I care way to much about hockey and the state of New Hampshire to be silent.
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.
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.
I agree w. you completely. Our team and all other nh teams need to play a more local development schedule.
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
Mass may have issues but NH has major problems that need to be addressed..
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.
Agree, all true
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sounds like job for an angry wolverine
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
Boring, let's talk hockey "over the bridges" in CC versus Cow Hampshire hockey, NHAHA, GSL, etc.
It is big business and they only care about money
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!
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!
Trust me it's a much better model versus the model here in mass.