Jump to content

What if the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers got together and really supported Youth Hockey and the Community School Programs it serves?


Recommended Posts

 

So nearly 1000 people showed up at UPMC Lemieux in support of Willow, the Mars goaltender playing on their Varsity Team. That is just fantastic as she is playing for the Varsity and Junior Varsity and that alone is a huge task and responsibility. She should be commended for her courage and skill level for her accomplishment to compete at the Varsity.

So what about the other 15-19 Players on the Mars team and the other 30-40 + Players in the Mars Program. Mars is a 2-time Pennsylvania State Champion and Steve Myers is a former player and an excellent young man coaching that program.

The players from Mars work their tails off from the time they are 5 - 6 years old player Amateur, School and sometimes Elite Travel Hockey as a build up to the pinnacle of their High School Hockey Careers, a shot at the Penguins Cup and a possible Pennsylvania High School Hockey Championship.

And it doesn’t stop with Mars, as there are over 100 programs in the State of Pennsylvania that when they suit up every year in the Fall with the same goal. High School Hockey is now in its 50th year (1971-2021) and gets minimal promotion from the Schools, the Media and the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.

There is a book published in September titled Pennsylvania High School Hockey Championships available at www.pahockey.net  and this tells the story about High School Hockey, its beginnings and roots and chronicles great teams, players and coaches over 50 years in Pennsylvania. Armstrong has had a program for 49 years and many terrific teams, players and coaches and 2 Penguins Cup Championships in a program with over 700 wins!

The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation is a wonderful organization established by the Pittsburgh Penguins, with a mission of growing outreach in the community and raises a lot of money to provide many services to many community organization. This group was founded and led by Dave Soltesz for nearly 15 years and supports  Learn to Play Hockey Programs, Amateur Hockey, High School Hockey, Elite Travel Hockey and many other causes. And that is all great and wonderful but they can do more if it’s truly their mission?

Let’s all remember what High School Hockey is all about which is young high school students representing their school and community. Hmmm – That’s interesting as its EXACTLY what the mission of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation is ALL about.

There is a program in Illinois very similar to the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation called Blackhawk Charities that culminates in the Illinois Blackhawk Cup State Championships with well over 12,000 Fans (Mostly Students of School Programs) at the United Center for the Championship Games. This is as close to Minnesota High School Hockey as it gets whereas that Annual Event sells out in St Paul every year and has for many years. Both of these States have Girls High School Hockey Programs.

My question is why not Pennsylvania?   If the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers got together and really supported Youth Hockey and the Community Programs it serves, they could accomplish this very easily and Pennsylvania High School Hockey would be a hotbed for hockey second to none.

Hopefully this situation with the Mars and Armstrong Programs can springboard a celebration of the community, growth of programs and embrace the history of High School Hockey. It would take a lot of coordination, organization, and getting schools and their communities more involved. Much of this is in place and there is plenty of money floating around to do it. What this movement lacks is leadership, ingenuity and passion for the sport.  When this happens, maybe we will as a hockey community be ready embrace the sport and fans we are now banning from the games?

Thanks for your time!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly, that surge of interest to attend that game did not come from the Pens. That was the hockey community in general. My social media blew up in various groups I belong to and plans were being made to go to that game well before the Pens got involved 

 I feel like they rode the wave, rather than built it.

What are suggesting they do?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Pa Hockey said:

Without the Penguins UPMC Lemieux never happens ?

Right but building UPMC Lemieux is pretty self-serving.  Us first, tax deductions second, community third.  And by community, I mean only elite portion of the community.  You know, the Pens and Friends.  So again, very self-serving in many ways.

  • 100 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Jack Handey said:

Right but building UPMC Lemieux is pretty self-serving.  Us first, tax deductions second, community third.  And by community, I mean only elite portion of the community.  You know, the Pens and Friends.  So again, very self-serving in many ways.

Absolutely and could be better if they chose to which is my point !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Pa Hockey said:

Very well Thank You !

I am glad to hear it.  You put a lot of effort into it.  But your last report was that you were around 200.  You say there are 100 HS programs so you are averaging 2 per program.  That's not enough interest to build the movement you want to see.

  • 100 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Jack Handey said:

I am glad to hear it.  You put a lot of effort into it.  But your last report was that you were around 200.  You say there are 100 HS programs so you are averaging 2 per program.  That's not enough interest to build the movement you want to see.

You need to buy your copy LOL 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I beleive this idea could work but it would need to come from the NHL.  The NHL would need to mandate some portion of profit sharing/support that goes directly to the local hockey community.  For this to work you have to take $$ from the owners, this is where the idea fails without support from the highest level.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, HSFBLJ said:

I beleive this idea could work but it would need to come from the NHL.  The NHL would need to mandate some portion of profit sharing/support that goes directly to the local hockey community.  For this to work you have to take $$ from the owners, this is where the idea fails without support from the highest level.  

Great point or like Illinois the Penguins and Flyers could choose to invest in the community hockey programs ? The Penguins Cup and Flyers Cup should be in the NHL Arena to Start ! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Jack Handey said:

well they are pouring money into Hunt Armory.  Does that count?

That's a good thing to have an arena in the city but their approach to how to develop it cannot be to just throw money at it ,,,,,,,,,,,,it will take a full developmental model from LTP through High School and College to have it reach its potential and I don't see it going to the next level 

Edited by Pa Hockey
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is no way you can compare pittsburgh to Minnesota or even Chicago. Pittsburgh is a small town that doesn't know that it is a small town.

We will NEVER be a hotbed for hockey when over half of the population still doesn't know what hockey is or doesn't care what hockey is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

47 minutes ago, Ron Shock said:

There is no way you can compare pittsburgh to Minnesota or even Chicago. Pittsburgh is a small town that doesn't know that it is a small town.

We will NEVER be a hotbed for hockey when over half of the population still doesn't know what hockey is or doesn't care what hockey is.

5 Stanley Cups for the Pittsburgh Penguins doesn't mean much does it?  Wow ............Really?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

2 hours ago, Pa Hockey said:

5 Stanley Cups for the Pittsburgh Penguins doesn't mean much does it?  Wow ............Really?

Not with "fans" around here. How many fans could tell you:

-the names of every player on the Penguins team, and what line they're on? 

-name every team in our division? 

-tell you TWO players on each team in the league? Or even on half of the teams? 

-how many games they watch in a season (not even attend, but on TV)?

Take a poll next time you're at a game. See how many people are really hockey fans, and not there for the free corporate tickets or because we've had the best hockey players in the world here virtually since 1984 and that tends to draw a crowd. I think you'd be disappointed. 

I'm not knocking anybody, just being realistic. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Ron Shock said:

There is no way you can compare pittsburgh to Minnesota or even Chicago. Pittsburgh is a small town that doesn't know that it is a small town.

We will NEVER be a hotbed for hockey when over half of the population still doesn't know what hockey is or doesn't care what hockey is.

I agree, Pittsburgh is not a State like "Minnesota" or a city as big as Chicago. Pittsburgh is a small town comparatively. Was a hotbed for High School Football talent. Maybe not so much anymore.  Has come a long way in the last 20 years with Hockey but still has along way to go to get there and probably never will.  I think the Pens and Flyers supporting High School Hockey more would help for sure. It's a great idea to play the State Championship games in the Arenas. The Flyers and Pens should make it free admission for the games and give an incentive to Schools that bring their teams to the game. Would love to see 10,000 fans at a State Championship game. It's called "Promotions"

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, hockeyisgreat said:

I agree, Pittsburgh is not a State like "Minnesota" or a city as big as Chicago. Pittsburgh is a small town comparatively. Was a hotbed for High School Football talent. Maybe not so much anymore.  Has come a long way in the last 20 years with Hockey but still has along way to go to get there and probably never will.  I think the Pens and Flyers supporting High School Hockey more would help for sure. It's a great idea to play the State Championship games in the Arenas. The Flyers and Pens should make it free admission for the games and give an incentive to Schools that bring their teams to the game. Would love to see 10,000 fans at a State Championship game. It's called "Promotions"

great idea but they wouldn't get 10,000. hell RMU couldn't get 3k a game. what makes you think high schools would get 10 k ?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The number one problem with hockey is the cost.  I know many kids that would love to play ice hockey.  A lot start with dek hockey and roller hockey.  They never move to ice hockey because it is so expensive.  I also know parents who don't want their kids picking up a hockey stick because ice hockey is so expensive. The cost of the sport is the number one thing holding it back.  It would be nice to see schools help with the costs to reduce them.  Back in 2003 PIHL surveyed teams to see how much support they received from their  school.  Some schools received a ton and  some nothing.  It would be interesting to see or publish.  Maybe put pressure on the schools through social media.  Worked for the Mars/Armstrong incident.  Like someone said on here, I would love to know what they spend on the other school sports.  If you could get similar funding for hockey it would help A LOT! 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, sadday4hockey said:

Priority list for the Penguins

1. Make as much money as possible by any means possible

 

That's it. That's the list.

Yep.  With the latest being getting youth hockey to help them sell their empty seats under the guise of a fundraiser. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...