Wow, what a year! There is a lot going on and I wanted to outline some exciting changes and new developments for the 2016-17 season.
Development Programs: Our entry level programs continue to grow: Recreation Hockey where we partner with local town recreation departments and offer an early morning program for new players trying hockey for the first time. Our Overage Program continues to grow providing a place for new players who want to try the game at an older age (9 thru teens) - this program has provided older players a path to play organized hockey as an alternative to other activities.
Beginners & Intermediates (under 6 years old): We are proud to announce the new "Doodle Bugs Hockey Club" which will be an introduction to organized hockey for young players. This program will skate twice per week from October to February with the guidance of professional instructors. This is part of the USA Hockey "Grow the Game" initiative and will help us continue to bring new players to the game and continue our future growth. The program will be priced at $200.00/player for the entire season, a fraction of what is charged for like programs elsewhere and supported by Doodle Bug's Children's Centers (our title sponsor), Victor Chevrolet and community partners.
Mite Hockey (under 8 years old): One of our largest growth categories at PYH is the Mite Program which provides players the first taste of game and team activities. The teams focus on small ice games and practices which help young players develop basic hockey skills within a team environment. These players play a full season with games and tournaments locally.
House Program: The House Program is the backbone of our organization and provides players the opportunity to develop with a regular schedule of games and practices. League play is regional in Western New York and teams enjoy occasional tournament play as well as hosting our own year-end Big Thaw Tournament which draws teams from the Northeast US and Canada.
Perinton Blades Travel (Tier 2): Our Blades teams compete on a local and regional level every year. Teams start at Squirt Minor (8 years old) thru Midgets (18 years old) and provides the gateway for players to learn and love the game form a passionate group of coaches. Program players will transition to playing high school hockey, join an elite program or play club hockey in college. Many former PYH players have gone on to play at a higher level including Division 1 college and professional hockey. New this year is our USA Hockey ADM Model Pee Wee team using the core lessons used nationally by USA Hockey for skill development. Former Perinton Blade Stu Wilson finished his 4-year playing career at Yale University and signed a contract with the Rochester Americans (AHL).
Rochester Monarchs (Tier 1): We welcome Francois Methot as Director of Player Development - Francois was a Rochester American and had a long, distinguished Professional career. We will field a Junior (under 20 years old), U18 and U16 that will be full-season in the USPHL against teams across the Northeast US as well as youth teams from Squirt to Bantam. We have a strong roster of coaches that have played high-level Junior, College and Professional Hockey and today reside in Rochester. We are fortunate to have the experienced resources to help develop and guide players who seek playing at a higher level against the best teams both regionally and nationally. We also welcome the return of Jamie Bird (Buffalo Junior Sabres) coaching our U16 team joining Tosh Farrell (Notre Dame), Scott Nichol (Nashville Predators), Chris Palmer (RIT) and Ryan Gage (Geneseo).
Player Development Programs: For our 7th season we are providing all players the opportunity to gain exposure to professional instruction away from their team. PYH sponsors introductory sessions to all levels with the opportunity for teams or individuals to subscribe more as desired. Bob Janosz Goaltending School provides instruction for 13 weeks every season to all PYH players at no-charge as well as exposure to additional sessions. Bob is the Rochester Americans (AHL) Goaltending Coach and USA Hockey Regional Scout so a great resource to guiding goalies as they develop. Rochester Hockey Academy provides team instruction for 13 weeks to all PYH teams as well as private and group lessons as desired. Run by Rory Fitzpatrick, a lifelong Rochester Resident, Rochester Monarch Coach and 10-year NHL player. Next Level Strength and Conditioning is our off-ice training partner located at our home rink Thomas Creek Ice Arena. Run by Nate VanKouwenberg, a certified Functional Strength Coach with over 10-years experience training youth, high school, college and pro athletes in a variety of sports. Our players and teams all receive fully-sponsored lessons from all 3 training partners during the season.
Rinks: In addition to our home rink - Thomas Creek Ice Arena - we will continue to skate at the newly remodeled Paul Louis Arena, R.I.T. Ritter Rink as well as the Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex for this upcoming season.
We are excited about our programs top-to-bottom and the complete hockey experience we provide players from the ages of 4 to 20 years old. Hockey is a game players enjoy for a lifetime and we strive to make the formidable years enjoyable and memorable.
Rochester Monarchs Announce Plans for 2016-17 Season
The Rochester Monarchs AAA Hockey Program Announce Program Enhancements for the 2016-17 Season. The first program enhancement has come with the creation of the Director of Hockey position to oversee and organize all functions of the Monarchs' program, led by former Rochester American player Francois Methot.
Former NHL star Ray Ferraro was asked to talk to parents of a club that was going through a tough time, with parent expectations at an all-time high.
This is what Ferraro told the parents.
– Minor hockey is out of control in terms of Parents chasing the dream for their kids instead of kids deciding on their own how passionate they are for it and how bad they want it.
– In the last 10 years only 21 kids who either played at NSWC or BWC have appeared in at least ONE NHL regular season game. Point is if your banking on your son collecting an NHL pay cheque to solidify his and yours financial future you seriously need to stop and come up with a new plan and now.
– The odds of going pro are extremely low but the odds of having to find a career and a job to pay bills and be a husband and father are extremely high and it’s not dictated by if you played AAA hockey
– Parents need to enjoy the ride while you have it … your son’s minor hockey days end too quickly and often times people end up regretting what they did not know then and what they ending up missing because they were focused on everything but their kid having fun
– As a parent who devotes time and money to your son, the only right you have to ask is they give it their best … not how much ice time they get, if they play on the PP, who is their winger or D partner
– Don’t pay for power skating, dryland training, skill development and expect your son to score 50 goals, if you decide to invest in extras do it because your son asked for it and wants to improve and has a smile on his face each and every time … too many parents decide what they want their kids to do instead of their kids asking to do it.
– 12 month hockey is wrong … organized skills sessions, tryouts, spring hockey is too much and too taxing … kids can shoot pucks, stick handle, play street hockey but they need out of the mental insanity of a hockey rink and need to be engaged in something other than hockey … the time away reinforces the passion to want it
– Coaches are coaches we all know the game and think this should be done a certain way … how come we never tell our kids math teacher how to teach calculus but we think as parents we have the right to tell a hockey coach how much ice time and with whom and when our kids should play.
– When you evaluate your kids season, never base it on how many banners they won, what provincial they won, what tourneys they went to and won … ask yourself what improved from September to April, what did he learn or improve upon including non-hockey stuff … evaluate the season besides wins and losses but gains and improvements.
– I have a son who is going through the rigors of pro hockey in the AHL. Hockey is a tough racket. Growing up, my dad never talked to me after a game or practice, I did that with my kids. Just let them play, learn and develop. Pressure is high enough, no need to make it worse.