There seems to be a significant amount of chatter over the past couple weeks on the youth hockey forum on Mlive http://www.mlive.com/forums/youthhockey about the divisional alignment within the LCAHL – particularly regarding what teams are in or out of the Yzerman division.
Seems to me that while every team can make an argument for why they should be in the Yzerman division at every age level, LCAHL has done a very good job of placing teams in the appropriate divisions in previous years.
Have there been teams in the Y that did not belong there? You bet!
Have there been teams in the Lidstrom that should have been in the Y? Absolutely!
Has the league done a good job in trying to reach competitive parity within the league divisions? For sure!
So why all the griping? I’m sure some of it has to do with travel. I’m sure some of it has to do with one side of the common argument, i.e. “We belong in the Y” or “That team doesn’t belong in the Y”. Either way, the LCAHL volunteers have done a great job of aligning these divisions and there will never be an alignment that leaves everyone happy. Give them credit where credit is due.
In light of all this griping however, we could always take the approach that International soccer leagues take in division alignment. The bottom 3 teams in the premier league (the top division) fall to the second division while the top 3 teams in the second division move up to the top division.
There are arguments for following this type of a divisional alignment philosophy, but there are many arguments against it as well. The one benefit of this is that it would eliminate any question about who is in the top division and who is not. It may provide incentive to stay with a team for the players who worked hard to move up to the top division, but it may provide incentive to move to another team if your previous team moved down the second division. As I said, there are arguments for and against this, but it certainly would take the guesswork out of it.
Regardless of the approach, there will always be someone, somewhere, on some team, that believes their team got the shaft. The bottom line is; Play your games, play at 110%, practice at 110%, and be a team player – the rest will take care of itself.
See you at the rink.