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Youth Hockey
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Re: New League

Anon
anon
Anon
anon
Commish
If you were to structure a new league for NE hockey players how would you put it together. Could you design it so that the league is strong from top to bottom? Say 10 teams? Would there be a way to promote kids to stay with the current team (within reason)? Could there be a way to minimize the travel each weekend? How many divisions would have teams that could operate this way?

The ideas of having only high end talent in a league and minimizing travel are mutually exclusive. If you really want to maximize the level of play, you need to draw from a wide area and keep the density of teams low, with very little overlap in geographical reach (BTW this would also minimize movement within teams). Look at the HPHL: three teams in Illinois/Chicago and three teams in Michigan/Detroit.

How would this look in the Boston area? What if we kept everything the way it is now, with AA/Tier 2 teams sprouting up wherever the market allows, but formed a select league with eight teams:

Team New Hampshire/Vermont (put them somewhere in Hanover/Lebanon, NH)
Team Northeast MA/Maine (put them in the Valley Forum)
2 x Team Boston (no shortage of rinks)
Team Southeast MA (put them in Foxboro)
Team Metro West (put them in NESC)
Team Connecticut/Western MA (put them in Hartford)
Team RI (put them in RISC)

The state hockey governing bodies get together and sanction these teams as the only Tier 1 teams in New England, and watch all of the best players compete for the 136 spots in this league. Carry divisions from mite up through U18, and obliterate the high school landscape, including prep. This league would be a feeder to college hockey. You could even call the teams Jr Wildcats, Jr Warriors or Jr Riverhawks, Jr Eagles/Terriers, Jr Minutemen, etc and match each one up with the local college program.
Wow, bored? You put a lot of thought into that one.

Except, somehow, you missed the fatal flaw in your premise. There aren't 136 kids in every birth year that are "elite." More like 36. Which is why there are only "three teams in Illinois/Chicago and three teams in Michigan/Detroit." Not eight.


Pretty sure he included 6 states in his example.

Your immediate rage makes me believe junior wouldn't be close to included. The mere thought of not being considered "elite" again has you upset. We understand.

Sorry your kid would get cut if this ever became a reality.

Not sure A) where you saw rage in the presentation of an opinion, or B) why you then went right to a personal attack of me and my kid.

But, that aside, despite how much larger midwestern states are than NE states, there are kids from multiple states in the HPHL programs, too. If your kid WERE elite, and if you had PLAYED against those teams, and if you were likable enough that people would WANT to talk to you, you would know that the IL teams also draw from IN and WI, no different than the best teams in MA draw from multiple NE states today. The MI kids are mostly from MI, because MI is a big ******* state so it really isn't drivable. But, families do move, or have their kids live with relatives, which is crazy for pre-teens, but that's a discussion for a different day.

And I did include all six states in my assessment that there are maybe 36 "elite" kids in the area. I exclude from that NY and NJ, even though some of those families are driving their kids to the Gold Coast to play.

What else ya got?


Sorry your kid got cut.

Re: New League

Anon
anon
Commish
If you were to structure a new league for NE hockey players how would you put it together. Could you design it so that the league is strong from top to bottom? Say 10 teams? Would there be a way to promote kids to stay with the current team (within reason)? Could there be a way to minimize the travel each weekend? How many divisions would have teams that could operate this way?

The ideas of having only high end talent in a league and minimizing travel are mutually exclusive. If you really want to maximize the level of play, you need to draw from a wide area and keep the density of teams low, with very little overlap in geographical reach (BTW this would also minimize movement within teams). Look at the HPHL: three teams in Illinois/Chicago and three teams in Michigan/Detroit.

How would this look in the Boston area? What if we kept everything the way it is now, with AA/Tier 2 teams sprouting up wherever the market allows, but formed a select league with eight teams:

Team New Hampshire/Vermont (put them somewhere in Hanover/Lebanon, NH)
Team Northeast MA/Maine (put them in the Valley Forum)
2 x Team Boston (no shortage of rinks)
Team Southeast MA (put them in Foxboro)
Team Metro West (put them in NESC)
Team Connecticut/Western MA (put them in Hartford)
Team RI (put them in RISC)

The state hockey governing bodies get together and sanction these teams as the only Tier 1 teams in New England, and watch all of the best players compete for the 136 spots in this league. Carry divisions from mite up through U18, and obliterate the high school landscape, including prep. This league would be a feeder to college hockey. You could even call the teams Jr Wildcats, Jr Warriors or Jr Riverhawks, Jr Eagles/Terriers, Jr Minutemen, etc and match each one up with the local college program.
Wow, bored? You put a lot of thought into that one.

Except, somehow, you missed the fatal flaw in your premise. There aren't 136 kids in every birth year that are "elite." More like 36. Which is why there are only "three teams in Illinois/Chicago and three teams in Michigan/Detroit." Not eight.
So your recommendation would be that he should have less thought into it? It's a good premise, so it'll never happen. "Elite" is a meaningless term, but 136 "elite" players would be a much stronger league than however many are playing in New England right now.

Re: New League

Anon
Anon
anon
Commish
If you were to structure a new league for NE hockey players how would you put it together. Could you design it so that the league is strong from top to bottom? Say 10 teams? Would there be a way to promote kids to stay with the current team (within reason)? Could there be a way to minimize the travel each weekend? How many divisions would have teams that could operate this way?

The ideas of having only high end talent in a league and minimizing travel are mutually exclusive. If you really want to maximize the level of play, you need to draw from a wide area and keep the density of teams low, with very little overlap in geographical reach (BTW this would also minimize movement within teams). Look at the HPHL: three teams in Illinois/Chicago and three teams in Michigan/Detroit.

How would this look in the Boston area? What if we kept everything the way it is now, with AA/Tier 2 teams sprouting up wherever the market allows, but formed a select league with eight teams:

Team New Hampshire/Vermont (put them somewhere in Hanover/Lebanon, NH)
Team Northeast MA/Maine (put them in the Valley Forum)
2 x Team Boston (no shortage of rinks)
Team Southeast MA (put them in Foxboro)
Team Metro West (put them in NESC)
Team Connecticut/Western MA (put them in Hartford)
Team RI (put them in RISC)

The state hockey governing bodies get together and sanction these teams as the only Tier 1 teams in New England, and watch all of the best players compete for the 136 spots in this league. Carry divisions from mite up through U18, and obliterate the high school landscape, including prep. This league would be a feeder to college hockey. You could even call the teams Jr Wildcats, Jr Warriors or Jr Riverhawks, Jr Eagles/Terriers, Jr Minutemen, etc and match each one up with the local college program.
Wow, bored? You put a lot of thought into that one.

Except, somehow, you missed the fatal flaw in your premise. There aren't 136 kids in every birth year that are "elite." More like 36. Which is why there are only "three teams in Illinois/Chicago and three teams in Michigan/Detroit." Not eight.
So your recommendation would be that he should have less thought into it? It's a good premise, so it'll never happen. "Elite" is a meaningless term, but 136 "elite" players would be a much stronger league than however many are playing in New England right now.
Which is what the EHF originally was, and the MBHL before it. And, I do think super-regionalization will happen again, under the USPHL. Next year, or maybe the year after that.

But it won't be 8 teams in NE. That's not "elite."

Re: New League

Anon
anon
Commish
If you were to structure a new league for NE hockey players how would you put it together. Could you design it so that the league is strong from top to bottom? Say 10 teams? Would there be a way to promote kids to stay with the current team (within reason)? Could there be a way to minimize the travel each weekend? How many divisions would have teams that could operate this way?

The ideas of having only high end talent in a league and minimizing travel are mutually exclusive. If you really want to maximize the level of play, you need to draw from a wide area and keep the density of teams low, with very little overlap in geographical reach (BTW this would also minimize movement within teams). Look at the HPHL: three teams in Illinois/Chicago and three teams in Michigan/Detroit.

How would this look in the Boston area? What if we kept everything the way it is now, with AA/Tier 2 teams sprouting up wherever the market allows, but formed a select league with eight teams:

Team New Hampshire/Vermont (put them somewhere in Hanover/Lebanon, NH)
Team Northeast MA/Maine (put them in the Valley Forum)
2 x Team Boston (no shortage of rinks)
Team Southeast MA (put them in Foxboro)
Team Metro West (put them in NESC)
Team Connecticut/Western MA (put them in Hartford)
Team RI (put them in RISC)

The state hockey governing bodies get together and sanction these teams as the only Tier 1 teams in New England, and watch all of the best players compete for the 136 spots in this league. Carry divisions from mite up through U18, and obliterate the high school landscape, including prep. This league would be a feeder to college hockey. You could even call the teams Jr Wildcats, Jr Warriors or Jr Riverhawks, Jr Eagles/Terriers, Jr Minutemen, etc and match each one up with the local college program.
Wow, bored? You put a lot of thought into that one.

Except, somehow, you missed the fatal flaw in your premise. There aren't 136 kids in every birth year that are "elite." More like 36. Which is why there are only "three teams in Illinois/Chicago and three teams in Michigan/Detroit." Not eight.

Good point, but I never wrote elite in my post, did I? I said "high end", "Tier 1", and "maximize". I even called it a select league. Read the post twice if that's what it takes to get you past your biases. Is it a good idea or not?

As for level of thought, my kid's been doing this for 8 years now...yeah I've thought about how the youth hockey industry could do things better. And it took me about 6 minutes to type it out. I'm sure if I spent more time on it I could refine it to balance out the regions based on the number of registered hockey players.

Re: New League

People, stop obsessing over the word elite. This would (theoretically) be the top 136 players in New England, but of course only a handful would be elite. Get over it and stay on topic.

Re: New League

The OP made some good points. Although because these owners are understandably in it for profit, likely will never happen. New England is much deeper than most regions of the country in terms of depth of talent that runs the spectrum( i.e very good, high end, elite talent). Very good- have a chance to play d3, high end- potential d1, etc, etc. Lets not get too caught up in the verbiage; Elite, AAA, Premiere, blah, blah...

8 teams at each birth year is more likely to field 20-23 players each incl goalies- 180+, with talent levels that would run the aforementioned spectrum. Nothing wrong with that! Each birth year ( Throughout New England) has 40-50 players going to Natty Camp and 150-200 kids playing in their regional festival. Add in the handful of the relos, billets, canadiens/overseas kids ( just as the midwest youth leagues do) and you have yourself a league. Not to say you have to make a festival to be in the mix. Just using it as a reference.

The FED over the last few years has been the closest thing to it. Plenty of players in the E9 and other leagues that could easily play in the FED and will ultimately pass many of the current FED players down the road. Many choose to play outside the FED for a variety of reasons. Some who do play FED are there for reasons outside of their ability, no doubt. Its a lot like life!! What league you are in as a 10 or 11 year old should have zero bearing on where you go with any sport. Those of us with older kids have seen every example.

The biggest issue around here is that hockey at every level has been watered down. Too many programs, too many choices, Too much marketing, Everybody trying to make a buck. Although MN is far from perfect, they seem to have a better handle on things than we do.

IMHO

Re: New League

Right now both leagues claim a supposed 19 elite teams between leagues. Trimming to 8 would help but 6 would be ideal. 8 takes you from 323 players to 136. Acceptable start. Going to 102 would dramatically improve the level of play.

Re: New League

Anon
Right now both leagues claim a supposed 19 elite teams between leagues. Trimming to 8 would help but 6 would be ideal. 8 takes you from 323 players to 136. Acceptable start. Going to 102 would dramatically improve the level of play.


I'm liking where this is going. With 6 teams, more time can be spent practicing. Certainly don't need to play 6 teams, 20 times. More practice time and attending travel high end tournaments to augment games. Liking this folks...keep it coming!

Commish

Re: New League

commish
Anon
Right now both leagues claim a supposed 19 elite teams between leagues. Trimming to 8 would help but 6 would be ideal. 8 takes you from 323 players to 136. Acceptable start. Going to 102 would dramatically improve the level of play.


I'm liking where this is going. With 6 teams, more time can be spent practicing. Certainly don't need to play 6 teams, 20 times. More practice time and attending travel high end tournaments to augment games. Liking this folks...keep it coming!

Commish


I like 8, then everyone makes the playoff series and you cut down from there.

Anyway, this league could put together a couple of local tournaments that would attract some very good teams from across North America to minimize travel. If the teams were that solid, I think you'd stand a chance of getting some Detroit and Toronto teams out here. Add 2-3 travel tournaments on top of that and you've got about 30 games right there.

Play each team in the league four times, which gives you 28 league games plus playoffs. Home-and-home with each team for two of the games, then play the other two games at neutral site weekends (hosted by a different organization each weekend) with all 8 teams present. Mix in some events where the kids could hang out with players from other teams.

Practice four nights a week, two dedicated to skating and skills only, the other two for team play, Fridays off to rest up for the weekend.

Re: New League

anon
Anon
anon
Commish
If you were to structure a new league for NE hockey players how would you put it together. Could you design it so that the league is strong from top to bottom? Say 10 teams? Would there be a way to promote kids to stay with the current team (within reason)? Could there be a way to minimize the travel each weekend? How many divisions would have teams that could operate this way?

The ideas of having only high end talent in a league and minimizing travel are mutually exclusive. If you really want to maximize the level of play, you need to draw from a wide area and keep the density of teams low, with very little overlap in geographical reach (BTW this would also minimize movement within teams). Look at the HPHL: three teams in Illinois/Chicago and three teams in Michigan/Detroit.

How would this look in the Boston area? What if we kept everything the way it is now, with AA/Tier 2 teams sprouting up wherever the market allows, but formed a select league with eight teams:

Team New Hampshire/Vermont (put them somewhere in Hanover/Lebanon, NH)
Team Northeast MA/Maine (put them in the Valley Forum)
2 x Team Boston (no shortage of rinks)
Team Southeast MA (put them in Foxboro)
Team Metro West (put them in NESC)
Team Connecticut/Western MA (put them in Hartford)
Team RI (put them in RISC)

The state hockey governing bodies get together and sanction these teams as the only Tier 1 teams in New England, and watch all of the best players compete for the 136 spots in this league. Carry divisions from mite up through U18, and obliterate the high school landscape, including prep. This league would be a feeder to college hockey. You could even call the teams Jr Wildcats, Jr Warriors or Jr Riverhawks, Jr Eagles/Terriers, Jr Minutemen, etc and match each one up with the local college program.
Wow, bored? You put a lot of thought into that one.

Except, somehow, you missed the fatal flaw in your premise. There aren't 136 kids in every birth year that are "elite." More like 36. Which is why there are only "three teams in Illinois/Chicago and three teams in Michigan/Detroit." Not eight.

Good point, but I never wrote elite in my post, did I? I said "high end", "Tier 1", and "maximize". I even called it a select league. Read the post twice if that's what it takes to get you past your biases. Is it a good idea or not?

As for level of thought, my kid's been doing this for 8 years now...yeah I've thought about how the youth hockey industry could do things better. And it took me about 6 minutes to type it out. I'm sure if I spent more time on it I could refine it to balance out the regions based on the number of registered hockey players.

I like where this is going. Please remember that the goal is to create the most competitive "league" possible for NE hockey. The premise of 8 regional teams is on the right track. Super idea. Let's not stifle good ideas with non value added commentary.
Thanks! Keep up the good work.
Commish

Re: New League

Anon
anon
Commish
If you were to structure a new league for NE hockey players how would you put it together. Could you design it so that the league is strong from top to bottom? Say 10 teams? Would there be a way to promote kids to stay with the current team (within reason)? Could there be a way to minimize the travel each weekend? How many divisions would have teams that could operate this way?

The ideas of having only high end talent in a league and minimizing travel are mutually exclusive. If you really want to maximize the level of play, you need to draw from a wide area and keep the density of teams low, with very little overlap in geographical reach (BTW this would also minimize movement within teams). Look at the HPHL: three teams in Illinois/Chicago and three teams in Michigan/Detroit.

How would this look in the Boston area? What if we kept everything the way it is now, with AA/Tier 2 teams sprouting up wherever the market allows, but formed a select league with eight teams:

Team New Hampshire/Vermont (put them somewhere in Hanover/Lebanon, NH)
Team Northeast MA/Maine (put them in the Valley Forum)
2 x Team Boston (no shortage of rinks)
Team Southeast MA (put them in Foxboro)
Team Metro West (put them in NESC)
Team Connecticut/Western MA (put them in Hartford)
Team RI (put them in RISC)

The state hockey governing bodies get together and sanction these teams as the only Tier 1 teams in New England, and watch all of the best players compete for the 136 spots in this league. Carry divisions from mite up through U18, and obliterate the high school landscape, including prep. This league would be a feeder to college hockey. You could even call the teams Jr Wildcats, Jr Warriors or Jr Riverhawks, Jr Eagles/Terriers, Jr Minutemen, etc and match each one up with the local college program.
Wow, bored? You put a lot of thought into that one.

Except, somehow, you missed the fatal flaw in your premise. There aren't 136 kids in every birth year that are "elite." More like 36. Which is why there are only "three teams in Illinois/Chicago and three teams in Michigan/Detroit." Not eight.


Sorry your kid is not good enough to play on these teams.

Re: New League

So I will admit it. My kid is not good enough to make one of these teams. He is a lower end elite kid. I know it and accept it.

Saying that, there's always a hockey team for every player. Tier 2 could become a real Tier 2 around here. He loves to play and he would be totally fine with it and so would I. I would also love watching the best of the best play each other.

Here's a suggestion. Relabel it Tier 1 the way it supposed to be. Six teams from the Northeast, six teams from the Midwest, six teams from the rest of the country. 3 from greater Toronto area, 3 from Montreal area, 3 from Quebec, 3 from Vancouver area and so on.

Cross pollinate the best of the best from Canada and the US and we grow the game.

Figure out a way to offset cost through sponsorship or donated ice in there you have it. One big problem is USA hockey would actually have to start caring about developing players versus lining their pockets.

Re: New League

One thing is for sure, we have some people out here that agree we have a problem and have demonstrated there are much better alternatives than the products out there today. The ultimate goal would be to have 3 or maybe 4 levels of play from 8u-14u. That's open for discussion. These different levels would allow kids to compete and challenge for positions as they develop. Similar to the minor league hockey system. There wouldn't be a draft per say, but organizations should be free to call up a player or send down a player during the year as deemed appropriate by the coaches. Making this system the most competitive throughout the year.

Starting to like this idea more and more...

Commish

Re: New League

Commish
One thing is for sure, we have some people out here that agree we have a problem and have demonstrated there are much better alternatives than the products out there today. The ultimate goal would be to have 3 or maybe 4 levels of play from 8u-14u. That's open for discussion. These different levels would allow kids to compete and challenge for positions as they develop. Similar to the minor league hockey system. There wouldn't be a draft per say, but organizations should be free to call up a player or send down a player during the year as deemed appropriate by the coaches. Making this system the most competitive throughout the year.

Starting to like this idea more and more...

Commish



...and no daddy coaches...

Re: New League

All you have to do is get rid of owners and then find a non profit to run the league.

Re: New League

Anon
Commish
One thing is for sure, we have some people out here that agree we have a problem and have demonstrated there are much better alternatives than the products out there today. The ultimate goal would be to have 3 or maybe 4 levels of play from 8u-14u. That's open for discussion. These different levels would allow kids to compete and challenge for positions as they develop. Similar to the minor league hockey system. There wouldn't be a draft per say, but organizations should be free to call up a player or send down a player during the year as deemed appropriate by the coaches. Making this system the most competitive throughout the year.

Starting to like this idea more and more...

Commish



...and no daddy coaches...


I had foreseen this issue coming up and it is an important topic we won't take lightly in the league. This one deserves careful consideration. The premise of youth sports has always relied on the actions and kindness of volunteers. Part of that includes coaching. I am aware and understand the challenges it brings to the table and will have to put this to the "board" to discuss.
Hiring non daddy coaches will obviously drive the cost up. If I were to poll the audience, I would suspect most would probably welcome the additional cost as long as the value to development is present. With as many teams as we project, it will be no trivial task finding qualified personnel.
Using daddy coaches, with a different system, may be an alternative. The coaches would have to report to the league and show evidence of the accomplishments and goals they have achieved twice during a season. This will hold them more accountable. The league will also appoint a grievance committee. Any grievances will be investigated thoroughly and proper action will be taken. This is a much more cost effective method with an improved accountability system.

Keep the input coming "board" members.

Commish

Re: New League

Commish
Anon
Commish
One thing is for sure, we have some people out here that agree we have a problem and have demonstrated there are much better alternatives than the products out there today. The ultimate goal would be to have 3 or maybe 4 levels of play from 8u-14u. That's open for discussion. These different levels would allow kids to compete and challenge for positions as they develop. Similar to the minor league hockey system. There wouldn't be a draft per say, but organizations should be free to call up a player or send down a player during the year as deemed appropriate by the coaches. Making this system the most competitive throughout the year.

Starting to like this idea more and more...

Commish



...and no daddy coaches...


I had foreseen this issue coming up and it is an important topic we won't take lightly in the league. This one deserves careful consideration. The premise of youth sports has always relied on the actions and kindness of volunteers. Part of that includes coaching. I am aware and understand the challenges it brings to the table and will have to put this to the "board" to discuss.
Hiring non daddy coaches will obviously drive the cost up. If I were to poll the audience, I would suspect most would probably welcome the additional cost as long as the value to development is present. With as many teams as we project, it will be no trivial task finding qualified personnel.
Using daddy coaches, with a different system, may be an alternative. The coaches would have to report to the league and show evidence of the accomplishments and goals they have achieved twice during a season. This will hold them more accountable. The league will also appoint a grievance committee. Any grievances will be investigated thoroughly and proper action will be taken. This is a much more cost effective method with an improved accountability system.

Keep the input coming "board" members.

Commish
You're pretty stuck on yourself, aren't you? Feeling really "impotent?"