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Preds birth year teams all playing independent schedule


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2 hours ago, hockey57410 said:

PPE is $1300-1500 depending on BY

Vengeance is $1200 (even though some BY are dad coaches)

Esmark is $1200

Icemen - ?

Lebo AAA - ?

 

Not sure on any of the gym fees or trainer fees

Unless something has changed over the last few years, when my boys played PPE & Esmark did not charge (show) a coaching fee. It was all one lump sum. Ice slots, games, league fees, off ice, trainers, coaches etc. both of these organizations have staff on a seasonal salary for their work. Sure, you are paying for their salary in your seasonal fees but it was never shown nor talked about what any of the coaching staff made. 

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19 minutes ago, Corsi said:

A team's manager or head coach needs to contact the tournament director prior to registering and ask for a list of participating teams in whatever division they plan on entering.  Most will give you this info and then decide based off the other teams that are participating.  If the tournament is unwilling to do this, I would suggest moving on to something different, there's enough to go around.  No reason to go to NY or VA to play teams that are 20 minutes down the road.  

That requires a good team manager/head coach who knows what they are doing or cares. Lol. I hear ya, but too many of those tournaments jerk you around. There are some good ones.

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1 hour ago, Danner27 said:

Unless something has changed over the last few years, when my boys played PPE & Esmark did not charge (show) a coaching fee. It was all one lump sum. Ice slots, games, league fees, off ice, trainers, coaches etc. both of these organizations have staff on a seasonal salary for their work. Sure, you are paying for their salary in your seasonal fees but it was never shown nor talked about what any of the coaching staff made. 

I think maybe things have changed at some organizations and they charge a separate fee for Head Coach and sometimes dryland.  I haven't run into one yet but that is what I have heard from others.  

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1 hour ago, Danner27 said:

Unless something has changed over the last few years, when my boys played PPE & Esmark did not charge (show) a coaching fee. It was all one lump sum. Ice slots, games, league fees, off ice, trainers, coaches etc. both of these organizations have staff on a seasonal salary for their work. Sure, you are paying for their salary in your seasonal fees but it was never shown nor talked about what any of the coaching staff made. 

This is what I have heard.  Esmark is all inclusive.  I think the Pens does have a team fund to pay for the coaches travel.

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2 hours ago, Saucey said:

This is straying from the topic a bit, but I find tournaments to be the least useful thing you can do dollar for dollar. I'd rather schedule some independent games and control who you play. They are largely a racket.

I don't disagree with what you said here, except that it's a matter of perspective. Whether a tournament is worth attending is a matter of what your goals are. I have found that going out of town for a tournament is a nice team building thing, and the kids (and the parents) generally have a great time. They're not a great way to find competitive games because they're hit and miss on that, and as we noted, you often end up playing someone you could have played at home.

In other words, you don't go to a tournament as part of building your national bound or AAA resume. That's true. But there are maybe some other good reasons to go to them, for some teams. If my kids were on one of those "AAA" or "AA" teams our area seems to have such an abundance of on paper, I'd agree. They play so many games on those teams that adding a tournament seems silly.

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Generally, I find the larger the tournament the more likely you will have competitive games. The more teams the better the tournament director can divide teams into tighter skill ranges and the less the teams the more likely you will get someone out of place shoved into a bracket (either someone who beats all the other teams handily or gets beat by everyone). 

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Also remember, the further you travel, the less likely you are to see local teams.  Buffalo, Cleveland, and DC are all relatively close to Pittsburgh.  Stretching out to Detroit, Boston, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia may give a team a better chance at avoiding having to play local teams out of town.

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14 minutes ago, Corsi said:

Also remember, the further you travel, the less likely you are to see local teams.  Buffalo, Cleveland, and DC are all relatively close to Pittsburgh.  Stretching out to Detroit, Boston, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia may give a team a better chance at avoiding having to play local teams out of town.

and normally the only teams that travel to places like Detroit, Boston, Chicago etc. are the independent ones....

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Speaking of tournaments, has anyone registered for any Hockeytime events in Pittsburgh this season?

If so, you may be inclined to contact them and see what city they plan to ship you off to instead of Pittsburgh. The reason being that several teams that I know families with players on, had their event next weekend moved to different cities such as Detroit, South Bend and Cleveland.

It's also been rumored that the Black Bear group will not sell them any ice in town so do your due diligence.

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2 hours ago, forbin said:

and normally the only teams that travel to places like Detroit, Boston, Chicago etc. are the independent ones....

The only teams that should be traveling this far to find competitive games are legit Tier 1 teams!

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11 hours ago, hockeyisgreat said:

I think maybe things have changed at some organizations and they charge a separate fee for Head Coach and sometimes dryland.  I haven't run into one yet but that is what I have heard from others.  

The predator’s always had extra fee’s for Gary’s gym. they were at one time the “cheapest” “AAA” - advertised in the $2000 range. I could be mistaken, but I believe it was advertised just like that on their website.

I remember a dad telling us by the time he paid coaches fees. Slush fund, yellow helmet-gloves-bag-jerseys, some crappy league fee (njphl or something ?), mandatory gym fee etc the cost was higher than what we had ever paid @ esmark. (PPE had the highest fees in our day) This parent compared it to buying a new car “I thought it would cost this but by the time we drove it off the lot it was much more with all the up selling and it lost its value!” 
 

I will say the season fees at PPE were justified even though it was highest we ever paid. Excellent coaching & real trainers. My son was on the ice 3 days a week, off ice 2-3 days a week. He practically lived at the rink. Excel didn’t exist yet. In comparison Esmark had a joke of an off ice program with 2 days a week practice. 

on the flip side, esmark’s travel was higher than anything we ever did at ppe, I’m sure much higher than the predators.

Sorry to highjack this thread with fee’s but the current discussion of birth year teams just reminded me how few tier 1 teams there were 8-10 years ago in the states. Along with how good AA hockey was back then. I don’t think growth is the reason for the current landscape (not just in western pa) it’s people finding more ways to make money, younger parents with high hopes, truly uneducated parents falling for the sales pitch along with status parents. I also believe PPE helped destroy tier 2 locally with their bull$hit black teams. I remember watching the first year these black teams came out, it was a squirt major or peewee minor team I think (possibly 2004 BY I am trying to do the math real quick in my head as I type) I was dumbfounded how bad the players were, how bad they skated. I believe the coach was a dad with two kids on the team. It’s hard to remember, I could be wrong on the BY, I’ve seen to much youth hockey & it’s starting to run together anymore. Anyway, It went against everything PPE was trying to be. Looking back now it’s obvious why those black teams were created - $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ taken from the type of parents I was speaking about above, to subsidize the pro practice rink. The same kind of parents today that will gladly pay the money for that extra A at predators, Icemen, Vengance &  whomever else is calling themselves AAA these days. 

I am really showing my age, it’s probably time for me to depart this place. I’m thankful the majority of my kids playing days it wasn’t like it is today. If I could turn back the clocks, have the knowledge I have now, I would have tried to enjoy it more. Not worry about how well they play, how competitive they are etc. before you realize it, it’s all over. Sorry for ramblin’ on. Good luck to the younger parents, there are predators after your cash everywhere these days in the hockey world!

Edited by Danner27
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15 hours ago, stickboy said:

The only teams that should be traveling this far to find competitive games are legit Tier 1 teams!

Not sure I agree with this as a blanket statement...  for example earlier in this tread someone made the comment to the effect that "SHAHA 09BY is going to be a powerhouse in PAHL AA this season".  Should a Tier 2 team in that situation only stay local or only travel to Cleveland, Buffalo, and DC and have a good chance of seeing teams that they just beat up on 6 days ago?  I'm not trying to start an argument, but asking a legit question because of the Tier 1 comment above. 

That statement holds true for B and A level teams, but not the situation I proposed above.

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2 minutes ago, Corsi said:

Not sure I agree with this as a blanket statement...  for example earlier in this tread someone made the comment to the effect that "SHAHA 09BY is going to be a powerhouse in PAHL AA this season".  Should a Tier 2 team in that situation only stay local or only travel to Cleveland, Buffalo, and DC and have a good chance of seeing teams that they just beat up on 6 days ago?  I'm not trying to start an argument, but asking a legit question because of the Tier 1 comment above. 

That statement holds true for B and A level teams, but not the situation I proposed above.

Well, SHAHA 09 is peewee. I think it is ridiculous to travel so far at such young ages, worrying about playing teams. I also suspect they can find games locally. Tournaments are an expensive way to develop, add in extensive travel and that is worse.

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8 hours ago, Danner27 said:


I am really showing my age, it’s probably time for me to depart this place. I’m thankful the majority of my kids playing days it wasn’t like it is today. If I could turn back the clocks, have the knowledge I have now, I would have tried to enjoy it more. Not worry about how well they play, how competitive they are etc. before you realize it, it’s all over. Sorry for ramblin’ on. Good luck to the younger parents, there are predators after your cash everywhere these days in the hockey world!

It's great to have your wisdom and opinions here!  You are helping a lot of people here from your experience.  We may not always agree but what you have to say is always worth reading.  Thanks and I hope you keep adding from your experiences.

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9 hours ago, Danner27 said:

there are predators after your cash everywhere these days in the hockey world!

There's a few other market forces that are driving the AAA craze aside from the AAA proprietors.  These are:

Tier III junior hockey - USPHL, NA3HL, etc, where there are now hundreds of teams looking to find players to be competitive.  These teams are really businesses who are selling the dream of playing college hockey.

Junior hockey family advisors - NCSA and the like; they are salespeople who will pitch to you a path and a plan to get your kid into college hockey.  They are telling kids and their families that the only way to be looked at by scouts is to play AAA hockey at the youth level. 

 

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1 hour ago, Saucey said:

Well, SHAHA 09 is peewee. I think it is ridiculous to travel so far at such young ages, worrying about playing teams. I also suspect they can find games locally. Tournaments are an expensive way to develop, add in extensive travel and that is worse.

From their MHR it looks like their parents spending the $ for traveling.

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2 hours ago, Corsi said:

Not sure I agree with this as a blanket statement...  for example earlier in this tread someone made the comment to the effect that "SHAHA 09BY is going to be a powerhouse in PAHL AA this season".  Should a Tier 2 team in that situation only stay local or only travel to Cleveland, Buffalo, and DC and have a good chance of seeing teams that they just beat up on 6 days ago?  I'm not trying to start an argument, but asking a legit question because of the Tier 1 comment above. 

That statement holds true for B and A level teams, but not the situation I proposed above.

My statement was directed at further travel listed in the post that I quoted (Detroit, Chicago, Boston, Indy, etc.).  Tier 2 and Independent teams do not need to travel +4 hours to find competition.  

But it’s a runaway train, and now even the high end tournaments have recognized and are cashing in.  Motown Cup (Detroit) and CCM World Invite (Chicago) were once AAA tournaments of the best of the best.  Then they created Elite and AAA divisions, which are really just AAA and AA rebranded to sell more slots. Tier 2 and independent teams love to say they are going to so and so and playing in AAA division!  Just look at how many PAHL and local independent teams have been going to these tournaments in recent years.  And now the tournaments advertise Elite AAA and AAA/AA so to grab the rest of of the teams on the fence. The new American way - instead of earning the next level, just create another one in the middle (like Tier 2 BY 😉) so everyone can feel special and not accept reality…..
 

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56 minutes ago, stickboy said:

My statement was directed at further travel listed in the post that I quoted (Detroit, Chicago, Boston, Indy, etc.).  Tier 2 and Independent teams do not need to travel +4 hours to find competition.  

But it’s a runaway train, and now even the high end tournaments have recognized and are cashing in.  Motown Cup (Detroit) and CCM World Invite (Chicago) were once AAA tournaments of the best of the best.  Then they created Elite and AAA divisions, which are really just AAA and AA rebranded to sell more slots. Tier 2 and independent teams love to say they are going to so and so and playing in AAA division!  Just look at how many PAHL and local independent teams have been going to these tournaments in recent years.  And now the tournaments advertise Elite AAA and AAA/AA so to grab the rest of of the teams on the fence. The new American way - instead of earning the next level, just create another one in the middle (like Tier 2 BY 😉) so everyone can feel special and not accept reality…..
 

I understand what you are saying on some level, but you are misrepresenting how the that tournament in question brands it's divisions:  Is home to the premier AAA fall youth ice hockey tournament featuring Elite AAA Division and a AAA/AA Division. Top teams from North America and around the world come to Detroit for the most competitive youth hockey tournament in the world all in one major city.

What I pasted into it is taken directly from the site for the tournament you referred.  Yes, they have an Elite AAA division, but the other division is branded as AAA/AA.  Elite AAA is for Tier 1 teams and AAA/AA is for Tier 2 teams regardless of independent or affiliated.  Say what you want about if going independent is a good idea or if these independent team should be considered AAA, but all the teams in the AAA/AA division are doing is finding comparable opponents who are outside their region.  

My kids are long past youth hockey age, but if traveling an additional few hours to find competitive games vs. teams we haven't already seen upwards of 4 times between scrimmages, play-in games, regular season, and playoffs is a trip and an expense that I would have been more than willing to incur.  

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4 hours ago, Saucey said:

Well, SHAHA 09 is peewee. I think it is ridiculous to travel so far at such young ages, worrying about playing teams. I also suspect they can find games locally. Tournaments are an expensive way to develop, add in extensive travel and that is worse.

Unless the SHAHA 09 team is able to play the Pens or Vengeance 09 teams (and no, they aren’t as strong as those two teams), they aren’t going to find competitive games locally. They may lose a game in AA PAHL this year, but they’ll outshoot their opponents 2-1 just about every game. 
 

I actually like how they are structuring things. They are playing PAHL AA (unlike Preds 09 who aren’t as strong) and supplementing with a lot of independent games. Cleveland Barons, Team Ohio, etc. It would be bizarre for that team not to travel this year. 
 

To me this is how things should work. Don’t go independent until you absolutely dominate PAHL AA. Until then, it just hurts PAHL hockey for teams to go independent. 

Edited by RJUSHL
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Frankly, it doesn't make a difference to me if I drive two hours or four hours.  If you are a decent AA team you can't just go to any tournament.  You have to be picky.  And you better schedule some independent games.  2 games per team at home.  Guessing 700 a game.  So, 1400 for a pair of games.  Do this 3-5 times.  Your regular PAHL team isn't doing this. 

To those that complain about the travel, you completely ignore that most/all of the parents enjoy it.  And the parents that travel a lot are "hockey rich".  Which is more wealthy than the average rich family.

The other thing about playing a challenging schedule as a AA without travel is that a lot of ice is required.  Looking at SHAHA 09, they are hosting teams but had to rent ice from Rostraver.  Say you want to bring in 4 teams and offer every team 4 games, that is a lot of ice.  Most teams that travel for independent games travel for a minimum of 2 but prefer 4 if it is         

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1 hour ago, twoboys said:

Frankly, it doesn't make a difference to me if I drive two hours or four hours.  If you are a decent AA team you can't just go to any tournament.  You have to be picky.  And you better schedule some independent games.  2 games per team at home.  Guessing 700 a game.  So, 1400 for a pair of games.  Do this 3-5 times.  Your regular PAHL team isn't doing this.      

Really? Because the AA PAHL teams my kids play for do exactly this. 🙄 Many others do, too. My hockey rankings confirms it. You do not need to go independent to do this. Dear lord is that one a whopper. The Renegades, North Pittsburgh, Allegheny right off the top of my head.

I don't mind driving further than Cleveland since Cleveland you spend most of your time in the car running around to all the different rinks, anyway.

You do not need to go independent to do these things. If you want to play independent, fine, but under correct information, please.

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1 hour ago, twoboys said:

  2 games per team at home.  Guessing 700 a game.  So, 1400 for a pair of games.  Do this 3-5 times.  

What do those costs relate to? You should be able to secure ice time and refs for two games for less than $700 total. Or am I misreading this?

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