a very valid player safety concern.
  15. Yes, I believe Saucey is correct. Most of the contracts the organizations have with rinks extends until the end of April or early May so they use the ice when they have access to it. I also, believe some varsity programs have Summer conditioning/lifting programs for the players, so it allows them to have those players and numbers in place. I do wonder though, what happens if a player moves into a given school district in July or August, would the teams have a spot available, especially if the player in question is a good player? My instinct is to say that no coach is going to to turn down a player that could help their team, especially at the varsity level.
  16. The games are usually competitive, but some schools will have AAA level players playing with B level players, so things have been known to get out of hand from a score point of view depending on the depth of the teams from time to time. Probably no different than PIHL.
  17. Also, this is not a new phenomenon, things like this have gone on with all higher level organizations in all sports for years. 99% of the time when a "new" player makes a AAA roster, they were on the coaches and other team officials radar for months before tryouts even occur. Occasionally, you will see someone "off the street" make it, but they are truly facing an uphill battle for spots due to the factors mentioned above. If this is the right way to do it or not is another question, but in reality this how it works across all amateur sports that are able to recruit and are not locked into specific geographic (school district) locations.
  18. Huh??? My kid aged out a few years ago. Not sure what that is supposed to mean. I know about the SHAHA 09 team because I have a friend with a player on the team and because of that relationship I went to some of the games this past season.
  19. I watched the 09 PAHL AA championship game. Yes, SHAHA won 2-0, but the goalie kept Lebo in the game. The 1st goal was on a 2 on 1 and the 2nd goal was an empty netter that Lebo put into their own net. Without the goalie, SHAHA probably puts up more than 6 goals.
  20. The rumor is that one of them is moving to Florida, and the other was told he wasn't coming back and will be at SHAHA 09 pending the outcome of PPE tryouts.
  21. Not sure how it's "questionable", all the 2009 teams are going to be playing their 1st year of checking, regardless of "AAA", "AA", "A", or "B"... so its equal footing for everyone from that perspective.
  22. I reached out to my friend about this. It has nothing to do with the SHAHA organization not making it easy to schedule the independent games, it was that the ice time was already accounted for by other teams in the organization having PAHL games scheduled, which took precedence to the independent games. He did mention that the organization and the scheduler have been very supportive, but this was an issue with other teams within the organization's regular season game schedule being a higher priority.
  23. In theory that is the best way to do it, I know that 2009 SHAHA did that exact thing this season (I know it is only Pee Wee, but it's a good example). I'm friends with a parent on that team and from what I've been told, the issue comes when scheduling the extra 20-30 games. The "AAA" teams ranked in the 50-100 range won't schedule a team with the "AA" next to it because it destroys their ranking if they were to lose or tie. So the "AA" team ranked in the 120-150 range doesn't get a chance to challenge themselves against better teams without having the "AAA" next to the name. I'm sure that sounds crazy, and it is, but that's the way that clump of teams schedule, in order to keep the "AAA" moniker alive.
  24. Thank you Mr. Freeze for stating it this way. That is the problem that PAHL runs into and the reason you have teams going independent. Playing a PAHL AA schedule is similar to going to a tournament with 2 strong teams in a division and 4 weak teams, you still HAVE to play games vs. the weak teams. As a parent of a player that has since aged out, I used to HATE traveling to Buffalo, or Detroit and having to be at a rink at 7AM to play a game that ends up 10-0 with a running clock. Very similar things happen every weekend in PAHL at the AA level when one of the "powerhouse" teams has to face one of the lower level teams. These are also the games that often end up featuring high penalty minute totals and parents acting like idiots out of frustration. I get the reasoning behind playing an independent schedule if you are one of the strongest PAHL teams in a given BY with little or no competition within the division.
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