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AAA Updates?


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6 minutes ago, hockeyisgreat said:

Do you mean if they were in the PAHL? Or do you think they should play against each other locally? I think Vengeance, Esmark and the SHAHA 06 team can be competitive with PPE.  Why should you care if parents want their kids to play AAA. We have already established that 99.9% of these kids are going to play beer league after 18. Let them play where they can and figure it out on their own. Who are we to tell them where and with whom they should play?

I don’t care where people take there children to play. I was referring more to the fact that the teams would be more competitive locally. You can start a AAAA division and parents will throw their wallets at it.  The AA/AAA local teams could play a tournament every season if they wanted too. It would be good competitive hockey. Which is great for the sport and kids who will play beer league where they are playing AAA/AA now or the very high division of independent. Parents and Coaches worry to much about hockey rankings. Drop the puck and play.

 

9 minutes ago, Pucks11 said:

If PPE is the only REAL AAA team then how would playing more games locally be great hockey. Most of those teams go to Ohio,  Michigan and NY (Buffalo) which are all under 5hrs. 

PPE has not gotten 1 kid to the NHL where that chain smoking guy you speak of has had 2 kid drafted in the last 10yrs. 

Just trying to get the conversation started that you could easily look up in 10+ previous posts. 

If you play for PPE you will kiss their ass and no one else matters and everyone else sucks. If you play for Esmark you will kiss their ass and no one else matters and everyone else sucks. If you play for Vengeance you kiss their ass and no one else matters and everyone sucks. If you play for Preds  kiss their ass and no one else matters and everyone sucks. If you play Icemen you kiss their ass and no one else matters and everyone sucks.

 

It doesn't matter because in the long run if the kid is good locally then they leave before any of these organizations can fully develop them. 

At least you have it figured out. I could care less about ppe or any other team. It is just funny to watch people travel 5 hours when there is a team they could play in their area. Hard to be with impressed with 2 in ten years. High schools up North have put more in the nhl  then that 

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28 minutes ago, Pucks11 said:

If PPE is the only REAL AAA team then how would playing more games locally be great hockey. Most of those teams go to Ohio,  Michigan and NY (Buffalo) which are all under 5hrs. 

PPE has not gotten 1 kid to the NHL where that chain smoking guy you speak of has had 2 kid drafted in the last 10yrs. 

Just trying to get the conversation started that you could easily look up in 10+ previous posts. 

If you play for PPE you will kiss their ass and no one else matters and everyone else sucks. If you play for Esmark you will kiss their ass and no one else matters and everyone else sucks. If you play for Vengeance you kiss their ass and no one else matters and everyone sucks. If you play for Preds  kiss their ass and no one else matters and everyone sucks. If you play Icemen you kiss their ass and no one else matters and everyone sucks.

 

It doesn't matter because in the long run if the kid is good locally then they leave before any of these organizations can fully develop them. 

What I meant by PPE being true AAA is they play top tier opponents and are more nationally recognized. Teams playing locally would be Badgers, SHAHA, Vengeance, Esmark. That would be some awesome hockey. Maybe they could get the Icemen in their for a warm up. 
shaha played palmyra and got crushed twice. I don’t know if they played with an empty net or what but the scores were lopsided. So they drove clear to Philly to be reminded that one good forward doesn’t make a team. Just seems crazy that the organizations with teams that can compete don’t play each other more locally. Now where’s my cigarettes? 

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2 hours ago, Pucks11 said:

...

 

It doesn't matter because in the long run if the kid is good locally then they leave before any of these organizations can fully develop them. 

This truth is the way it is today.  If they are still local after 15U, that is pretty much the ball game.

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I think most of people complaining miss the point of playing AAA hockey.  Kids play AAA hockey cause they want to play Junior hockey.  Without junior hockey, you have a hard time making some ACHA club teams.  

Most of non traditional AAA teams or AA/AAA exist due to a heavily involved Dad who wants to be involved or have control.  

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13 hours ago, Big_Clapper21 said:

I don’t care where people take there children to play. I was referring more to the fact that the teams would be more competitive locally. You can start a AAAA division and parents will throw their wallets at it.  The AA/AAA local teams could play a tournament every season if they wanted too. It would be good competitive hockey. Which is great for the sport and kids who will play beer league where they are playing AAA/AA now or the very high division of independent. Parents and Coaches worry to much about hockey rankings. Drop the puck and play.

 

At least you have it figured out. I could care less about ppe or any other team. It is just funny to watch people travel 5 hours when there is a team they could play in their area. Hard to be with impressed with 2 in ten years. High schools up North have put more in the nhl  then that 

The problem is you go 5 hours away and end up playing those local teams away from home. Good AAA teams never want to come to Pittsburgh because they have quality opponents in their area. 

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6 minutes ago, dropthepuck said:

The problem is you go 5 hours away and end up playing those local teams away from home. Good AAA teams never want to come to Pittsburgh because they have quality opponents in their area. 

Little Ceasers, JR Flyers and Florida Alliance all came to Pittsburgh to play in the ATC tourney against the Vengeance a couple of weeks ago. I'd consider all three of those clubs to be quality AAA programs. 

 

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45 minutes ago, Jack Handey said:

Yep. This.  Look at the Mid-Am winners last few years.

As an FYI, PPE gets at-large bids to Nationals even if they don't win Mid-Ams.  Last year at Mid-Ams the 06 Barons took PPE to overtime in the championship game and lost, and if they had won the Barons would have received the automatic bid and PPE the at-large bid.

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2 hours ago, fafa fohi said:

As an FYI, PPE gets at-large bids to Nationals even if they don't win Mid-Ams.  Last year at Mid-Ams the 06 Barons took PPE to overtime in the championship game and lost, and if they had won the Barons would have received the automatic bid and PPE the at-large bid.

And I think that's part of the "legit" vs "faux" AAA argument/problem

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3 hours ago, fafa fohi said:

As an FYI, PPE gets at-large bids to Nationals even if they don't win Mid-Ams.  Last year at Mid-Ams the 06 Barons took PPE to overtime in the championship game and lost, and if they had won the Barons would have received the automatic bid and PPE the at-large bid.

PPE 18’s lost to Columbus in districts last year. PPE still got the at large bid. The 4 at large bids are based on hockey rankings. Esmark got into Narionals last season due to their ranking, along with a few districts not sending anyone. There was more than usual at large spots this past season due to covid. 

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4 hours ago, Danner27 said:

PPE 18’s lost to Columbus in districts last year. PPE still got the at large bid. The 4 at large bids are based on hockey rankings. Esmark got into Narionals last season due to their ranking, along with a few districts not sending anyone. There was more than usual at large spots this past season due to covid. 

The Barons 06 team went 2-0-2 against PPE last year going into the final at Mid-Ams before losing in OT while being ranked #16 in the country.  Don’t you think a top 16 Tier 1 national ranking would warrant an at-large bid?

https://myhockeyrankings.com/rank.php?y=2020&a=3&v=116

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6 hours ago, fafa fohi said:

The Barons 06 team went 2-0-2 against PPE last year going into the final at Mid-Ams before losing in OT while being ranked #16 in the country.  Don’t you think a top 16 Tier 1 national ranking would warrant an at-large bid?

https://myhockeyrankings.com/rank.php?y=2020&a=3&v=116

It really depends on the other teams that won their districts, that’s how they calculate the at large bids. If things haven’t change and my memory is correct, there are 4 at large bids. One would goto the host team. The other 3 to the top ranked teams (in order) that didn’t make it.

Let’s say the barons team you are speaking of was ranked number 16. For arguments sake, teams ranked 3,9,12, 14,16 & 21 did not win their district. Again for arguments sake let’s say Columbus is hosting nationals and they are ranked 45th. The at large bids would goto 3,9,12 & 45. 
 

unless something has change over the past few years, that’s how it’s determined. 

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I concur with the argument about general talent dilution but also the fact that everybody who wants to pay gets to play travel and there’s 8-12 different divisions tailored to each team dilutes things as well.  I personally don’t really care about the quality of youth hockey in the area that much. I really have no reason to. But to that affect, when there was simply a AA, A and B divisions, and each organization fielded 1 team in each, it was a different feel. 

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Let’s state the obvious (over and over again) that PPE is on a different level than everyone else as far as Tier 1 hockey goes in this area. There is no denying it. But it’s such a default to say that any other organization that fields a Tier 1 team is just there to sell snake oil to unwitting players and parents.
There is such a hyper focus on Tier 1 aspirations here and I personally think that everyone is missing some of the other components that drive teams/organizations to make changes.

PAHL-

Yes, it’s perfectly good league for a majority of the players (otherwise referred to here as the “have nots”) in the area. Tens of thousands of kids in the area from ages 5-18 have benefitted from PAHL as an avenue to pursue their passion of playing hockey.

But...

  1)The parent coaches are a must and under appreciated. That said, at times this leads to picking teams based on school/neighborhood friends. You can have 5 PW teams in an organization but it takes 1 hand picked zip code team to create a domino effect and muddy the waters for the rest. 

2)The FPP. Another valid idea that has some serious flaws. Yes... it has stopped some of the meat head mentality but at the same time there have been too many major birth year heavy teams that tend to play clean/physical (a.k.a on the edge) and are subject to the discretion of the home team officials. 
Don’t even think of having a team that is slightly bigger in size across the board. You will suffer for it.

3) A new term “Faux AA”.
What in the hell is going on around here? Teams claiming to be “AA” in PAHL before placements. New BY teams selling themselves to teams out of town as some juggernaut in July without any type of track record from the previous season, in order to get independent games before they even practice or play a scrimmage...  hope that November game in Philly, NY or Saskatoon is still a go if they lose to the Lawrence County #2 team in placements. I get it that some teams are locks for AA but not everyone who is flying the unproven “AA” flag right now. As a side note... they add too many teams to the AA divisions every season and at every level. 

PPE-

Quite simple. They don’t have to play anyone around here. Just don’t box everyone out. Acknowledge that other teams and organizations do indeed exist. I’ve always been amazed how Tier 1 and Tier 2 teams in other states/cities have worked together to assist visiting teams secure 3-4 game weekends. 
 

Sorry about the long post. To boil it down.. there are teams that do not aspire to be the Pens Elite. At the same time, they do not think PAHL is a good fit for them anymore. Teams are going independent or Tier 1 just as much to get away from PAHL as anything. 

My solution?
An Independent regional Mid Am A/AA birth year LEAGUE where qualification for entry is solely based on the previous season’s ranking and a few other variables (open to discussion). 
This would not eliminate the perceived “faux AAA” situation but I honestly think it would go a long way in fixing youth hockey in this area if not nationally.


 

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PPE overall is on a different level but at some ages that is not the case.  U18 Esmark is usually close enough to the PPE that they should play each other.  Same goes for the Vengeance at some of the younger birth years (2008 and 2009).

I disagree with the AA issue you raise.  PAHL usually places teams in divisions based on previous years.  So, if you were AA one year you will likely be AA the next.  Even if you are lousy it is very hard to move down.  Better chance of moving up than down.   Everyone knows that the AA advertisement during tryouts is just a goal not a guarantee.  If you don't you haven't done your homework and you deserve what you get.   

And you have to schedule games early.  Everyone does it so it involves a certain amount of guess work.  If you play an away game, for the most part home team doesn't care if you are good or bad cause they have a HOME game.    

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I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve seen big / tall kids have a nice clean hit but get called for roughing, boarding etc (Pahl, varsity & tier 1). All the while smaller kids get away with flying elbows. I don’t think this is any sort of league or level of play issue, it’s the refs & usa hockey. 
 

my niece is playing Pahl, her father just explained the fpp system to me, that wasn’t around when my kids were in Pahl. I understand what they are trying to do with it but execution is awful. I was also informed that if a player gets four minor penalties in a game they get suspended a game. This rule is even worse than the fpp point IMO. What does this serve ? We are talking about minor penalties - tripping, hooking etc there already is an advantage given for these non violent and non contact penalties called the POWER PLAY.  

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District and cross-district AA leagues have been discussed before among various circles of coaches, boards, and parents.  Even PPE approved of this at one point to make AA hockey more meaningful.  Independent birth year leagues are a bad idea in our district because there just aren't enough participants in some birth years to go around.  And pre-placing anyone based on last year's rating is generally a bad idea too.  Today's AA squirt is not necessary tomorrow's AA peewee or bantam - I can promise you that.

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4 minutes ago, Danner27 said:

if a player gets four minor penalties in a game they get suspended a game

Just to be clear, this is USAH, not PAHL.  And it used to be 5 penalties = suspension, now lowered to 4 in this latest round of USAH rule changes.  The coach suspension rule was also lowered by USAH in this latest round (15 penalties to 12 penalties).

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21 hours ago, twoboys said:

PPE overall is on a different level but at some ages that is not the case.  U18 Esmark is usually close enough to the PPE that they should play each other.  Same goes for the Vengeance at some of the younger birth years (2008 and 2009).

I disagree with the AA issue you raise.  PAHL usually places teams in divisions based on previous years.  So, if you were AA one year you will likely be AA the next.  Even if you are lousy it is very hard to move down.  Better chance of moving up than down.   Everyone knows that the AA advertisement during tryouts is just a goal not a guarantee.  If you don't you haven't done your homework and you deserve what you get.   

And you have to schedule games early.  Everyone does it so it involves a certain amount of guess work.  If you play an away game, for the most part home team doesn't care if you are good or bad cause they have a HOME game.    

Automatically AA?

Even if the whole AA team from last year moved up to bantam and the #2 team went 3-13 in A Major 3? 
  If that’s the case, why even waste games on placements? This actually adds to the reasons why some teams are moving on from PAHL at earlier ages.
For the record, I don’t like to see it because a solid, forward thinking (I emphasize “forward thinking”) local league is good for the game and the kids who play it. 
As far as scheduling goes, it’s not easy, but it’s not that hard to narrow down what would constitute a good matchup. I’ve done it and have scheduled games as early as May right after tryouts. (I do not miss it though! Lol) I look at your ranking and opponents  last season, you look at mine. Sometimes you have to look back a year or two. Sometimes you have to make a phone call.

   I will tell you this….HOME game or not, there is nothing worse than a team rep selling his/her team at a higher talent level than they are and wasting both team’s weekend with uncompetitive lopsided results. This happens way too often and from all I hear it’s getting worse.
 Sadly, some parents thoroughly enjoy winning three or four games over a weekend by 10 goals each. 

 

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19 hours ago, Jack Handey said:

District and cross-district AA leagues have been discussed before among various circles of coaches, boards, and parents.  Even PPE approved of this at one point to make AA hockey more meaningful.  Independent birth year leagues are a bad idea in our district because there just aren't enough participants in some birth years to go around.  And pre-placing anyone based on last year's rating is generally a bad idea too.  Today's AA squirt is not necessary tomorrow's AA peewee or bantam - I can promise you that.

Solid points. My suggestion wasn’t to force every organization into BY. Just give the option to some of the larger organizations who have the capacity and enrollment. 
I used MidAm as an example but between East/West PA, WNY, Ohio, VIrginia and Maryland I think you could definitely field enough teams for true AA divisions at multiple levels. 
No automatic qualification either. Your previous season would simply be component of the application process.

it’s not a perfect science and I know this will never happen. I’m simply into  solutions and the whole PPE vs. everyone else is beaten to death. There are kids out there who aren’t good enough to make PPE but are also getting very little out of what PAHL has to offer structurally and competitively.
This scenario has created the dreaded term “faux AAA” that everyone derides on a regular basis.

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28 minutes ago, muckerandgrinder said:

Automatically AA?

Even if the whole AA team from last year moved up to bantam and the #2 team went 3-13 in A Major 3? 
  If that’s the case, why even waste games on placements? This actually adds to the reasons why some teams are moving on from PAHL at earlier ages.
For the record, I don’t like to see it because a solid, forward thinking (I emphasize “forward thinking”) local league is good for the game and the kids who play it. 
As far as scheduling goes, it’s not easy, but it’s not that hard to narrow down what would constitute a good matchup. I’ve done it and have scheduled games as early as May right after tryouts. (I do not miss it though! Lol) I look at your ranking and opponents  last season, you look at mine. Sometimes you have to look back a year or two. Sometimes you have to make a phone call.

   I will tell you this….HOME game or not, there is nothing worse than a team rep selling his/her team at a higher talent level than they are and wasting both team’s weekend with uncompetitive lopsided results. This happens way too often and from all I hear it’s getting worse.
 Sadly, some parents thoroughly enjoy winning three or four games over a weekend by 10 goals each. 

 

Larger organizations usually have a AA team every year.  And they make up probably 75 percent of the AA teams.  Every so often you have smaller organization with a AA team.  Huskies at 07 and Aviators have a strong 10 team.  

 I don't think you realize how hard it is to get AAA, or even high level AA (talking top 10) teams, to come to Pittsburgh.  Even the Pens have less than 10 home games is my guess.  EVen the Vengeance at the younger birth years (08 and 09) which are strong teams play in Cleveland cause teams don't want to come all the way to Pittsburgh.  Home games are a treat for AAA teams even if they are terrible.  Sure you complain, but you also take it cause you saved a good amount of money.

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