Post #41 — 6/16/21 — RMU Update, Recruiting-Too Much? Sifters

In This Post…

  • Robert Morris Update
  • Recruiting, Too Much?
  • Sifters

Robert Morris Update

As we reported last week, there seemed to be a groundswell of support across the Pittsburgh hockey spectrum to try and save the Robert Morris Women’s and Men’s hockey programs. There was a lot of chatter on social media about one effort in particular that hoped to get both sides talking at least. Murry Gunty, CEO of Black Bear Sports Group tweeted at RMU President Chris Howard among others in the hockey world, an open letter how his company can help save the programs.

Gunty’s company is based out of Maryland and is in the ice rink management business with 27 rinks in its portfolio. So, he’s no stranger to managing the economics of arenas and facilities. As of June 10, Gunty tweeted he had not been responded to.

Sean Collier who writes for Pittsburgh Magazine has a great piece on the inner workings of why this happened HERE. For now, players are looking out for themselves and looking for opportunities through the transfer portal. We will keep you updated as this situation progresses.

Recruiting, Too Much?

D-I coaches are now two weeks into being allowed back on the road and June 15th has come and gone. Needless to say, it’s been busy. The amount of events–camps, showcases, tournaments, combines, etc. scheduled during this short time period has been dare we say, may-be even a bit too much to make it all worthwhile? College coaching staffs are only 3 coaches deep, there’s only so much we can get to. And this is just in the US… the border between the US and Canada isn’t even open yet, imagine if it were? Coaches are having to be laser focussed on where they spend their time and recruiting money, you would think players might be the same way. We saw one email from a player sent to coaches and the dollar amount spent on all the events she’d be going to had to be at least $6-7K when you factor in entry fees/ travel, etc. That’s insane!

Just in Minnesota alone over the next week there will be 4 events–the MN 14 & 15 development camps, the 2nd Os weekend taking place in Edina, and the North American Female Elite Showcase in Blaine. That’s just in MN… nevermind what is going on elsewhere. Green Bay has the central district camp, Rochester, NY has the first annual 585 PIP Showcase, and the RinkSport College Development Camp starts on Saturday. At the end of the June into July you have USA Hockey’s National Development camps with the 16/17 camp June 26-July 2, the 15 camp July 10-15, and the Select U18 camp July 16-22. Sprinkled in there are two Beantown Showcases in Marlborough on consecutive weekends.

Camp and event/showcase operators have to try and make money, it’s how they make their living–understood. And unprecedented times, yield unprecedented environments, like we’re seeing now with all of these events out of the gate in June. But how is the quality of these events events going to be? USA Hockey events should be the best eval events of the summer–with a concentrated, hand picked (sort of) player pool of the best of tthe best representing every USA Hockey district. Yes, you have to be selected for USA Hockey events and we get that players/parents want to get in front of coaches, it’s a critical time. But the old saying, if you’re good – they will find you – holds true. Coaches get paid to make recruiting decisions, and if there is no decision to be made because they don’t like what they see, they won’t make one. Exposure if great, but only if you show well. Perhaps there is a better way to manage all of this ‘summer recruiting’ moving forward.

Point being, too much hockey all at once makes for watered-down events and poor evaluation opportunities for coaches. That doesn’t help hockey programs or participants. Hopefully coaches (and players) don’t get burned out too quickly!


Coaching Carousel Continues… Justin Simpson has left RIT to become part of the Brown staff as an assistant coach. There’s a connection there as Justin worked at Providence while Ruzzi was an assistant for the Friars.

Frankel Wins Another… Northeastern Goaltender Aerin Frankel needs more space on her mantel as she picked up yet another award, winning the USA Hockey Bob Allen Women’s Player of the Year award. You can read the official announcement HERE.

Women’s Worlds Set – Again… Hockey Canada announced the IIHF Women’s World Championships will be held in Calgary, Alberta August 20-31, 2021. The event was originally scheduled for Halifax, Nova Scotia and was cancelled due to COVID concerns a few days before the event was to begin. You can read the official announcement HERE. We’ll have a list of NCAA players in the tournament as the event gets closer. There should be quite a few.

USA Hockey National Development Camp Lists Are Out… USA Hockey recently announced its player pools for its 2021 national player development camps coming up at the end of June/July. Lists of each camp are below:

16/17 Camp – 144 players – 48 D, 80 F, and 16G, (2004’s), June 26 – July 2

15 Camp – 216 players – 72D, 120 F, and 24G, (2006’s), July 10-15

Under 18 Select Camp – 76 Players – 28D, 40F, 8G, (2004’s – 2006’s), July 16-22

Until Next Time… Have a great weekend everyone!

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