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Is the Elite league doing what it was intended to do?
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puckhead58
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elite D is not as big a deal up North(east) as it is in the metro. It is more in favor with players in Grand Rapids, Virginia, Cloquet versus East/Denfeld/Hermantown. Still a decent option for those wanting organized ice time before the season.
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shooter803



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my only observation is that for this season there were no DE sophomore players nominated to tryout for elite II's & 3 days before tryout they still had room - think total that attended in Gr Rapids were about 23. The Duluth parents I spoke with were not aware of the opportunity & at this point had other fall commitments - I think some could have made Team Northeast
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almostashappy



Joined: 17 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shooter803 wrote:
I believe it also starts with the Prep league in that none of the players are nominated by Randolph. Not sure of the reasoning other than he runs a camp that skates 3-4 times a week & he is already instilling his system for his future players. But it seems to me if East kids don't get involved/experience the Elite Prep league why would the masses by clamoring to get in down the road. At least this explains the "0" skaters in the prep league, there are definately talanted players that could make the prep team


Randolph's summer training program for his kids shouldn't conflict with Elite-D, since the prep league's season takes place within the MSHSL's no-contact period for high school hockey coaches. The metro-area tryouts for D-league were also within the black-out period. Elite tryouts did take place during the contact period, and that did create a conflict for that one Saturday (at least for the programs that sent teams to the Cloquet tournament).

Now, from a financial standpoint I could understand the potential reluctance of DE parents to get their kids involved in D-league. Seems like the Greyhounds are already running charter buses down to the Twin Cities every other weekend once the high school season starts. That can't be cheap...so who would want to start in on that kind of schedule three-months sooner?
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karl(east)



Joined: 18 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I brought up East to begin with to show that at least some people seem to think Elite D is not doing its job. Whether one hates or loves Mike Randolph, I think everyone can agree that he really, really wants to win, and if he thought Elite D participation would help his players, I am sure he would nominate a number of them. (He is certainly does not have any problem with his players being in the Elite League--just about every year, people on this forum complain about the number of East players who make it.) That doesn't mean he's right, but he does have some experience in this area.

But, lest this thread veer off into yet another Randolph discussion:

O-townClown wrote:
I recall Ken Pauly saying in an interview about 4-5 years ago that the numbers (high teens at the time) had come down from mid-40s ten years prior. Interview was with whatever Pete Waggoner was doing at the time. The Stitch?


He's as good a source as any, I suppose. So is it only perception that the Elite League is "failing" to keep kids from leaving? Should we just assume there are about 20 players/families in any given year that will not be happy with their current situation in MN HS hockey? Not that this excuses the questionable selections, etc., but I'd be curious to hear some thoughts on that.
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O-townClown



Joined: 10 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

karl(east) wrote:
Should we just assume there are about 20 players/families in any given year that will not be happy with their current situation in MN HS hockey?


Yes.
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deacon64



Joined: 12 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

O-townClown wrote:
karl(east) wrote:
Should we just assume there are about 20 players/families in any given year that will not be happy with their current situation in MN HS hockey?


Yes.


Put it this way is there anyone who can justify what is happening in the selection process of the Elite and D league. Oh yeah the coaches from STA, BSM, etc... they get their players, yes players 9 for STA and 6 for BSM in Elite while many programs do not get a single player, some sections do not get a single player. So a team like STA with 20 kids on rooster get 9 players but a Section that might have 200 players get no one in the league. So maybe it is the other way 20 are happy and 200 will not be happy.
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auld_skool



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

O-townClown wrote:
karl(east) wrote:
Should we just assume there are about 20 players/families in any given year that will not be happy with their current situation in MN HS hockey?


Yes.


I disagree. I'd say there are about 20 kids that are willing to leave. Trust me, there are lots more that aren't happy but they stay, mainly due to how hard it is to leave your friends and family when you're 15,16,17 years old.
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SWPrez



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last year, many Duluth East players that were not selected for the Elite League chose to play Midget Major with the Northern Wings. Much better development opportunity playing 17+ year olds from around the midwest than playing Elite D.

Don't know if that is the case again this year, but it is a better option for them rather than playing Elite D.
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scorekeeper



Joined: 25 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

karl(east) wrote:
Should we just assume there are about 20 players/families in any given year that will not be happy with their current situation in MN HS hockey?


There are hundreds and hundreds of families who are not happy with situation in MN HS hockey on an annual basis. However, there are only a fraction of players for whom it makes sense to leave. (being good enough, old enough, having the right opportunity and in some cases, being able to swing it financially).

The vast majority of the disgruntled just trod along, settle or quit.
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observer



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Put it this way is there anyone who can justify what is happening in the selection process of the Elite and D league. Oh yeah the coaches from STA, BSM, etc... they get their players, yes players 9 for STA and 6 for BSM in Elite while many programs do not get a single player, some sections do not get a single player. So a team like STA with 20 kids on rooster get 9 players but a Section that might have 200 players get no one in the league. So maybe it is the other way 20 are happy and 200 will not be happy.


Well stated.

One story I heard is that the Elite League is a privately owned organization so like a AAA team they can do whatever they want and they do. A few years ago the Vanellis (STA) had a tiff with the Elite League and maybe no players in the League. They obviously kissed and made-up.
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karl(east)



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scorekeeper wrote:
karl(east) wrote:
Should we just assume there are about 20 players/families in any given year that will not be happy with their current situation in MN HS hockey?


There are hundreds and hundreds of families who are not happy with situation in MN HS hockey on an annual basis. However, there are only a fraction of players for whom it makes sense to leave. (being good enough, old enough, having the right opportunity and in some cases, being able to swing it financially).

The vast majority of the disgruntled just trod along, settle or quit.


To a certain extent, I agree. If these "hundreds and hundreds" are displeased by things like Elite League practices (even if they do not affect them personally), the practices of certain schools (not opting up, alleged recruiting, etc.), MSHSL bureaucracy or regulations, the high school coach's decisions or practices, etc., then I'll buy it. Who isn't annoyed by these things, from time to time? It's only natural. That's why we need to work to change them, or at the very least raise hell about them on this forum, so that someone takes notice and does something.

But if you're saying that all these hundreds and hundreds would run off immediately (holding talent levels the same) to other opportunities if they were available, then I'd disagree. Thing is, most players in this state are well aware their odds at post-HS hockey are minimal, and things like development models aren't really among their concerns. As auld_skool rightly pointed out, a lot of people have priorities that trump any discontent with the system.
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deacon64



Joined: 12 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got it, MN hockey as part of USA hockey needs to start a fall league for high school players. Could not be any worse. Based on Section Teams already being selected and Final 54 teams MN Hockey has ranking system in place and would shut down the "private" elite AAA hockey in a hurry.

Would believe players would select a MN hockey league over Midwest "elite".
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observer



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: Hurley and Walker.

Last year Benny Walker skated in the Elite League and then left for Victoria of the WHL. I'm not sure that's what the Elite League had in mind for offering the opportunity.
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bchlhockey



Joined: 13 Aug 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone should start another high school league to compete with the Elite league. Just call it the "MN Fall High School Hockey League."
Have 2 leagues - 1 league would be predominantly Seniors with maybe
a maximum of 3 juniors per team. 2nd league would be mostly juniors
with a maximum of 3 sophs per team. Coaches and evaluators would be non-parents and everyone must tryout. (No automatics).

If Russo isn't willing to change his league, a new competing league might help him get his head out of the sand.
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almostashappy



Joined: 17 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bchlhockey wrote:
Someone should start another high school league to compete with the Elite league. Just call it the "MN Fall High School Hockey League."
Have 2 leagues - 1 league would be predominantly Seniors with maybe
a maximum of 3 juniors per team. 2nd league would be mostly juniors
with a maximum of 3 sophs per team. Coaches and evaluators would be non-parents and everyone must tryout. (No automatics).

If Russo isn't willing to change his league, a new competing league might help him get his head out of the sand.


From what I heard, the letters that went out inviting players to try out for Elite/Elite-D said that seniors who didn't make Elite and underclassmen that didn't make D-league would be eligible to sign up for a new Fall hockey league that would start up after Labor Day.

This, if true, would make a lot of sense to me. There are plenty of other high school sports that have organized leagues in the off-season. Some might be showcase opportunities for the all-stars, but mostly it seems to be a way for anyone who loves a sport to play it beyond the MSHSL sanctioned time windows (either in preparation for the high school season or just because).
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SWPrez



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bchlhockey wrote:
Someone should start another high school league to compete with the Elite league. Just call it the "MN Fall High School Hockey League."
Have 2 leagues - 1 league would be predominantly Seniors with maybe
a maximum of 3 juniors per team. 2nd league would be mostly juniors
with a maximum of 3 sophs per team. Coaches and evaluators would be non-parents and everyone must tryout. (No automatics).

If Russo isn't willing to change his league, a new competing league might help him get his head out of the sand.


Instead of a league, three or four midget major AAA teams of 17 and 18 year olds should be formed (you could expand to three or four 15 & 16 year olds playing midget minor AAA).

They play two or three games against each other here in the cities. A roadtrip to Wisconsin to play Team WI, Madison Capitals, Milwaukee Admirals. A roadtrip to Chicago to play the Fire, Mission, Young Americans and Team IL. Hold one or two eight team tourneys at the Super Rink inviting in top tier teams (Belle Tire, SL Blues, Compuware, Victory Honda, Honeybaked, etc.).

Kids would get a 25 game schedule in against the same competition they will be seeing at NAHL and USHL tryout camps.


FHIT is totally in a position to do this. Minnesota Blades also could do it. MN Hockey/USA Hockey sanctioning of the teams (they would be AAA) and politics probably would be the hardest part in getting this done.
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BBgunner



Joined: 31 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SWPrez wrote:
bchlhockey wrote:
Someone should start another high school league to compete with the Elite league. Just call it the "MN Fall High School Hockey League."
Have 2 leagues - 1 league would be predominantly Seniors with maybe
a maximum of 3 juniors per team. 2nd league would be mostly juniors
with a maximum of 3 sophs per team. Coaches and evaluators would be non-parents and everyone must tryout. (No automatics).

If Russo isn't willing to change his league, a new competing league might help him get his head out of the sand.


Instead of a league, three or four midget major AAA teams of 17 and 18 year olds should be formed (you could expand to three or four 15 & 16 year olds playing midget minor AAA).

They play two or three games against each other here in the cities. A roadtrip to Wisconsin to play Team WI, Madison Capitals, Milwaukee Admirals. A roadtrip to Chicago to play the Fire, Mission, Young Americans and Team IL. Hold one or two eight team tourneys at the Super Rink inviting in top tier teams (Belle Tire, SL Blues, Compuware, Victory Honda, Honeybaked, etc.).

Kids would get a 25 game schedule in against the same competition they will be seeing at NAHL and USHL tryout camps.


FHIT is totally in a position to do this. Minnesota Blades also could do it. MN Hockey/USA Hockey sanctioning of the teams (they would be AAA) and politics probably would be the hardest part in getting this done.


SWPrez this is an idea I would love to see happen. I am also a realist that says even with this type of situation there may be favoritism somewhere but I think the amount would be greatly reduced.
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JCarlson



Joined: 06 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:28 pm    Post subject: Team Great Plains Reply with quote

Coach Oliver of Team Great Plains really seems to be biased toward his Roseau players as well as players from Moorhead. You want to talk about no mans land? Try central MN - Draw a circle from Lil' Falls, to DL to Fergus to Alex. Nobody going to bat for some of the better players in this region of the State.
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DumpandChase1



Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 199

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It wasn't enough to keep Walker here.

http://www.juniorhockey.com/news/news_detail.php?news_id=76139
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deacon64



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Team Great Plains Reply with quote

JCarlson wrote:
Coach Oliver of Team Great Plains really seems to be biased toward his Roseau players as well as players from Moorhead. You want to talk about no mans land? Try central MN - Draw a circle from Lil' Falls, to DL to Fergus to Alex. Nobody going to bat for some of the better players in this region of the State.


Wow,after checking not a single elite, only two invited to try out. Only two in area made D yet 5 from Crookston in D and 2 in elite. When was last time any Crookston team had a winning record. League has lost any and all respect. No wonder Mr Russo is in hiding.
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Roy01



Joined: 08 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe while the league has every intention of player advancement and development, it is (sadly) only doing this for a select number of players. It seems many players are not getting in to the league not because their lack of ability, but rather just they are being..."overlooked" or just simply removed entirely because they are not in a "premiere" high school hockey program i.e. STA, Benilde, EP, etc.

I absolutely agree it has its benefits and it has proven to enhance players skill and ability, along with their exposure. The thing is a lot of these players within the league are at the schools that will receive scouting and exposure throughout the season already (hence the teams listed above).

IF these players are truly the best (and deserving) in the state, I have no arguments. There just seems to be a little "political pull" as you look through the rosters of these teams...

It's extremely disappointing to see some great players not even get an opportunity to show what they can do individually and with a great surrounding cast just simply because their team is not titled "Cadets."
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greybeard58



Joined: 22 Aug 2004
Posts: 1585

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When he Elite league was started it seemed to be a good idea, I would be willing to bet that now it is more money driven to those that run and operate. It is rumored that for one of these leagues
9either boys or girls) there is also mandatory testing at Velocity Hockey before you can participate. It is sad that greed has come into play.
Maybe it is time for everybody to just say no for one summer season and the same fall season to let all know this has to change.
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goldy313



Joined: 05 Mar 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

karl(east) wrote:

O-townClown wrote:
I recall Ken Pauly saying in an interview about 4-5 years ago that the numbers (high teens at the time) had come down from mid-40s ten years prior. Interview was with whatever Pete Waggoner was doing at the time. The Stitch?


He's as good a source as any, I suppose. So is it only perception that the Elite League is "failing" to keep kids from leaving? Should we just assume there are about 20 players/families in any given year that will not be happy with their current situation in MN HS hockey? Not that this excuses the questionable selections, etc., but I'd be curious to hear some thoughts on that.


I think kids will leave no matter what, often some of these kids have advisors telling them to leave, either because the kids are good enough or that is what the advisors are paid to do......advance the kid, you have pay to play leagues selling their products and parents willing to buy into that idea, and you have kids who leave for other reason like MSHSL rules violations. The Elite League will never keep every kid no matter their selection process but that doesn't mean the selection system should get a pass.
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JCarlson



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe some light research into head coach for Crookston HS (Bittner) will reveal that he sits on more than one MN Hockey positions of inluence. He goes to bat for his players, but as far as the rest of Great Plains, it's basically Section 8 with a sprinkling of ND players....some new ones who never even played in the Prep league last year. Not right.

Reality is that it's who you know and what program you play in that determines placement on Elites. Obviously the player has to be good too, but....If a kid is very good player but happens to be from a less-than-noteworthy high school and/or happens to have an uninterested coach, then he will need to find other avenues to progress and be seen. [/quote]
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Saturdays



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JCarlson you may want to do a little more research on that one!!!!
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