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News

AFHL unveils new logo

RED DEER - The Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL) has unveiled its new logo that will be used for the 2020-21 season and beyond.

"We are incredibly proud of the direction the AFHL has taken elite female hockey in Alberta over the last four seasons," said Kendall Newell, Manager of Female Hockey. "Our new logo represents the bright future that we envision for our league and players."

News

Bob Clark - 1937-2020

RED DEER – Bob Clark, a Life Member of Hockey Alberta, and a member of the 2020 Induction Class of the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame, passed away on Thursday, July 9 at the age of 83.

Bob, a resident of Carstairs, was involved in hockey in Alberta for more than half a century, displaying a passion for growing and improving the game for athletes and administrators.

Bob got his start as a goaltender in minor hockey, and served as a coach, general manager, administrator and committee member at the local, provincial and national levels. His involvement included work with Carstairs Minor Hockey, Hockey Alberta, and the Hockey Alberta Foundation.

Bob was the face of Junior A hockey in Alberta. From 1987-95, Bob was general manager of the Olds Grizzlys who captured three Alberta Junior Hockey League championships and the Centennial Cup in 1994. Bob also served as team president for two years. Bob served as the AJHL’s board chair and Hockey Alberta’s Junior A Committee chair, and was a special advisor to the AJHL, and director with the Friends of Alberta Junior Hockey Scholarship Program.

In Bob’s professional life, he was elected to the Alberta Legislature in 1960, and in 1966, he was appointed Alberta’s (and Canada’s) first-ever Minister of Youth. As Minister, Bob commissioned a study with the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association on the state of hockey in the Province. Recommendations from this report led to the development of coaching and refereeing clinics across Western Canada.

Among his other numerous accolades, Bob was inducted into the Alberta Amateur Sports Hall of Fame in 1974, received Hockey Alberta’s President’s Award in 2003 and Centennial Award in 2007, received Hockey Canada’s Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2009, was the Chair of the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee for four years, and was a member of Hockey Alberta Foundation Board of Directors for six years.

During Bob’s involvement in hockey, he was strongly supported by the wife of 55 years Norma, their two children Dean and Donna, and their families.


MountainviewToday.ca story >

DiscoverAirdrie.com story >

Ice Times Newsletter

ICE TIMES: Edition 20:13

PARENT ENGAGEMENT SERIES - PART FOUR: GAME DAY NUTRITION

Episode Four of the Hockey Alberta Parent Engagement Series features Edmonton Oilers/Edmonton Eskimos Head Team Physician Dhiren Naidu, and focuses on the importance of proper game day nutrition for athletes.

GAME DAY NUTRITION VIDEO >


HOCKEY ALBERTA’S RETURN TO HOCKEY PLAN

Hockey Alberta released its Return to Hockey Plan on June 30, providing the framework and minimum standards for Hockey Alberta’s Members to undertake hockey activities. The Plan also allows players, coaches, officials, parents and other stakeholders to understand the current guidelines for operating sanctioned hockey for the 2020-21 season.

RETURN TO HOCKEY PLAN >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter

ALBERTA BUILT SKILLS CAMPS ARE BACK!

With a Return to Hockey plan in place, Hockey Alberta is excited to bring back Alberta Built Skills Camps to prepare your young athlete for the 2020-21 season. Current camps available include Goalie Skills, Female Skills, and Pre-Season Prep.

REGISTER FOR A CAMP NOW >


ONLINE COACH DEVELOPMENT VIDEOS NOW AVAILABLE

In June, Hockey Alberta ran a series of online coach professional development sessions with a focus on coaches in the minor hockey system, covering a number of topics ranging from Hockey I.Q. to coach interviews. The video series is now available on Hockey Alberta’s YouTube Channel.

ONLINE COACH DEVELOPMENT VIDEOS > | MORE COACHING RESOURCES >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter


Hockey Alberta Newsletter

News

Parent Engagement Series - Part Four: Game Day Nutrition

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is pleased to continue its Parent Engagement Video Series, aimed at helping parents navigate through the ups and downs of being a hockey parent.

Episode Four features Edmonton Oilers/Edmonton Eskimos Head Team Physician Dhiren Naidu, and focuses on the importance of proper game day nutrition for athletes.

Parent Engagement Guide >

For more information on nutrition, and for other parent tips, head to hockeyalberta.ca.

News

Hockey Alberta’s Return to Hockey Plan

RED DEER – Hockey Alberta released its Return to Hockey Plan on Tuesday, providing the framework and minimum standards for Hockey Alberta’s Members to undertake hockey activities.

The Plan also allows players, coaches, officials, parents and other stakeholders to understand the current guidelines for operating sanctioned hockey for the 2020-21 season.

The Return to Hockey Plan and its appendices, along with other announcements and documents pertaining to COVID-19 and its impact on hockey in Alberta, can be reviewed on the Hockey Alberta website:

RETURN TO HOCKEY PLAN >

The Return to Hockey Plan incorporates the current requirements outlined in Stage 2 of the Government of Alberta’s Relaunch Plan, health and safety guidelines from Hockey Canada, and programming, registration and sanctioning for Hockey Alberta.

The health and safety of all participants in the sport is of paramount importance in all activities outlined in the Return to Hockey Plan. The threats and challenges posed by COVID-19 require specific steps to be taken to allow hockey back on the ice, and this plan addresses those requirements.

“It is important for our Members and families to know that there is a plan for hockey in Alberta for the coming season. Our players will be able to have fun, socialize with teammates and peers, and enjoy positive experiences in our game,” said Rob Litwinski, CEO of Hockey Alberta. “The Plan includes options to group players according to skill levels and engage in competition as they continue to develop their skills in preparation for returning to regular season play.”

The Return to Hockey Plan has three components:

  • Off-Season Skill Development
  • Development Season
  • Regular Season

The Development components provide direction on types of hockey activities that can be offered utilizing Physical Distancing or Cohorting; requirements for organizations in determining who is eligible to participate; estimated timelines for each component; travel and other limitations; and registration and sanctioning requirements.

The Return to Hockey Plan – including the timelines included within it - is subject to change, as new guidelines and requirements are put in place by the Government of Alberta.

Ice Times Newsletter

ICE TIMES: Edition 20:12

Hockey Alberta Newsletter

AFHL UNVEILS NEW LOGO

The Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL) has unveiled its new logo that will be used for the 2020-21 season and beyond.

LOGO RELEASE VIDEO >


ALBERTANS SELECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN HOCKEY CANADA’S HIGH PERFORMANCE SUMMER PROGRAMS

Over 25 of Alberta’s top hockey players have been chosen to participate in Hockey Canada summer programming, including the National Women’s Summer Development Program, National U17 Development Program, and National Junior Team Development Program.

NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMER PROGRAMS > | NATIONAL U17 DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM > | NATIONAL JUNIOR TEAM PROGRAM >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter

HOCKEY ALBERTA ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH VEREBURN MEDICAL SUPPLY

With the ever-changing landscape and an elevated focus on athlete and participant safety, Hockey Alberta is excited to announce a new partnership with Vereburn Medical Supply. The partnership sees Vereburn Medical Supply provide Hockey Alberta members with a reduced rate on complete medical kits and supplies.

FULL PARTNERSHIP DETAILS >


ISCA AT-HOME SUMMER FITNESS CHALLENGE

Join ambassador Ethan Bear of the Edmonton Oilers and get fit this summer! Participate with over 500 registrants from all across Alberta ages 12+ and win weekly prize draws, including free registration for Hockey Alberta skills camps!

ISCA FITNESS CHALLENGE DETAILS >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter

HOCKEY AT HOME - CONDITIONING, SKILL DEVELOPMENT, AND GOALIE TRAINING

As restrictions are beginning to lift and the weather is getting warmer, this will be our last week of Hockey at Home videos. Hockey Alberta would like to thank Crash Conditioning, Ali Stead (@never2late2learn.hky), and everyone else who have contributed to this video series.

HOCKEY AT HOME VIDEOS >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter


Hockey Alberta Newsletter

News

Hockey Alberta announces new partnership with Vereburn Medical Supply

RED DEER – With the ever-changing landscape and an elevated focus on athlete and participant safety, Hockey Alberta is excited to announce a new partnership with Vereburn Medical Supply.

The partnership sees Vereburn Medical Supply provide Hockey Alberta members with a reduced rate on complete medical kits and supplies.

“Vereburn Medical Supply is honored and excited to partner with Hockey Alberta to provide members with access to exclusive medical kits as well as extended discounts on their required sports medicine supplies” said Matt Veres, President Vereburn Medical Supply.

Vereburn, based in Calgary, is Canada’s leading wholesale manufacturer and distributor of products and equipment focusing on the sports medicine, emergency medical, healthcare and first aid markets. Current partners include the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association and U Sports, and Vereburn was an All-Star Contributor to the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

“Hockey Alberta is pleased to be able to partner with Vereburn Medical Supply in a way that ensures the safety of our participants is front of mind and provides a service to our members. When our members start preparing for a safe return to hockey, we hope the partnership with Vereburn is utilized getting the necessary medical first aid supplies in place,” said Mike Klass, Director of Business Operations for Hockey Alberta.

For more information on Vereburn Medical Supply, go to vereburn.com.

Home Ice Feature

Photo credit: LA Media


Ten Albertans to attend Canada’s National U17 Development Camp

CALGARY - Ten Albertans are among the 113 players invited to Canada’s National Under-17 Development Camp in July.

Defenceman Keaton Dowhaniuk, along with forwards Nate Danielson, Josh Davies, Jordan Gustafson, Reiger Lorenz, Rylen Roersma, Matthew Savoie, Bowden Singleton, Oasiz Wiesblatt and Koehn Ziemmer will all take part in the virtual camp.

The camp runs July 19-25, with a variety of sessions focusing on player development through online education.

Home Ice Feature

Seven Albertans invited to Canada’s National Women’s Program Summer Camps

CALGARY - Seven Albertans are among the 109 female athletes invited to the BFL Canada National Women’s Development Team and National Women’s Under-18 team summer camps.

Hockey Canada has announced a pool of 109 of the country’s top young players invited to participate in a pair of virtual camps with Canada’s National Women’s Program.

Goaltender Sophie Lajeunesse (Calgary), blueliner Dayle Ross (Spirit River), and forwards Kyle Perry (Ponoka) and Sarah Wozniewicz (Cochrane) will attend the BFL National Women’s Under-18 Team Summer Camp. Wozniewicz is one of three players who won a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2020 IIHF U18 Women’s Championship.

As for the BFL Canada National Women’s Development Team Summer Camp, defender Stephanie Markowski and forwards Kassy Betinol and Danielle Serdachny are among the 59 players invited.

Former Team Alberta coach Howie Draper (Edmonton) is on staff as Head Coach of the U18 team, while Mel Davidson (Oyen) returns as Head Scout for the program.

As the virtual meetings progress through the summer, the athletes will cover topics that include at-home strength and conditioning plans, mental performance plans and check-ins, nutrition, dry-land skills, skating simulations, team-building activities, short-term international competition preparation and meetings with coaches.

The online sessions will take place up to twice weekly, with critical information being communicated to athletes to allow them to continue to evolve as high-performance athletes in this new environment, and will utilize the strengths and experience of Canada’s National Women’s Program leadership to help connect one-on-one, athlete-to-athlete.

Home Ice Feature

Photo credit: LA Media


Eight Albertans invited to Canada’s National Junior Team Summer Development Camp

CALGARY - Eight Albertans are among the 41 players invited to Canada’s virtual National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp.

Sebastian Cossa (Fort McMurray) and Taylor Gauthier (Calgary) are among the five goaltenders invited to the camp. Defencemen Bowen Byram (Lethbridge/Cranbrook), Kaiden Guhle (Sherwood Park) and Matthew Robertson received invites as well, along with forwards Ridly Greig (Lethbridge), Dylan Holloway (Bragg Creek) and Peyton Krebs (Okotoks).

The virtual summer camp runs July 27-31, where players will participate in a variety of sessions with a focus on player development through online education.

Hockey at Home

Hockey at Home Goalie Skills - Agility & Hand-Eye

As part of the Hockey at Home Series, Hockey Alberta will publish a weekly video focused on goaltender skills drills that can be done at home.

In the final video of the series, Team Alberta alumna, University of Calgary Dinos goaltender Dayna Owen shows how to work on agility and hand-eye coordination at the same time. Hockey Alberta would like to send a huge thank you to Dayna for all of her hard work over the last 10 weeks, and for sharing her drills and tips with goalies across the province!


Agility & Hand-Eye



Hockey Alberta Goaltender Guide >


For more Hockey at Home videos, go to hockeyalberta.ca/hockey-home

Hockey at Home

Hockey at Home with Crash Conditioning - Episode 10

Hockey Alberta is excited to partner with Doug ’Crash’ Crashley of Crash Conditioning Ltd to bring a weekly series to the homes of hockey players across Alberta, focused on strength and conditioning.

In the final episode of the series, Crash welcomes guests Dr James Werner (DC., CSCS , Masters of Sport Medicine), Kurtis Freter (Senior Athletic Performance Coach), Steve Serdachny (B.ED,S.P.E NHL Skating & Skills Coach), Noah Serdachny, and Nicholas Unruh.

Hockey Alberta sends a sincere thank you to Crash, the entire Crash Conditioning team, and all those who made a special guest appearance in the series for their hard work, and for helping us all keep in shape at home!


Hockey at Home Series >

News

ICE TIMES: Edition 20:11

Hockey Alberta Newsletter

HOCKEY CANADA UPDATE ON COVID-19

Hockey Canada’s Tom Renney, chief executive officer, and Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer, issued a statement on the return-to-hockey process in Canada. For Hockey Alberta, this statement means that when arenas reopen as part of the government of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy, our Members may resume on-ice, sanctioned activities – subject to compliance with current health and safety standards in Alberta and Hockey Alberta’s Return to Hockey plan.

READ THE FULL UPDATE >


NEW STRUCTURE FOR AAA MALE HOCKEY IN ALBERTA

The structure of AAA male hockey in Alberta will have a different look for the 2020-21 season as the Alberta Elite Hockey League (AEHL) was announced on May 30 as the new home for Hockey Alberta’s elite male players.

INFORMATION ON THE AEHL >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter

AN UNRELENTING LOVE OF THE GAME KEY IN KODIE CURRAN’S JOURNEY TO THE NHL

Although ’follow your dreams’ is a common phrase, few people have taken that advice to heart quite like Kodie Curran. At age 30, the Calgarian recently signed his first NHL deal with Anaheim Ducks - a two-year, one-way contract, the culmination of years of hard work, perseverance, and a seemingly unmatched love for the game.

READ KODIE’S STORY >


ONLINE DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE FOR COACHES

Hockey Alberta is running a series of online coach professional development sessions over the coming weeks. With a focus on coaches in the minor hockey system, these sessions will cover a number of topics ranging from Hockey I.Q. to coach interviews. Upcoming sessions will take place on June 11, 17, and 18.

REGISTER FOR A SESSION >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter

HOCKEY AT HOME - CONDITIONING, SKILL DEVELOPMENT, AND GOALIE TRAINING

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep us all at home, it’s important to keep active, eat healthy, and even work on some hockey skills. Hockey Alberta is working with Crash Conditioning, Ali Stead (@never2late2learn.hky), and various goalie and Team Alberta resources to bring you weekly tips on how to stay ready for hockey’s return.

HOCKEY AT HOME VIDEOS >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter


Hockey Alberta Newsletter

Hockey at Home

Hockey at Home with Ali Stead: Tight Turn

Hockey Alberta is excited to work with Ali Stead (@never2late2learn.hky) to bring you weekly off-ice skills drills, as part of the Hockey at Home Series.

Ali Stead is a hockey player and social media influencer. Having only started playing hockey a few years ago, she developed her skills quickly, and is now passionate about sharing her love and knowledge for the game. This week’s skill is a tight turn.

As the Hockey at Home series comes to an end, Hockey Alberta would like to thank Ali for her contributions over the last 10 weeks, helping everyone keep their skills sharp while at home!


Tight Turns


Escapability is very important for all players, practice your tight turning skills with this simple drill.

  • Don’t cross hands
  • Roll wrists to cradle puck
  • Lead with the eyes
  • Generate power by sculling with outside foot

For more Hockey at Home videos, go to hockeyalberta.ca/hockey-home

Home Ice Feature

Kodie Curran (second from left) with father, Jerome (far left), sister Jessica, and brother-in-law Joey. (Photo courtesy of Kodie Curran)


An unrelenting love of the game key in Curran’s journey to the NHL

Although ’follow your dreams’ is a common phrase, few people have taken that advice to heart quite like Kodie Curran.

At age 30, the Calgarian recently signed his first NHL deal with Anaheim Ducks - a two-year, one-way contract, the culmination of years of hard work, perseverance, and a seemingly unmatched love for the game.

After two productive seasons in the Swedish Hockey League, including a league MVP title this past season, the blueliner caught the eye of NHL scouts, and the Ducks announced the signing on June 1.

While Curran’s unorthodox pathway to the NHL isn’t completely unheard of, it’s certainly not the ’cookie cutter’ route that many take to hockey’s highest level.

"I think a lot adversity through my career that I’ve had to battle," said Curran of his journey so far. "Not saying that other guys don’t, but there’s late bloomers, and then there’s really late bloomers, and I was a really late bloomer. I didn’t start playing high-end hockey until maybe I was 20, and then I took a bit of a break, and really got into my element when I was about 25."


Kodie with his wife, Caitlin, and daughter Remi. (Photo courtesy of Kodie Curran)

Curran was certainly no stranger to adversity in his younger hockey days. After playing Bantam AAA with the Calgary Buffaloes organization, he was passed over in the WHL Bantam draft, and went on to play Midget AA (playing forward at the time), while many of his peers and former teammates were playing Midget AAA, and trending towards Major Junior hockey. Although somewhat disappointed at the time, he says it only helped push him harder.

"In Midget AA, you’re thinking ’why am I not on the AAA team, why am I not on the AAA team? Now what happens? Now I’m not going to get drafted," Curran said. "There’s so much doubt in your mind when you play in Midget AA at such a young age, but I think now kids are starting to be molded a little bit earlier to deal with that, which I think is great. I think it’s important just to remember that where ever you’re playing, you’re not the player you’re going to be in the future, down the road, so just really enjoy it, and that’s what I tried to do."

After graduating from minor hockey, Curran enjoyed a successful career in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Calgary Canucks and Spruce Grove Saints, winning an AJHL title with the latter in 2010. Following his junior career, Curran played five seasons for the University of Calgary Dinos, helping the team to the National Championship in 2001, and earning West First All-Star Team honours in 2014 and 2015.

While the end of a post-secondary career could mark the last stop in a hockey player’s journey, Curran decided he wasn’t ready to give up on his dream. He signed a deal with the American Hockey League’s Hartford Wolf Pack, the New York Rangers’ top affiliate, and split time between the Wolf Pack and the Greenville Swamp Rabbits of the East Coast Hockey League. After making the difficult decision to play pro hockey in Europe, far away from his family and friends, he played in Denmark and Norway in 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively, before landing with Rögle BK of the Swedish Hockey League.

Curran credits the overwhelming support from his family and friends as a key contributing factor to his success in Europe.

"My family has meant everything to me," he said. "When I think about this moment, and sharing it with them, words aren’t enough to explain what they mean to me. To be that far away from home over in Europe, and to constantly be on FaceTime or getting texts from your family saying ’you’re doing the right thing’, they really solidified for me that I was in the right place in my life, and what I was doing was right."

Curran certainly made the most of his time in Europe, especially his two seasons in Sweden. This past season, he put up staggering numbers for a defenceman (12 goals and 37 points in 48 games), finishing second in the league in scoring, earning the title of league MVP. Curran was the first foreign-born player to be named the SHL’s MVP since current Calgary Flame Derek Ryan, who took a similar path to the NHL, making his league debut at 29 years old.

"Last year was an amazing season," Curran said. "I ended up getting onto a team with young guys, great players, and we got hot, and it was an amazing year, one I’ll never forget."

Despite nothing ever coming easy for him, Curran says his love of the game always got him through, and kept him looking towards the future.

"As you go through your career, everyone puts a label on the teams that you should be playing for, and the things that you should be doing, and where you should be at a certain age. I think a lot of kids, and parents especially, get caught up in that, and can put a lot of pressure on their kids. I didn’t have any pressure from my parents, they really just wanted me to love the game of hockey, and I did that. And I think that’s what got me through those tough times, was just my passion for the game. I didn’t do anything that the hockey world says we ’should do’, and here I am. So I think there are other ways to do it, and I hope this shows that there are other ways to get to your dreams."

Although his hockey career has recently taken him all over the world, Curran says his time playing grassroots hockey in Alberta were vital to his development and success.

"I think what’s so great about (grassroots hockey in Alberta), is the development, and all the branch-offs that you can go into to play to have success. I always remember my roots and where I came from, I think Hockey Alberta’s done a great job in developing young kids and making sure there’s enough areas for all types of skills to play."

While he could have walked away from the game with his head held high at any point in his career, and a number of impressive accomplishments under his belt, Curran never gave up on his dream, and hopes his story can help inspire young athletes to chase theirs, and never let anyone, or anything, stop them.

"I didn’t make a single (division) one team, I think ever, I didn’t make AAA, and I was at a crossroads of whether to play forward or defence at 17 years old," he said. "For me, I always just tried to really fall in love with the game of hockey. If you don’t love it, and it’s not for you, then that’s great. But I know there’s a ton of kids out there that love the game of hockey, so let that be your inspiration, and let that be something that pushes you through these tough times, is that you love the game for its purity."

While the work isn’t quite done for Curran, as the task of earning an NHL roster spot with the Ducks still lies ahead, he says he’s looking forward to the challenge, and in the meantime, will enjoy some much-deserved rest and down time with his family.

(Third photo of Kodie with sister Jessica (left) and mom Deborah (right), courtesy of Kodie Curran)

News

Online Coach Development Session - Player Habits

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is offering another free online seminar for minor hockey coaches on Thursday, June 11 at 7:00 p.m.

The topic of Thursday’s session is ’Player Habits’, and will be delivered by Hockey Alberta Coach Mentor Fran Gow.

Register >

This presentation dives into the habits and characteristics that are recommended for players to be successful. These habits can be implemented and taught to all levels of minor hockey players at different stages of age and development.


PLEASE NOTE:

  • All sessions are open to Hockey Alberta members at no cost,
  • Sessions will be hosted on the ZOOM meeting platform.
  • You will need to sign up for a free ZOOM account prior to joining the session.
  • You will receive email confirmation with the ZOOM meeting link 24 hours prior to the start of the session.

If you have did not receive the link 24 hours prior to, or you have questions regarding the sessions, please contact Stephen Pattison - [email protected]

Hockey at Home

Hockey at Home Goalie Skills - Peripheral Vision

As part of the Hockey at Home Series, Hockey Alberta will publish a weekly video focused on goaltender skills drills that can be done at home.

This week, Team Alberta alumna, University of Calgary Dinos goaltender Dayna Owen shows how to improve your peripheral vision. Check back every Saturday for the latest goalie skills video!


Peripheral Vision



Hockey Alberta Goaltender Guide >


For more Hockey at Home videos, go to hockeyalberta.ca/hockey-home

Hockey at Home

Hockey at Home with Crash Conditioning - Episode Nine

Hockey Alberta is excited to partner with Doug ’Crash’ Crashley of Crash Conditioning Ltd to bring a weekly series to the homes of hockey players across Alberta, focused on strength and conditioning.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep us all at home, it’s important to maintain strength, conditioning and proper nutrition as much as possible. Follow along with Crash each week as he takes us through a routine to help everyone become a ’Crashlete’ at home!

Episode nine features former Team Alberta Video Coach Alex Mandolidis and Dr James Werner. DC., CSCS , Masters of Sport Medicine, with a focus on mobility and enhancing tissue quality.


Hockey at Home Series >

News

Hockey Canada update on COVID-19

This morning, Hockey Canada’s Tom Renney, chief executive officer, and Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer, issued a statement on the return-to-hockey process in Canada. The statement included the following announcement:

“After ongoing discussions with the board of directors, our chief medical officer, the 13 Members and public health authorities across the country, it has been determined that the best approach for a return to hockey in Canada is to allow each Member the opportunity to work with authorities in their respective regions to determine when it is safe to return to the ice in areas that fall under their jurisdiction. We expect the timing of each Member’s return to hockey will be different, but will be based on the advice of their government and public health authority.”

For Hockey Alberta, this statement means that when arenas reopen as part of the government of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy, our Members may resume on-ice, sanctioned activities – subject to compliance with current health and safety standards in Alberta and Hockey Alberta’s Return to Hockey plan. The reopening of arenas in Alberta is still slated to occur in Phase 3 of the province’s Relaunch strategy. Hockey Alberta is participating in information sessions with the government, and if we can assist with the plan to reopen arenas, we will.

Hockey Alberta continues to work with Hockey Canada, other provincial branches, and Provincial Sport Organizations in Alberta to develop a Return to Hockey Plan for this province. The plan will include safety and risk guidelines and requirements, along with a phased-in approach on the ice. Hockey Alberta has identified a group of Member representatives who will review the proposal, and we are committed to circulating a formal draft to all Members by June 15. Throughout the process, we expect several revisions as circumstances change and feedback is received.

In the meantime, the statement by Hockey Canada means that sanctioned, off-ice hockey-related activities may be held, as long as they are operated in accordance with current health and safety standards in Alberta. Off-ice training consists of any activity organized by a Hockey Alberta Member or sanctioned organization that takes place off-ice and meets specified criteria as outlined by Hockey Canada.

It there are questions pertaining to the Hockey Canada announcement or Hockey Alberta’s Return to Hockey plan, please submit via email to: [email protected].

The full Hockey Canada statement can be found at hockeycanada.ca. Hockey Canada’s Return to Hockey guidelines can be found at hockeycanada.ca/returntohockey.

Hockey at Home

Hockey at Home with Ali Stead: Backhand

Hockey Alberta is excited to work with Ali Stead (@never2late2learn.hky) to bring you weekly off-ice skills drills, as part of the Hockey at Home Series.

Ali Stead is a hockey player and social media influencer. Having only started playing hockey a few years ago, she developed her skills quickly, and is now passionate about sharing her love and knowledge for the game. Be sure to check back every week for the latest drill!


Backhand


Don’t forget about the backhand! Spend some time working on this to become a well-rounded shooter/passer. Being efficient with the backhand can open a variety of shooting and passing lanes you don’t have access to on the forehand.

  • Bend knees and ankles to get into a low athletic stance
  • Activate the core for extra power
  • Start Puck on the back half of the blade
  • Roll wrists over so blade finishes in a closed position

For more Hockey at Home videos, go to hockeyalberta.ca/hockey-home

News

Hockey Canada Statement on Racism

CALGARY - The following is a statement on behalf of Hockey Canada from Tom Renney, chief executive officer, and Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer.

“Recent events have amplified the inequality that exists among us, and now is the time to use the Hockey Canada platform to encourage discussion and change.

We know racism exists in the world. It is far too common here in Canada, and people of colour experience racism daily. Unfortunately, racism and inequality have occurred in the hockey community. We recognize that and understand that our organization needs to do more to combat acts of injustice and ensure a safe space for everyone.

Hockey Canada and its 13 Members need to listen and learn, have difficult conversations about our own shortcomings and be open to change if we are going to make progress towards a better future for all participants.

It is easy to talk about being inclusive, welcoming and safe, but now is a time to listen and support those facing racism. We need to do better, be leaders in equality and be part of the solution.”

News

New structure for AAA male hockey in Alberta

RED DEER – The structure of AAA male hockey in Alberta will have a different look for the 2020-21 season.

The Alberta Elite Hockey League (AEHL) was announced on Saturday as the new home for Hockey Alberta’s elite male players.

“The new Alberta Elite Hockey League brings all elite male hockey in Alberta under one set of operating standards which is an important step in ensuring that players within the AAA hockey stream are offered a consistent program and experience, regardless of their age division of hockey or location,” said Neil Robertson, chair of the Elite Male Committee.

The decision was made in December to restructure elite male hockey in the province. An extensive review process concluded that a restructured program would be more cost-effective for the members and stakeholders, while helping raise the status of elite male hockey programming, consolidating volunteer workload at the team and organizational levels, and aligning league operations. There was also a Name the League contest.

The AEHL is comprised of the U18 AAA Division (formerly the Alberta Midget Hockey League), U16 AAA Division (formerly the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League), and U15 AAA Division (formerly the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League). Renaming the divisions, to align with Hockey Canada’s new Age Division Names policy, was a key impetus to the overall restructuring decision.

In addition to the new league and divisional structures, the AEHL will be housed on a new, state-of-the-art website platform currently being designed by HockeyTech. The AEHL website is being built in conjunction with a new web platform for the Alberta Female Hockey League, with the goal of providing a one-stop location for all news and information pertaining to elite hockey in the province.

Hockey at Home

Hockey at Home Goalie Skills - Handling the Puck in a Butterfly

As part of the Hockey at Home Series, Hockey Alberta will publish a weekly video focused on goaltender skills drills that can be done at home.

This week, Team Alberta alumna, University of Calgary Dinos goaltender Dayna Owen shows how to practice handling the puck in a butterfly position, and standing up to pass. Check back every Saturday for the latest goalie skills video!


Handling the Puck in a Butterfly


Coaches love goalies who can play the puck to their teammates.

A goalie who can move a covered puck allows their team to maintain possession of the puck.

  • Make sure the puck is fully caught/covered
  • Set the puck down quickly and in control
  • By getting the glove right down to the ice there is a higher likelihood the puck will lay flat
  • Quickly get your stick in position to make a forehand or backhand pass

Hockey Alberta Goaltender Guide >


For more Hockey at Home videos, go to hockeyalberta.ca/hockey-home

Hockey at Home

Hockey at Home with Crash Conditioning - Episode Eight

Hockey Alberta is excited to partner with Doug ’Crash’ Crashley of Crash Conditioning Ltd to bring a weekly series to the homes of hockey players across Alberta, focused on strength and conditioning.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep us all at home, it’s important to maintain strength, conditioning and proper nutrition as much as possible. Follow along with Crash each week as he takes us through a routine to help everyone become a ’Crashlete’ at home! Stay tuned every for a new workout from Crash every week.

Episode eight features Austin Wagner, Sheldon Rempal, Nick Merkley, Matt Rempe, Brayden Tracey, Dryden Hunt and Morgan Klimchuk.



Hockey at Home Series >

Ice Times Newsletter

ICE TIMES: Edition 20:10

Hockey Alberta Newsletter

COVID-19 UPDATE - MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

A message from Hockey Alberta CEO Rob Litwinski regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, and the development of a Return-To-Hockey plan.

READ >


ONLINE DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE FOR COACHES

Hockey Alberta is running a series of online coach professional development sessions over the coming months. With a focus on coaches in the minor hockey system, these sessions will cover a number of topics ranging from Hockey I.Q. to coach interviews.

INFO >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter

HOCKEY ALBERTA ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO TEAM ALBERTA SUMMER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, Hockey Alberta has been monitoring and evaluating our 2020 Team Alberta Summer High Performance Programs. The primary concern is ensuring the safety of our players, officials, coaches, volunteers and families involved in our development programs.

INFO >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter

STORIES FROM THE RINK: ALIX MHA HIGHLIGHTS STAR VOLUNTEER

As parents arrive at the rink on frigid Saturday mornings throughout the winter, they joke to themselves about seeing Tyler Copland’s truck parked in "his spot", as he is always the first to arrive before a game. Whether it’s as a board member, coach, friend, mentor, parent, or sponsor, Tyler wears many hats in the town of Alix.

READ >


HOCKEY CANADA, BFL CANADA ANNOUNCE FEMALE COACH OF THE YEAR WINNERS

Hockey Canada, in partnership with BFL CANADA, announced the first winners of the BFL Female Coach of the Year awards. Samantha Holmes-Domagala of Calgary has been named as the National Community Winner, and Shanya Shwetz of Edmonton has been named a Regional High Performance winner.

MORE >


SPORT FOR LIFE OFFERS E-LEARNING DISCOUNTS THIS MAY

Are you looking for something to keep your mind active during the COVID-19 shutdown? This month Sport for Life is offering three select e-learning courses that will help you prepare for that uncertain future while bringing your organization to a new level.

CULTURAL AWARENESS IN YOUTH SPORT > | EFFECTIVE BOARD GOVERNANCE > | RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF VOLUNTEERS >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter

HOCKEY AT HOME - CONDITIONING, SKILL DEVELOPMENT, AND GOALIE TRAINING

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep us all at home, it’s important to keep active, eat healthy, and even work on some hockey skills. Hockey Alberta is working with Crash Conditioning, Ali Stead (@never2late2learn.hky), and various goalie and Team Alberta resources to bring you weekly tips on how to stay ready for hockey’s return.

HOCKEY AT HOME VIDEOS >


Hockey Alberta Newsletter


Hockey Alberta Newsletter

News

COVID-19 Update – Message from the CEO

To the Members of Hockey Alberta:

During the Member Zoom meetings held in early May, we spoke about the work being undertaken on various fronts to prepare for the return of hockey both in Alberta and across the country. We talked about how there were many questions to which we were looking to obtain and develop the answers.

Last week we all received the update letter from Hockey Canada with regard to COVID-19. Hockey Alberta is aligned with the details outlined in the letter.

Make no mistake, we want hockey back. As the Provincial Sport Organization for hockey in Alberta, this is not just our game, it is our passion.

Everyone involved with our sport recognizes the benefits of hockey for our participants – physically, socially, and emotionally. We know that hockey makes a difference in people’s lives, helps develop individual and group social skills, and is important for the physical literacy of our youth.

Simply said, we believe hockey is important. However, it is not more important than the health and safety of the participants, the larger hockey community, and society in general.

That is why Hockey Alberta is working with Hockey Canada, other provincial branches, and fellow Provincial Sport Organizations in Alberta as we develop our Return to Hockey Plan.

The intention is to provide the framework and minimum standards for any organization in our province to undertake hockey activities. That way, when facilities reopen, and athletes are allowed back on the ice, they can participate safely and securely and in a manner where the participants, their families and all of our other partners and stakeholders are protected and given the best chance for success.

As most of you are aware, opening arenas and recreation facilities currently is in Phase III of the province’s COVID-19 relaunch plan, and no firm timelines have been established for the implementation of Phase III.

We know that not having specific dates or timelines can be unsettling. But it is important for everyone to remember that amateur hockey of any kind cannot be played in Alberta until the government and health officials authorize rinks to be open and outline the minimum safety standards that must be followed.

Hockey Alberta’s responsibility is to have a plan in place that can be adapted to meet those requirements and allow participants back on the ice in a safe atmosphere.

The current focus is to work to ensure our game is ready to go in the fall, if allowed as part of the province’s relaunch plan. We also want to be prepared if rinks open sooner than that because we know that our participants, and the hockey community in general, are clamouring to return to hockey.

What will be included in the Return to Hockey Plan?

First and foremost, the plan abides by government directions with a focus on the health and safety of all involved. It reflects the reality that there will be new requirements in place for the safe operation of hockey facilities, which will impact hockey participants, including a checklist of items that participants will be required to do to be able to step on the ice. This will include items such as when to arrive at the arena, masks, sanitizer, parent access to help tie skates etc. The plan will also include resources and processes that Hockey Alberta will be developing to help our Members establish programming procedures to meet these requirements in a safe environment.

The plan calls for a phased-in approach, in keeping with the planning undertaken by government and health authorities. At this point, the plan has four phases, starting at the developmental program level and working up to a return to the traditional 5-on-5 game. As circumstances evolve and improve, we will update and adapt the plan to best allow for the return of hockey in Alberta.

Hockey Alberta will be seeking input from our associations, leagues, club teams, accredited schools and other stakeholders to help establish a coordinated process and the detailed timeline and parameters of what activities may look like in each phase.

We are committed to keeping our Members, and the larger hockey community, updated as the Return to Hockey plan is finalized and then made ready for implementation.

Rob Litwinski, CEO
Hockey Alberta

Hockey at Home

Hockey at Home with Ali Stead: Drag and Shoot

Hockey Alberta is excited to work with Ali Stead (@never2late2learn.hky) to bring you weekly off-ice skills drills, as part of the Hockey at Home Series.

Ali Stead is a hockey player and social media influencer. Having only started playing hockey a few years ago, she developed her skills quickly, and is now passionate about sharing her love and knowledge for the game. Be sure to check back every week for the latest drill!


Drag and Shoot


No more blocked shots with this skill!

Changing the release angle to shoot around defenders can be the difference between a blocked shot or a goal.

  • Pull puck in towards body with toe of the blade
  • Eyes up before puck leaves blade
  • Apply downward pressure on the stick to create flex
  • Lean forward and towards the target

For more Hockey at Home videos, go to hockeyalberta.ca/hockey-home

News

Online Professional Development opportunities available for coaches

RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is running a series of online coach professional development sessions over the coming months, with the first three sessions set for May 28, June 3 and June 4. With a focus on coaches in the minor hockey system, these sessions will cover a number of topics ranging from Hockey I.Q. to coach interviews.

All sessions are open to Hockey Alberta members at no cost, and will be held on a ZOOM meeting platform.

Register >

Date Time Topic Description Facilitator Moderator
Thursday, May 28 6:30pm Mental Performance in Sport What is mental performance, and why it is important for coaches to begin a toolbox of awareness. Barry Medori Stephen Pattison
Wednesday, June 3 6:30pm The Fundamentals of Hockey Sense Exploring all pre-requisite skills of hockey I.Q. Mike McGinnis
Thursday, June 4 6:30pm Preparing for a Coach Interview Understanding what Managers and Administrators look for in Coaching Interviews. Kevin Higo Matt Weninger

News

U16 AA Pilot Project set for 2020-21 season

RED DEER - The South Central Alberta Hockey League (SCAHL) and Hockey Calgary, in partnership with Hockey Alberta’s AA Hockey Committee, have agreed to operate a U16 AA division during the 2020-21 season, in order to review and determine the place for this category of hockey going forward.

This Pilot Project stems from ongoing conversation in Alberta about providing additional options for 15-year-old players entering the U18 division (formally Midget), so that they can continue their development with like sized and like skilled players. Currently, the U16 AAA category of hockey is the only opportunity for 15-year-old players across the entire province to participate exclusively together. Additionally, the Rural & Edmonton Hockey League (REMHL) provides this option for players in select areas north of Red Deer.

The AA Hockey Committee has identified 11 host Minor Hockey Associations, who will each operate one team within the U16 AA division. Of those 11, seven currently host AA programs in the SCAHL, while four operate AA programs within Hockey Calgary. Additionally, those seven Host MHAs from the SCAHL have had Recruitment Areas assigned to them, which will allow them to draw 15-year-old players from their designated Recruitment Area to form their team.

Full details on the Pilot Project are outlined on the New for 2020-21 page.

NEW FOR 2020-21 >

Home Ice Feature

Stories from the Rink: Alix/Clive Minor Hockey Association highlights star volunteer

ALIX, AB - As parents arrive at the rink on frigid Saturday mornings throughout the winter, they joke to themselves about seeing Tyler Copland’s truck parked in "his spot", as he is always the first to arrive before a game. Whether it’s as a board member, coach, friend, mentor, parent, or sponsor, Tyler wears many hats in the town of Alix.

Since his boys began playing hockey with the Alix and Clive combined association, Tyler has been involved as a volunteer on different levels. He invests a great deal of time and energy into helping mentor the kids during every practice and game. When one game ends, he is typically gearing up to head to another arena to support his other son’s teams.

"Tyler has only missed a handful of practices and games over the years. His commitment is impressive, as is the message he has for the kids: just keep showing up, regardless of what struggle might be in front of you, just keep showing up," said Lori Gibson, who shared the story with Hockey Alberta. "He doesn’t tell the kids what dedication is, he lives it every day."

Tyler’s positive attitude is infectious throughout the teams he coaches. He is always quick to flash a smile and joke around with the kids, and holds nothing back when it comes to helping the players achieve their goals. Always keeping things light and fun, he loves nothing more than celebrating an accomplishment for anyone on his team whether it’s a goal, assist, win, or just a great shift.

As the first guy to the rink to open the rooms and set out the pucks, a supporter of the concessions and 50/50 draws, and yearly corporate sponsor, Tyler values the deep roots he has created in his community, and they would like to thank him for everything he has done.


If you have a great story or volunteer that you would like Hockey Alberta to highlight, please send the information to [email protected].