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All the "gifted" hockey players I know are playing at a steep discount or even playing for free in some cases. Bottom line: if you're good enough, someone will make sure it's possible for you to play. If you're paying full price, well, your kid is probably not as good as you think he is.
The fact that youth hockey is a business cannot be seriously disputed, but luring kids in to tryout for teams they have no chance of making is messed up. Try not to laugh too hard, but there is supposed to be some element of development of players mixed in somewhere. I don't feel bad for the parents who pay the money because if you do your homework you should be able to figure out where your kid might have a chance of making a team. But when my kid was younger I got fooled into bringing my kid to a tryout for a picked team, the kid was crushed (for a day), I lost some money, but was wiser for the experience.
If a kid is good enough and dedicated to hockey, $$ will not be the issue. We all know that some coaches and orgs would waive fees for a player of that talent. I know for a fact that a few coaches take $$ out of there own pockets to pay for kids who cant afford it. $$ is only an issue for mediocre players.