BS, name one. Besides you said “people in the know,” I listed many many people who have tons of credibility, you have zero. A volunteer exec from the NYHL is more in the know that the list provided?!?!
This is a ridiculous line of conversation. Who cares who is putting their name down in support of this. Auston Matthews supports it of course, the same way many of the Canadian players support full ice - it's what they grew up playing and what they think is best.
The reality is that there is no evidence to support cross ice has any impact on development at this point. In 10 years we may or may not be able to argue that it has had an impact. The other thing is that we are talking about a change to playing games, which at Tyke and below levels represents 25% of the time on the ice (give or take) - where practices are not going to change, so how are you going to prove that the cross ice even has an impact?
My opinion is that the kids are going to develop pretty much exactly the same because practices are going to be pretty much the same under either format. The difference now is going to be that the kids will have virtually the same level of skill, but no understanding of how a hockey game is actually played. After a year of cross ice, I've seen the better kids still dominate play, possibly improve in small area battles, rarely attempt to play defense and seldom pass the puck as they don't need to with it being just as easy to take a few strides and be in a scoring position.
The weaker players still rarely touch the puck and never get quality puck touches because they don't have enough time and space to do much other than slap the puck away.