-Edina puts out some great D1 talent but seems to fizzle at the NHL level. Should be a great discussion but people didn't want to hear it... (OTC 😉)
-I really believe the Summer AAA explosion around 2007(?) was the great equalizer for minnesota hockey with the rest of the world.
Even Minnesota Hockey is getting on the bandwagon now with district and tier 1 teams that I used to say they should start to do all the time! (Sorry to toot my own horn, but some will remember clearly)
All of these newer things are bringing Minnesota to new heights!
Bo, I'm not sure what you think I didn't want to hear about Edina. I'm quite familiar with the community, its history, and the hockey program. I do recall you whining incessantly about how kids from certain areas don't have the same opportunity as others. Versed in the matter due to my time as an administrator (Director of a USA Hockey affiliate), I told you to quit whining and move like everybody else that doesn't like their hockey option. It isn't Minnesota Hockey's responsibility to do everything; all they can do is provide an environment where the sport can flourish.
You are spot on about the increased opportunities resulting in accelerated development. Around 1984 or 1985 a HS All-Star team was sent to Massachusetts and they got smoked. The reason cited at the time was that the New Englanders played summer hockey and Minnesotans didn't. Not the case today and you know same-age Minnesotans will fare just fine with players from anywhere.
I definitely remember the idea for regional Tier I teams as yours. You get full credit from me on that. I never felt that Minnesota was ripe for Tier I hockey taking kids out of association hockey or the high schools. I don't recall you backing the before/after format they settled on, but maybe you did. What is VERY TROUBLING is how little support Minnesota's players have for the Tier I tournament. Kids would seem to prefer Blades over it. The Minnesota showings at Nationals last week were disappointing. (On the Boys side. Girls did great.) Boys played 18U Tier II and actually lost games?! What the heck?
The newer, modern things offered are clearly working. Most importantly, they've come without compromising the best thing Minnesota has - community hockey. Municipal rinks and volunteer coaches. I questioned everybody's Tier I dreams on this board when they didn't make sense, mainly because anything in Minnesota would not get the support of the USA Hockey affiliate unless it was good for all.
I think the present climate really is good for all.
Questions on what lies ahead with more hockey schools and programs like Gentry aspiring for Tier I hockey. It'll be interested.
I will always credit you with the regional Tier I support.
Be kind. Rewind.