I agree 100%. That being said I think a majority of this thread is geared towards all the armchair QBs who dont know what they are talking about as it relates to LVPY 2011s. They flat out can play at an elite level and are legit. The point always is some people need to stop making assumptions about things they know nothing about. Organizations get pressure from the district and they realize they are getting held to the fire if they put in bad teams. LVPY 2011s are a unicorn in their org though and I dont think your going to see that program put out AY teams that cant compete. They did it before and it destroys the integrity of everything else all the way down.
Now to your point. Correct. You can call it whatever letter you want to give it but there truly are too many Tier "1" options in the AAHA. The fact that you have the league breaking out into National and American, Premier and Elite, etc just shows there truly is only a handful of teams in the district at each level who can play at the highest competition. Its not really org specific either. Most orgs have one or two good birth years and the rest are average to below average. Most of this comes down to there are just lots of clubs. If you want to look out west Pens Elite and pretty much Pitt Vengeance are the only Tier 1 options you have. Imagine if we paired down to 2 or 3 in NJ and 3 or 4 in Pa. Competition would rise and you could pair kids where its best for them to develop. Thats on the district though. How they go down that road or if they ever do who knows. Money talks. End of the day in your program you need to manage to the top of what you have. It challenges the whole team and that's how they get better. Truly there is elite level hockey, then I guess what you would call Tier 1, AA, A, B, etc. None of the truly elite programs really even want to play the weaker part of their schedule anyways. I think the bigger issue is the district allowing Tier 1 status to orgs who are USPHL. Still confuses me to this day. Incentive always drives the bus. Do the people at the top care about the almighty dollar or what's best for the kids?