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muckerandgrinder last won the day on October 22 2021

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  1. First off.. I can’t believe that a spring hockey topic has gone of this tangent. But now that we are here riddle me this. If the AA kids in this instance apparently “cannot keep up with the faux AAA players” why should they all have use their time and money to play with them in PAHL during the season? BTW… backchecking… I’m pretty sure you started this post with your opinion already set in stone. I always thought that playing against better players was a good thing. Sorry your team didn’t run away with the summer sizzler banner.
  2. I’m amazed at how many spring/summer tournaments there are these days. It has to be nearly impossible to make competitive divisions with rosters being all over the place. I always had my kid doing private and group lessons this time of year because it gave him the freedom to play lax and baseball. Still skated 2-3 times a week plus dry land but the schedule was semi-flexible. And from what I see these days, you have a lot of kids who could use less 12-2 games and more work on their individual skills. At all levels.
  3. Yes. I agree 100%. My son followed that very same trajectory. Checking was the game changer for him and he thrived when the game got faster and more physical while others dropped by the wayside. He played AAA until he graduated. And yes. He plays beer league and has a blast. I just heard that Esmark rostered a bunch of AA players and was scouring for others after other teams tryouts were over. Still… nothing wrong with that either as long as you play a schedule that is on par with your level of skill. Pretty sure that is not Esmark’s way of doing things though. AA players can definitely move up to Tier 1. But a whole team of them playing high end opponents all season might not be the best idea. Again, this is one person with a few cocktails in them telling me this so who knows how much truth there is. That’s why I asked. Curiosity got the best of me lol
  4. The topic had turned to what was happening at 09s and younger and how it might affect Esmark. Basically I was asking if what I heard was true since it might be a factor in the local landscape WHEN THE ‘11 AGE GROUP IS AT BANTAM (2 years) AND MIDGET. Had the thread not wandered in that direction I wouldn’t have even brought it up. But, being that you wanted gravitate everyone toward “perspective” I have some for you as well. -You have referred to the , ahem,…mite age groups a few times in recent memory. Not in a bad manner but in regards to development. I thought it made sense since this after all, a place where people post about youth hockey. -You my friend are one shy of 700 posts on a freaking youth hockey message board. Rock bottom? Think about it. Perspective. 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏
  5. Could be the case at other age groups but I was just going by on what I heard about the ‘11s. If I’m correct Esmark doesn’t field teams until PW and never had any competition for players after Pens tryouts at 12U minor until now. Sounds like that has changed? Looked it up and it looks like Veng. and Preds had decent showings last year. Maybe they did well enough to retain players and draw players to their teams? Either way. Talking about ‘11s here but more or less wondering what effect Esmark having to compete for players at the younger levels will look like in a few years down the road. Funny how much info a pissed off parent who had their “faux PAHL AA/AAA independent” team dismantled will get up with in a ten minute conversation. My ears were bleeding lol
  6. Is there any truth to the rumor that Esmark ‘11 is cold calling people who did not make Vengeance and Preds 2011 teams to fill out their roster and added a bunch of AA players? Also heard that Pens ‘11 black got deep into their alternate callback list after players declined and headed for Vengeance and Preds squads. (Pens black also adding players cut by Vengeance and Preds?) If this is true Esmark could be taking a bit of a step back in the younger groups. it would be strange because Esmark has always been near the top.
  7. Same with the BY thing as well. Some organizations go that route when they do not have a strong group at that birth year. It’s perplexing. The other side of that is most of the challenging tournaments have BY divisions. Mixed BY tournament divisions have always been hit or miss. And these days if people are forking over $ for hotels, travel, fees they want more of a known quantity.
  8. I agree that if your potential competition in PAHL is solid, you should not go independent. It’s just plain crazy. And when I say “solid” I mean that at least 4 teams in your age group make a good match. If it’s only 1 or 2 then a sizable drop off, you spend 3/4 of your season winning lopsided games. And that is not good for anybody. The problem with sanctions or “boxing them out” at any birth year is that you set a precedent for other teams in age groups that might not have as strong of competition in their BY or mixed age group. I think that teams in those instances that branch out to go independent are doing themselves and everyone else a favor. It changes with each year/group but yes… I do agree that teams who go independent just for the ego or simply to “keep up with the joneses” are nuts. Its a copycat world though. Especially in youth hockey. As always, I’m seeing both sides.
  9. Quick thought. This situation and Armstrong/Mars. EVERYONE comes out of the woodwork to observe, analyze, critique and the video is picked over like the Zapruder film. Some posts are like mini novels. On the flip side, somebody posts something positive or constructive? CRICKETS. Tells you all you need to know about youth/HS hockey and sports in general.🤦🏻‍♂️
  10. The biggest problem with Silver Sticks (and has been for many years) is that they still use the same website from 10 years ago. They do not promote it and getting information on registration, dates, details etc. has always been difficult. There are a TON of tournaments out there now and many of the are subpar yet… they have glossy websites, slick banter (swag for the players and coaches!) and registration months ahead of time that is easily accessible. Also, higher level teams want to know who they are playing if they are going to be spending a weekend somewhere. Silver Sticks could still be relevant. They simply have to get out of the year 2005.
  11. Attendance is directly influenced by winning and losing everywhere. Even in major markets. I won’t bore anyone with stats but the Rangers, Bruins, Flyers and Blackhawks have played for less than 100% attendance in lean years. Given the regional population here that is way less than 50% of NY, Boston, Philly or Chicago it far less damning of the fan base when the Pens play to less than 100% capacity than a major market. I think the percentage of people who are knowledgeable and passionate about hockey here is in direct correlation to the size of the population. I’m not sticking up for Pittsburgh but just looking at numbers. High School hockey has been an institution in Minnesota forever. Yet they lost a franchise. And North Stars attendance was way down well before Green started the sale. The Wild have not played to 100% every year since they began playing in Minn. Winning = asses in the seats. Everywhere. Oh, and Detroit is the self proclaimed “HockeyTown”. They are at 84.4% in a new arena. We can throw in covid etc. but still. As far as HS hockey here, it’s not the kids or general population’s fault that hockey is treated like the red headed stepchild in HS sports. Just like PAHL… PIHL could do a better job with placements and divisions. When you have a very good TJ team playing AA with 5-6 AAA players on their roster the last few years I see a competitive balance problem. Not TJs fault at all. PIHL does a very vanilla job in evaluating teams and placing them correctly. The only time PIHL does a thorough job is with their constant book checks and boy oh boy, do they love the power of discipline aspect of their operation. Put some of that energy toward something constructive for the teams/kids and things could begin to get better.
  12. I’m going to play devils advocate here but judging from my experience, a sizable percentage of the parents who have played hockey do not yell at the referees. That is a solid statement that I can get on board with. That said, a lot of them do tend to lend their “expert” opinions to other parents in the stands in regards to not only officiating but other topics such as questioning makeup of lines, d pairings, PK/PP etc. Parents are new to the game are easily influenced by another parent who extols a type of street cred simply because they played hockey at some point. I don’t think there is really a demographic for a good hockey parent prototype. It really comes down to “less is more” talking at games and practices and “if you are talking you are not listening” when it comes to your kid.
  13. A guy in my adult league has a kid on Preds ‘11s. Apparently they registered for the AAA/AA division and were moved up to “Elite” AAA without any input from the tournament. Tried to move back down to where they registered but we’re not allowed because the schedule was set and the weekend went as expected.
  14. Before the name calling and pillow fights start up gain I figured I’d chime in. Had to take a look at the rankings and it looks like this thread’s whipping boys Predators ‘09 tied #52 Belle Tire AAA and only lost by a goal to #47 Westchester Express AAA by a goal today. I Know that anything outside of the top 20 is not worthy and some people will find ANYTHING to pick apart a team or organization but still.. It also looks as if their ‘11s are solid as well at #41. Next PAHL team on the board is SHAHA AA at #118. (Not to mention PPE black @ #96 lol). Just throwing some actual info into the mix here Edit… sorry N.Pitt @ #84 for the ‘11 group.
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