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Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

The whole state of New Hampshire may have a losing record at the squirt major level by the end of the 2017-18 season because to the business side of youth hockey here in New England.. and you don't think this is a problem.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

sorry buddy
I care way to much about hockey and the state of New Hampshire to be silent.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

The biggest differences start with legacy, weather and distance.

MN is cold enough where almost every sizable public park has more than one sheet of ice, the kids skate there and often play organized games on the sheets almost daily from mid-October on. Here it is an indoor sport and when it's indoors it creates a $ issue - some have gotten very good at this 'money issue' and have made a living off of the need for indoor ice & instruction.

In MN many of the daddy coaches involved are real hockey people - often generational hockey people and they are teaching for the love of the game...often outdoors and often following the same annual traditions & rituals they followed years before. Much like Canada it is almost THE only sport in town for young people, it's what they all want to do and it draws the best athletes all with the dream of playing for their local teams youth teams, their high schools and then on to the University of MN, ND or WI. There is no prep school as no Minnesotan in good standing would part with $40k a year to send their kid to a high school...try explaining that to a midwesterner.

The distances keep the kids local as MN is 9 times the size of MA. Very few people are driving the 300 miles for a game from the Twin Cities to Warroad for a game on a weekend when there are plenty of teams nearby. All-in-all there are a lot of differences.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

anon
The biggest differences start with legacy, weather and distance.

MN is cold enough where almost every sizable public park has more than one sheet of ice, the kids skate there and often play organized games on the sheets almost daily from mid-October on. Here it is an indoor sport and when it\'s indoors it creates a \$ issue - some have gotten very good at this \'money issue\' and have made a living off of the need for indoor ice & instruction.

In MN many of the daddy coaches involved are real hockey people - often generational hockey people and they are teaching for the love of the game...often outdoors and often following the same annual traditions & rituals they followed years before. Much like Canada it is almost THE only sport in town for young people, it\'s what they all want to do and it draws the best athletes all with the dream of playing for their local teams youth teams, their high schools and then on to the University of MN, ND or WI. There is no prep school as no Minnesotan in good standing would part with \$40k a year to send their kid to a high school...try explaining that to a midwesterner.

The distances keep the kids local as MN is 9 times the size of MA. Very few people are driving the 300 miles for a game from the Twin Cities to Warroad for a game on a weekend when there are plenty of teams nearby. All-in-all there are a lot of differences.

Surfing the web I cam across this topic. You are close in your assessment but off in other parts.

Outdoor ice is readily available in the winter but not until at least late November and often December. Public parks have "rinks" and they are flooded in the winter. Kids don't go outside and skate as much as they used to though. Not like the old days where it was every day after school. It's more nostalgic now, though kids do still go outside to skate, just not near as much.

The key to hockey in Minnesota is availability of the rinks. The rinks are community facilities, city or county owned buildings, that are maintained by city employees, or in some cases the local non-profit hockey association owns/operates the facility. There is a partnership between the city and the local non-profit hockey associations that provide these facilities. Hockey is important enough here that ice rinks are seen as a necessity and no different than a public park. The rinks are usually operated by the local parks department, in fact. Bottom line is that this keeps ice costs down. You can rent ice in some places for $50 or $75 and hour in off peak times, $100-$150/hr at peak times. Warroad, MN is a place that has gained notoriety for offering free ice. While they are the example, you can find free ice periods at most small town rinks almost daily. Oh, and every community that has a population of at least 5,000 has a rink or two. Some communities as small as a 1,000 have rinks. Keeping hockey local, cheap, and available is the key. Kids play where they live or go to school, there are no open district tryouts and team jumping in winter association hockey. It's community based hockey, not a model where profit needs to be made by rink "investors".

That's not to say that hockey doesn't cost money here. You can get your fill of spring and summer hockey and pay out your nose to independent operators if you want. This is where hockey opens up and there are no more borders or restrictions on where you can play. Super teams are formed that play in Elite tournaments in-state and across the country. It isn't that bad though, you can find a spring/summer program that is just an extension of your winter association. It can be as simple or as expensive as you want it to be and you can find a program that fits your needs/lifestyle. The difference is that winter association hockey is protected. You get the best of both worlds here.

AAA hockey exists in before & after teams but there isn't a huge emphasis or need to have full season AAA hockey. Why would there be? You don't have to travel too far to find top level competition. Local association teams here can beat the top AAA teams in the country. It's proven every year when local Minnesota teams go to places like Chicago and beat top AAA teams from across the country. I'm not trying to sound like I am bragging here. I mean, yes, we're very proud of our hockey here. I say this more as an offer of proof that the community based model works.

Good coaching is abundant here. Daddy coaches are real hockey people and are more than adequate in teaching the game. Dad's who were high level high school players, collegiate, even former pros. They are all over the place here. Teaching the game is generational and it is free, we're pretty much all unpaid volunteers. There are no hockey directors here making 6 figures. The local associations are run by volunteer boards and the coaches are volunteer positions, for the most part. Oh, I should disclose there is one pretty prominent operator in the Twin Cities that operates his own "league" and has an AAU affiliation. You can Google it and you'll find the program. It's more the exception than the rule.

The community based hockey model I described exists across the Midwest. You will find this set-up in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North & South Dakota, and Iowa. When you start getting further south into Missouri and east towards Chicago and Michigan is where you see the community based model disappear and the private rink owner/club hockey model appear.

Personally, I think it would be beneficial for the game in this country if this community based model was preserved in the Midwest and expanded elsewhere. It would be good for hockey in New England to return to a time when the community owned the game. It would open up so many opportunities to so many kids. It is not without its lumps though as the system has been compared to communist hockey as opposed to free market hockey because in the winter the kids are restricted to playing where they live/go to school. There are people that have problems being "stuck" in a bad association. But spring/summer open hockey relieves some of those issues and, for the most part, the model works for the greater good.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

So after posting all that I went and read the article that started this thread. I see my observations are very similar to what the author of that article stated.

- Community based model --> High School hockey is still important
- Municipally owned rinks create affordable access to ice.
- "People's State of Hockey" LOL. Yes, it is communistic in its approach. The fact that the communities see the game as important and are willing to subsidize it as they would a park, a theatre, a museum, or any other public works project cannot be overstated.
- Hockey here is far from perfect. Yes, it is not perfect. But you do the best you can and protect the model for future generations.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

Anon
sorry buddy
I care way to much about hockey and the state of New Hampshire to be silent.
Who is holding a gun to these program's heads and telling them they have to play in MA-based Leagues? Got news for you, buddy, MA families don't even WANT to go up to NH to play.

But, putting that aside, the problem in NH (and VT and Maine), aside from Top Gun is that the density of population isn't there to allow for a competitive product to be developed. NH should be following the MN model - play in your town, with more focus on development, and better coaching.

Instead, parents are seduced by the same things MA parents are by the hockey business model. Are you familiar with the Stockholm Syndrome? It's the My Kid's Gonna Make It To The NHL Syndrome.

Top Gun used to be a very strong program back in the MBHL days. They are close enough to the population density that they should be able to compete. They aren't competitive because the program is poorly run. It's not their geography. They haven't built a wall at the MA/NH border that can't be crossed. Head of MA Hockey was elected with that as his platform, but then he asked the Governor of NH to pay for it, and the idea fell apart.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

I agree w. you completely. Our team and all other nh teams need to play a more local development schedule.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

To the top programs that all but walked away from NHAHA youth hockey.. for what? Those kids deserve to win and teams should be and beating their northern peers and supporting local hockey. And still chase Fed & e9 ect championships

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

Mass may have issues but NH has major problems that need to be addressed..

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

Good post. I think the for profit hockey model has its pros and cons just like anything else. I think choices are the biggest pro though. If the consumer has choices than it will force programs to change for the better. A con would be that with so few rink owners they could be colluding to keep prices up. (not saying this is happening just saying it could.

But I think we have gotten better facilities - Ever go to one of the old MDC rinks lately. Really small locker rooms, only food/drink available is a vending machine and usually no skate shop open.

With so many rinks open now we get better ice times (for the most part). Remember days of practicing at 5 am?

And in the past if you did not fit in with your town program you were basically stuck - But now you can try to go somewhere else. Which is why your seeing a pyramid forming at town hockey programs now. 5 mite teams, 4 squirts, 3 peewee, and 1 bantam. (for the most part) bc parents are getting smart and as the kids get older they are moving on to something that they feel is better for their child.





Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

Agree, all true

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

Better facilities? Ice sheet is still the same size and ice consistency same. That pyramid of deminishing players has always been a part of youth hockey. The quality of the hockey product at all levels town, AA, and AAA has taken the biggest hit. This is all because of our culture of ignorance.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

It comes down to the disappearance of frozen ponds in the winter for MA kids. Pond hockey is hours of skating and playing hockey, league hockey games is hours of driving to play 15 minutes at most per game. Even structured practices, once you deduct the time spent standing in lines there is not much skating with that either.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

Making ignorant posts like listing the NH hockey teams and their records at a single birth year, and saying that they are suffering from traveling south for leagues and competition, is short sighted at the least. That post shows nothing except that someone can look at MHR for NH and make a post.

The true issue in NH hockey is simply depth. What incentive do the 3 Elite NH programs have to stay in state and play just NHAHA so they can have 6 total competitive games and then beat up on everyone else?

NHAHA is the root of the issue. They start late, do not run any kind of parity, and then are constantly moving teams between tiers. This results schedule uncertainty, and uncertainty on game count, and makes budgeting nearly impossible for the programs involved, many of which are non profit. Then you add in the fact that it is run by dinosaurs that are stuck thinking that the hockey world is still in 1990.

The truth is, NH programs are going south, because that is where the competition is.

These programs that are traveling are putting quality programs together and developing players. However, at the end of the day, there are fewer players to pick from than the AAA/AA programs in Mass. If anything they should be applauded for putting competitive teams on the ice, while drawing from a far smaller player pool.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

ANON
Making ignorant posts like listing the NH hockey teams and their records at a single birth year, and saying that they are suffering from traveling south for leagues and competition, is short sighted at the least. That post shows nothing except that someone can look at MHR for NH and make a post.

The true issue in NH hockey is simply depth. What incentive do the 3 Elite NH programs have to stay in state and play just NHAHA so they can have 6 total competitive games and then beat up on everyone else?

NHAHA is the root of the issue. They start late, do not run any kind of parity, and then are constantly moving teams between tiers. This results schedule uncertainty, and uncertainty on game count, and makes budgeting nearly impossible for the programs involved, many of which are non profit. Then you add in the fact that it is run by dinosaurs that are stuck thinking that the hockey world is still in 1990.

The truth is, NH programs are going south, because that is where the competition is.

These programs that are traveling are putting quality programs together and developing players. However, at the end of the day, there are fewer players to pick from than the AAA/AA programs in Mass. If anything they should be applauded for putting competitive teams on the ice, while drawing from a far smaller player pool.

NHAHA is being called out..but to think that the top NH teams should applauded is laughable. NH hockey needs help and they are the leaders

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

We are lucky to have the FED'S NH Jr Monarchs and Manchester Flames who are willing to support NH Hockey..The rest need to send some teams back to compete in nhaha on top of their elite OR select schedule down south.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

to NHAHA 12 game schedule will not cut it... 5 tiers doesn't work in such a small state. YOU need to change your ways or you will lose more teams to Massachusetts hockey leagues and NHAHA will become a house hockey rec league joke.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

Anon
We are lucky to have the FED'S NH Jr Monarchs and Manchester Flames who are willing to support NH Hockey..The rest need to send some teams back to compete in nhaha on top of their elite OR select schedule down south.
On the surface, this is spot on.... however, if you dig deeper, the NHAHA actually refuses to adjust policy to enable these programs to compete in NH as well as in the EHF, e9/BHL, PHL, and Valley.

This simple fact alone is one single example of how NHAHA refuses to accept their role in the greater hockey landscape, and subsequently is driving organizations elsewhere:
If the NHAHA playoffs and other league playoffs conflict, the NHAHA threatens to place sanctions on the entire organization for the following season if a team chooses their primary league playoffs (ie EHF) over NHAHA.

For example...If the top Manchester Flames 05 team chooses to play in the EHF playoffs instead of the NHAHA tier 2 playoffs because of conflict, then all 20 M. Flames teams in the NHAHA will not be playoff eligible the following season.

what about that makes any sense at all?



Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

ANON
Anon
We are lucky to have the FED\'S NH Jr Monarchs and Manchester Flames who are willing to support NH Hockey..The rest need to send some teams back to compete in nhaha on top of their elite OR select schedule down south.
On the surface, this is spot on.... however, if you dig deeper, the NHAHA actually refuses to adjust policy to enable these programs to compete in NH as well as in the EHF, e9/BHL, PHL, and Valley.

This simple fact alone is one single example of how NHAHA refuses to accept their role in the greater hockey landscape, and subsequently is driving organizations elsewhere:
If the NHAHA playoffs and other league playoffs conflict, the NHAHA threatens to place sanctions on the entire organization for the following season if a team chooses their primary league playoffs (ie EHF) over NHAHA.

For example...If the top Manchester Flames 05 team chooses to play in the EHF playoffs instead of the NHAHA tier 2 playoffs because of conflict, then all 20 M. Flames teams in the NHAHA will not be playoff eligible the following season.

what about that makes any sense at all?



Maybe you'd get a fairer deal if you paid state income taxes.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

ANON
Anon
We are lucky to have the FED\'S NH Jr Monarchs and Manchester Flames who are willing to support NH Hockey..The rest need to send some teams back to compete in nhaha on top of their elite OR select schedule down south.
On the surface, this is spot on.... however, if you dig deeper, the NHAHA actually refuses to adjust policy to enable these programs to compete in NH as well as in the EHF, e9/BHL, PHL, and Valley.

This simple fact alone is one single example of how NHAHA refuses to accept their role in the greater hockey landscape, and subsequently is driving organizations elsewhere:
If the NHAHA playoffs and other league playoffs conflict, the NHAHA threatens to place sanctions on the entire organization for the following season if a team chooses their primary league playoffs (ie EHF) over NHAHA.

For example...If the top Manchester Flames 05 team chooses to play in the EHF playoffs instead of the NHAHA tier 2 playoffs because of conflict, then all 20 M. Flames teams in the NHAHA will not be playoff eligible the following season.

what about that makes any sense at all?



They are doing what.. who is running this **** show... thanks for your insight Anon. I need to shake this foundation to its core

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

Sounds like job for an angry wolverine

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

Anon
Sounds like job for an angry wolverine
Wolverine must have taken a few L's last weekend, or was held to a +2 GF/GA, as he has been awful quiet this week.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

Anon
Anon
Sounds like job for an angry wolverine
Wolverine must have taken a few L's last weekend, or was held to a +2 GF/GA, as he has been awful quiet this week.
While the Wolverine is a solitary animal, they must at some point multiply.

I've never been sure if we have one or two. I do think the originalNH list was posted by Wolverine #1, as I believe he has a Squirt Major in NH.

But, I much prefer to let sleeping Wolverines lie. As odd as it seems, stupid posts from anonymous posters bother me less than when the same person posts them in succession.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

Anon
ANON
Anon
We are lucky to have the FED\\\'S NH Jr Monarchs and Manchester Flames who are willing to support NH Hockey..The rest need to send some teams back to compete in nhaha on top of their elite OR select schedule down south.
On the surface, this is spot on.... however, if you dig deeper, the NHAHA actually refuses to adjust policy to enable these programs to compete in NH as well as in the EHF, e9/BHL, PHL, and Valley.

This simple fact alone is one single example of how NHAHA refuses to accept their role in the greater hockey landscape, and subsequently is driving organizations elsewhere:
If the NHAHA playoffs and other league playoffs conflict, the NHAHA threatens to place sanctions on the entire organization for the following season if a team chooses their primary league playoffs (ie EHF) over NHAHA.

For example...If the top Manchester Flames 05 team chooses to play in the EHF playoffs instead of the NHAHA tier 2 playoffs because of conflict, then all 20 M. Flames teams in the NHAHA will not be playoff eligible the following season.

what about that makes any sense at all?



They are doing what.. who is running this **** show... thanks for your insight Anon. I need to shake this foundation to its core
exactly. It is a power display by NHAHA old timers and always has been. Until they wake up and start doing things to encourage participation, they will continue to watch NH's best players and organizations go else where for competition. And that will do nothing to continue development across the state.

The guys running the show at NHAHA need to step back and remember why they initially got involved, the kids and development of hockey in NH, and put their ego's in their back pockets.

If NHAHA wants these better programs to start increasing participation within the state, they have to start removing archaic barriers for the programs which are now going elsewhere for competition. They need to understand that they are not the only show in town anymore for NH programs. They also need to fix their tier structure and tier placement issues so that programs do not spend the entire season scrambling to schedule games, due entirely to another programs inability to properly tier their own teams.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

Thanks anon I need to reach out to our league delagate and see if we can open up a conversation about structure and participation w. NHAHA.. The top teams will always be playing in the Fed and e9/BHL this is fact. Now we need to move forward

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

Boring, let's talk hockey "over the bridges" in CC versus Cow Hampshire hockey, NHAHA, GSL, etc.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

ANON
Anon
ANON
Anon
We are lucky to have the FED\\\\\\\'S NH Jr Monarchs and Manchester Flames who are willing to support NH Hockey..The rest need to send some teams back to compete in nhaha on top of their elite OR select schedule down south.
On the surface, this is spot on.... however, if you dig deeper, the NHAHA actually refuses to adjust policy to enable these programs to compete in NH as well as in the EHF, e9/BHL, PHL, and Valley.

This simple fact alone is one single example of how NHAHA refuses to accept their role in the greater hockey landscape, and subsequently is driving organizations elsewhere:
If the NHAHA playoffs and other league playoffs conflict, the NHAHA threatens to place sanctions on the entire organization for the following season if a team chooses their primary league playoffs (ie EHF) over NHAHA.

For example...If the top Manchester Flames 05 team chooses to play in the EHF playoffs instead of the NHAHA tier 2 playoffs because of conflict, then all 20 M. Flames teams in the NHAHA will not be playoff eligible the following season.

what about that makes any sense at all?



They are doing what.. who is running this **** show... thanks for your insight Anon. I need to shake this foundation to its core
exactly. It is a power display by NHAHA old timers and always has been. Until they wake up and start doing things to encourage participation, they will continue to watch NH's best players and organizations go else where for competition. And that will do nothing to continue development across the state.

The guys running the show at NHAHA need to step back and remember why they initially got involved, the kids and development of hockey in NH, and put their ego's in their back pockets.

If NHAHA wants these better programs to start increasing participation within the state, they have to start removing archaic barriers for the programs which are now going elsewhere for competition. They need to understand that they are not the only show in town anymore for NH programs. They also need to fix their tier structure and tier placement issues so that programs do not spend the entire season scrambling to schedule games, due entirely to another programs inability to properly tier their own teams.
Might also be that NH'S top programs refuse to accept their role in the greater hockey landscape and need to rewrite their mission statements.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

Anon
Some interesting observations on hockey in Minnesota, and a comment about hockey in Mass:

http://www.minnesotahockeyjournal.com/news_article/show/862289?referrer_id=353193

Hockey tales from Massachusetts are classic—and cautionary.

An hour spent visiting with a hockey person from Massachusetts and learning about the state’s rich hockey history is an hour well spent. Unfortunately however, many of these conversations end with a sigh and sense of melancholy. Apparently a generation or so ago, youth hockey in Massachusetts became much less of a community fixture and much more of an industry. What once was town teams feeding prep and high schools playing in public rinks became club teams feeding junior teams playing in private rinks. Not surprisingly, far fewer young people are playing hockey in Massachusetts today. The impact has now reached the highest levels. Just 20 years ago Massachusetts had almost twice as many natives in the NHL as Minnesota did. Now Minnesota has almost twice as many natives in the NHL as Massachusetts."
Good point.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

It is big business and they only care about money

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

You're catching on! Good for you! Don't ever let anyone tell you, your not well informed! God forbid you were actually gullable enough to believe otherwise. It a Rich Mans Game (Developing, Owning, Running and Recruiting Hockey Teams) you're just a piece of the puzzle. How many camps, clinics are you signed up for so far??
60% of shooting and passing skills are developed in the driveway. Free...

On a side note: How is your retirement investments coming along? We are looking at the largest bear market in history - I am sure that your wise enough to contribution your precious dollars into something that actually matters!!! Ha! Or how about an Education Fund?? Or is Johnny going to be getting D1 Hockey scholarship to school of YOUR dreams?? Fact is most of these kids are 1 injury away from being illiterate, most parent are not investing their retirement and the amount of cash being spent would be 5x what it is now if invested... They versus be some "never was" player, Johnny might actual have a chance at something besides investing 9 months a year in something he won't be doing much longer, after he get injured that is!

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

AnOn
You're catching on! Good for you! Don't ever let anyone tell you, your not well informed! God forbid you were actually gullable enough to believe otherwise. It a Rich Mans Game (Developing, Owning, Running and Recruiting Hockey Teams) you're just a piece of the puzzle. How many camps, clinics are you signed up for so far??
60% of shooting and passing skills are developed in the driveway. Free...

On a side note: How is your retirement investments coming along? We are looking at the largest bear market in history - I am sure that your wise enough to contribution your precious dollars into something that actually matters!!! Ha! Or how about an Education Fund?? Or is Johnny going to be getting D1 Hockey scholarship to school of YOUR dreams?? Fact is most of these kids are 1 injury away from being illiterate, most parent are not investing their retirement and the amount of cash being spent would be 5x what it is now if invested... They versus be some "never was" player, Johnny might actual have a chance at something besides investing 9 months a year in something he won't be doing much longer, after he get injured that is!
Non-hockey parents aren't saving for their retirement, either. They just spend their money on other stupid **** that they don't really need.

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

More goalies are coming out of Mass. Hockey East is the some of best D1 hockey in the country. But, then just look at Warroad, MN - could MA every really compete with what is happening there - don't think so!

Re: hockey in Minnesota vs Mass

Trust me it's a much better model versus the model here in mass.