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News

Top 46 Athletes Invited To U18 Female Summer Camp

Forty-six female hockey players, born between 1998-2000, are one step closer to representing Alberta at the 2015 National Women’s Under 18 Championship.

Hockey Alberta has extended invitations to 46 players to compete at the Team Alberta U18 Female Summer Development Camp, July 14-19, in Camrose. The list includes six goalies, 16 defense, and 24 forwards.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE TEAM ALBERTA U18 FEMALE INVITATION LIST

“The summer camp in Camrose will be an exciting, exhausting week for the girls and a great opportunity to learn. And the level of competition will increase, as the athletes continue to strive for a spot on Team Alberta at the Under 18 National Championships,” said Nicole Carreau, Coordinator Team Alberta, Female.

The 46 athletes were selected from 84 who attended the spring selection camp, May 28-31, in Spruce Grove. The Spruce Grove camp included fitness testing, mental skills preparations, on ice skills sessions, and several games.

From the camp in Camrose, a shortlist will be established, with those players invited to another selection camp in the fall.

Team Alberta will compete at the 2015 National Women’s Under 18 Championship in Huntsville, Ontario, November 4-8.

News

Hockey Canada Announces Invites To 2015 National Teams’ Summer Showcase

Hockey Canada announced Tuesday the 194 players invited to attend the National Teams’ Summer Showcase from July 29-Aug. 6 at the Markin MacPhail Centre at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

The inaugural National Teams’ Summer Showcase marks the first time Hockey Canada has brought together all three of Canada’s national men’s programs in the same city at the same time. It will include Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp (40 players), Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp (43 players) and Canada’s national under-17 development camp (111 players).

Ryan Jankowski, director of player personnel for Hockey Canada, was responsible for all player selection, with assistance from regional scouts Carl Bouchard (Quebec), Barclay Branch (Ontario), Wade Klippenstein (West), Kevin Mitchell (Atlantic) and Darrell Woodley (Ontario) for the under-17 roster, and with input from coaches and general managers from across the Canadian Hockey League for the under-18 and under-20 rosters.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for these groups to learn from and inspire each other as they all come together in Calgary,” said Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams. “We are looking forward to hosting the 194 players as they work towards representing Canada in international competition.”

“I would like to congratulate all 194 players selected to attend the Hockey Canada National Teams’ Summer Showcase,” said Jankowski. “This is a tremendous opportunity for Canada’s top talent to show our coaches and scouts how they can help Canada succeed on the international stage.”

Hockey Alberta would like to congratulate all of the athletes invited, including, the numerous Alberta players who will be taking part.

U20 Camp Participants:

Brandon Hickey - Leduc, AB
Conner Bleackley - High River, AB
Jake DeBrusk - Edmonton, AB
Nick Merkley - Calgary, AB
Brayden Point - Calgary, AB
John Qyenneville - Edmonton, AB

U18 Camp Participants:

Carter Hart - Sherwood Park, AB
Stuart Skinner - Edmonton, AB
Jake Bean - Calgary, AB
Kale Clague - Lloydminster, AB
Josh Mahura - St. Albert, AB
Ryely McKinstry - Calgary, AB
David Quenneville - Edmonton, AB
Tyler Benson - Edmonton, AB
Dillon Dube - Cochrane, AB
Sam Steel - Sherwood Park, AB
Nolan Volcan - Edmonton, AB

U17 Camp Participants:

Ian Scott - Calgary, AB
Dawson Weatherill - Red Deer, AB
Jarrod Gourley - Calgary, AB
Jantzen Leslie - Lloydminster, AB
Ian Mitchell - Calahoo, AB
Dominic Schmiemann - James River Bridge, AB
Jaret Anderson-Dolan - Calgary, AB
James Hamblin - Edmonton, AB
Ethan McIndoe - Camrose, AB
Kobe Mohr - Lloydminster, AB
Kyle Olson - Calgary, AB
Josh Paterson - Edmonton, AB

All practices and intrasquad games during the Hockey Canada National Teams’ Summer Showcase, except for the four Team Canada exhibition games against the Czech Republic and Russia, will be open to the public.

For more information on the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca

News

2015 Hockey Conference & AGM Conclude In Calgary

Approximately 250 representatives from the hockey community in Alberta attended the two-day event, which was held at the Calgary Westin. Participants included executive members and coach directors from minor hockey associations, coaches, volunteers, and Hockey Alberta staff members.

A number of individuals and minor hockey associations were recognized for outstanding achievements as part of the Awards Luncheon. Recipients were:

Minor Hockey Association Executive of the Year: Graham Tanner, St. Alberta Minor Hockey Association
Minor Hockey Association of the Year: Killam Minor Hockey Association
Meritorious Awards: Darcy Haugan, Peace River; Gary Tremblay, Leduc
Provincial Championships Exceptional Host Site Awards: Hockey Edmonton/SEERA, Peewee AA Minor; Lacoka (Lacombe/Ponoka), Bantam Female A.
Hockey Development Awards: Blair Becker, Craig DeCoursey, Chris Turnbull
Ernie Boruk Award (for contributions to the Hockey Alberta Referee Council): Don Roberts
Dave Ganley Award (for contributions to officiating at the local or provincial level): Aaron Brown, Gary Greenough
Officials Zone Awards: Marty Tingstad (Peace); Robert Olynyk, Hockey Edmonton, Chris Rebus (North); Derek Krys (North East); Paul Coad (North Central); Geoff DaSilva, Sean Brett, Corey Halford (Central); and Aaron Brown (South).

During the AGM, chair of the Board of Directors Terry Engen presented the Chair of the Board award to Edmonton’s Betty Chmilar. As well, Jerrold Lemko was elected as a Director at Large to the Hockey Alberta Board of Directors.

The Hockey Conference and AGM opened on Friday night with a keynote address from Brian Burke, President of Hockey Operations for the Calgary Flames. The keynote was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dean Molberg and Rhett Warrener of Sportsnet 960. Burke joined panelists Ray Bennett (assistant coach St. Louis Blues), Brendan Morrison (retired NHL player), Kyle Rehman (NHL referee), Paul Carson (Vice President, Membership Development with Hockey Canada), and Fran Gow (Hockey Alberta Coach Mentor). The group talked about a variety of topics, including half-ice and year-round hockey, coaching, and body-checking.

Approximately 250 representatives from the hockey community in Alberta attended the event, which was held at the Calgary Westin. Participants included executive members and coach directors from minor hockey associations, coaches, volunteers, and Hockey Alberta staff members.

News

2015 Hockey Conference Kicks Off In Calgary

Brian Burke kicked off Hockey Alberta’s 2015 Hockey Conference and Annual General Meeting on Friday night by saying thank you.

Burke, the President of Hockey Operations for the Calgary Flames, opened the Hockey Conference by thanking the parents of minor hockey players, as well as the volunteers and minor hockey association representatives who contribute their time to providing opportunities to play the game.

“Hockey has lots of challenges, but why I’m not worried about the future is the people in this room – the volunteers. You are the linchpins,” Burke said. “And to the parents, thank you. We understand the sacrifice it takes…. Your kid plays the toughest sport in the world.”

Burke addressed a number of areas in the game that are of concern to him, including a reduction in opportunities for unstructured hockey, the cost of participation, the age and condition of public arenas across Canada, and a lack of focus on the importance of academics.

For Burke, these are all areas that need to be addressed because “we want to create hockey players for life.” And he said he was encouraged by the announcement earlier in the evening of the new Mission and Vision statements for Hockey Alberta that focus on the player.

Burke’s keynote set the stage for a panel discussion that focused on a number of key elements for developing the game.

Panelists represented the spectrum of involvement in the sport: Kyle Rehman (NHL referee), Ray Bennett (assistant coach St. Louis Blues), Paul Carson (vice president Hockey Canada), Brendan Morrison (retired NHL player and current minor hockey coach), and Fran Gow (coach mentor Hockey Alberta, AJHL VP and former long time junior hockey coach). The panel discussion was moderated by Dean Molberg and Rhett Warrener from Sportsnet 960.

The panel discussion covered a wide range of topics, including body-checking options, half-ice practices, practice to game ratios, the challenge in recruiting and retaining officials at all levels, spring hockey, playing sports other than hockey as part of long term player development, and various aspects of coaching.

Bennett talked about how not introducing body-checking until a certain age does not mean that contact is removed from the game. In fact, there is more of a focus on coaches at those levels to teach skills such as proper body positioning to achieve the true goal, which is to cause the opposing player to give up the puck.

Rehman talked about the challenges in keeping young officials involved in the game, and the importance of utilizing technology, such as video, to provide as much support as possible.

Carson discussed the fact that the hockey community has to take a close look at the ‘traditional model’. Other sports adjust the size of the playing surface according to the age of the participants. For hockey, that means making better use of the ice with half-ice practices.

Morrison said he does not believe that hockey should be a year-round sport, and pointed to the benefits of playing other sports because players learn skills that can beneficial in hockey. 

Gow stressed the importance of communication for coaches in clearly outlining expectations about how the team will operate, and everyone’s role in helping make the experience positive for all involved.

The AGM and Hockey Conference, being held at the Calgary Westin, continue on Saturday with three specialized seminar streams focusing on Hockey Administrators, Coach Directors and Elite Coaches. The event concludes Saturday afternoon with Hockey Alberta’s annual general meeting.

News

Scott Robinson Named New Ceo Of 2019 Canada Games

Over more than two decades with Hockey Alberta and the Hockey Alberta Foundation, Scott Robinson has amassed a lot of memories and seen many changes in the operation of amateur hockey in Alberta.

But starting in August, Robinson will be embarking on the next stage of his career, as the new Chief Executive Officer of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer. The Canada Winter Games committee made the announcement on Friday morning in Red Deer.

“I have had the opportunity to be mentored and influence by so many people, from coaches to players to officials to colleagues. I have been gifted with the time, teaching and mentorship of some of the greatest minds, characters and leaders Alberta and Canada has seen not only in hockey but in sport and society,” said Robinson. “And I am looking forward to taking what I have learned and experienced over the past 23 years, and having that benefit the Canada Winter Games in 2019 in Red Deer, and sport development across Alberta and Canada.”

In reflecting on his time at Hockey Alberta, a few accomplishments and events particularly stand out for Robinson:

Director of Operations for Team Alberta male and female hockey teams at the 1995 and 1999 Canada Winter Games (the male team won silver in 1995 and gold in 1999; the female team bronze in 1999);
Developing the new Advanced 1 Coaches Development Model which is still used today;
Developing the Regional Centre Model in 2003 for Hockey Alberta. It was piloted in 2005 and is now implemented across the province;
Assisting in the transition to new Governance Model for Hockey Alberta in 2012 -2013;
Member of the Hockey Canada Hockey Development Council (1997-2004), Coaches Committee (1999-2002); and
Team Manager, 1998 National Under-18 Team at Four-Team tournament in Slovakia (gold medal).

Most recently, Robinson has been the Executive Director of the Hockey Alberta Foundation. The Foundation is Canada’s only provincial Hockey Foundation, and has invested more than $750,000 into hockey in Alberta since 2002.

“It has been my pleasure to work and volunteer beside Scott for the past few years. Since my earliest involvement with Hockey Alberta, Scott has been a constant figure, most recently as our Executive Director for the Hockey Alberta Foundation,” said John Windwick, Board Chair for the Foundation. “In my time on the board, Scott has been our key employee, working behind the scenes, running events, creating new programs and working on the strength of our Board’s governance and committee structure. Scott leaves us for a great opportunity where I know he will provide the same dedication and expertise he has shown the Foundation over these past few years.”

Robinson joined Hockey Alberta (still referred to at that time as the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association) in 1992 as Coordinator of High Performance. He was filling a vacancy left by Ray Bennett (current assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues), who had joined the Moose Jaw Warriors as assistant general manager with Mike Babcock.

Since then, he has served as Manager of Technical Development Programs, Senior Manager of Business Development, Executive Director of the Foundation, and overseen marketing and strategic planning processes for Hockey Alberta. In 2005, Robinson received the President’s Award from then-President Loren Krukowski, and in 2007, he received the Hockey Alberta Development Award.

Scotty has been a mentor to many of us within the Hockey Alberta family, and he brought a passion that will be missed in our organization. It’s a huge shift for us to lose someone like Scott who, in many ways, has been Hockey Alberta since his start in 1992,” said Rob Litwinski, Executive Director of Hockey Alberta. “Working with Scott for 14 of those 23 years, it will be very different to work in this office without him. But I am happy to see him so excited for his new opportunity, I know how much the Canada Winter Games being in Red Deer means to him.”

News

Hockey Alberta Unveils New Vision And Mission

Hockey Alberta has announced new Vision and Mission statements that will help set the strategic direction and guide day-to-day operations as the organization moves forward.

The new Vision statement is: Hockey for life.

The new Mission statement is:

To create positive opportunities and experiences FOR ALL PLAYERS through innovative leadership and exceptional service.

“We believe the new Vision and Mission statements are very aspirational in what Hockey Alberta would like to be, and reflect that at the end of the day we need to do what is right for the player,” said Terry Engen, Chair of the Board of Directors for Hockey Alberta.

The new statements emerged from a strategic planning retreat hosted by the Board of Directors in October 2014. The retreat also involved senior management from Hockey Alberta and key volunteer committee members. Participants evaluated whether the existing Vision and Mission statements, which had been in place for about 15 years, were in alignment with the feedback being provided by the hockey community in Alberta.

A significant aspect of the new statements is recognition of key stakeholders, who play major roles in ensuring that the goals contained in the Vision and Mission can be accomplished. The contributions provided by stakeholders are important in the growth and improvement of each and every player in the province, regardless of age, skill level, experience or location.

Hockey Alberta’s stakeholders include: Administrators, Alberta Sport Connection, Club Teams, Coaches, Corporate Partners, Hockey Canada, Leagues, Local Minor Hockey Associations, Managers, Officials, Parents, and Trainers.

The new Vision and Mission statements were unveiled during the opening session of the 2015 Hockey Alberta Hockey Conference and Annual General Meeting on Friday, June 12, in Calgary.

News

Burke, Bennett, Morrison, Rehman Highlight Hockey Conference Roster

It’s not too late to register as a delegate for the 2015 Hockey Alberta Hockey Conference and Annual General Meeting, being held Friday and Saturday, June 12-13 at the Westin in Calgary.

Delegates select one of three streams in which to register: Hockey Administrators, Coach Directors, or Elite Coaches. Depending on the stream selected, each delegate will participate in a specially-designed day-long series of information sessions on Saturday (see outline below for each stream).

As well, every delegate is eligible to attend the keynote address and panel discussion on Friday evening during the opening session of the Hockey Conference, starting at 7 pm featuring six well known personalities from the sport. They will be discussing the development of the game, with a focus on effective recruitment and retention of participants, including players, officials, coaches, trainers and administrators.

Members of the panel are:


Brendan Morrison, NHL alumnus, 16-year pro career, and currently a minor hockey coach
Kyle Rehman, NHL Referee
Ray Bennett, St. Louis Blues, Assistant Coach
Paul Carson, Hockey Canada, Vice President Development
Fran Gow, Hockey Alberta, Coach Mentor, and Alberta Junior Hockey League, Vice President Hockey Operations

A social will follow the panel discussion, hosted by Hockey Calgary. All delegates are encouraged to wear their Oilers or Flames apparel, as there will be some special activities in a unique “battle of Alberta.”

The AGM and Hockey Conference provides opportunities for Hockey Alberta’s member Minor Hockey Associations, Senior and Junior Club Teams, Sport Schools, League Administrators, and other hockey industry people, coaches, parents, and officials to participate in interactive sessions targeted at some of the hot topics in the game today.

In addition to the Friday night activities, Saturday’s busy schedule includes the Hockey Alberta Foundation’s Every Kid Every Community Breakfast, Hockey Alberta’s Awards Luncheon, the AGM, and three streams of specialized sessions – Hockey Administrators, Coach Directors, and Elite Coaches.

Each specialized stream includes a list of specially-selected topics and very knowledgeable session leaders, including:

Hockey Administrator Stream: key topics for Local Minor Hockey Associations and other organizations that oversee amateur hockey programs. Session leaders are:
Joel Christianson, Province of Alberta; TOPIC: Minor Hockey Association Governance
Senior managers from Hockey Alberta with updates on non-body checking option, Initiation Hockey, and AA Hockey initiatives for 2015-16.

Coach Director Stream: featured topics are Coaching Pathway, Communication/Support, Player/Team Selection, Provincial Development Plan, Coach Mentorship Plan, LMHA sharing topics, Issues/Trends workshop, and NCCP Coach Clinics.

Elite Coach Stream: session leaders are:
Brad Kilb, Coordinator, Leadership in Coaching, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary; TOPIC: Generational Coaching
Mike Bergren, Goaltending Coach, Kootenay Ice; TOPIC: A Goaltender’s Perspective
Dominic Pittis, Skills Coach, Calgary Flames; TOPIC: Teaching Skills
Spiros Anatas, Head Coach, University of Lethbridge Pronghorns; TOPIC: The Little Things
Ray Bennett; TOPIC: Defensive Concepts

The two-day event concludes on Saturday afternoon, with Hockey Alberta’s annual general meeting, starting at 2 pm. The AGM includes elections for positions available on the Board of Directors.