Link: As Long As They’re Playing
Great article from Ken Campbell at The Hockey News espousing the virtues of house league hockey and its importance in keeping the game alive. My kids have both played competitive hockey all their hockey lives, but we’ve always said it doesn’t matter what level you play at as long as you’re playing…and having fun! Competitive/rep hockey should really just be about having kids of like abilities play against each other and be challenged to keep them interested in the game. For some players, house league simply doesn’t provide that, but for others it’s plenty. Just get them playing and keep it fun!
Link: Bobby Orr Supports Fun in Minor Hockey
The greatest NHL defenceman is in the process of writing a book about the importance of minor hockey in Canada and is promoting the Chevrolet Safe & Fun Hockey Program, which will supply new Canadian players with free helmets. And who should know better than #4?
Link: Free Hockey Helmets for Canadian Kids
Now here’s what seems to be a great program from Hockey Canada and Chevrolet. I’d take a free helmet if I had a five-year old. All new hockey parents should definitely check it out.
Link: What, if anything, does NHL lockout mean for minor hockey?
There’s still plenty of hockey to watch over the next six months, maybe just not of the NHL variety. Some people think this will be a boon to minor and junior hockey, but that wasn’t exactly what happened the last time around. Minor hockey fans are primarily parents and junior hockey fans follow when their home team wins or if it’s the only game in town as it is in places like London, Ontario.
This is definitely not the end of the hockey world, but it also certainly can’t help the NHL. Die-hard NHL hockey fans will just keep going to games (with sad Leafs fans being an obvious case in point as they follow a perennial loser). However, the lockout will not attract the casual (i.e. American) fans the NHL so dearly covets. Regardless, I have lots of hockey to enjoy as my soon-to-be overflowing calendar will attest to.
Link: Keeping Hockey Alive in Canada
Hockey Canada has been taking a hard look at why registrations are dropping and how to that trend can be reversed. Is our game at a dangerous crossroads and if so, how do we make sure we turn the right way or is the game pricing itself beyond Canadian family budgets?
Link: Hockey Apology
A sincere letter of apology to mom and dad for years of property damage which could be from any hockey kid.
Link: Hockey legend Orr urges fun for young players
Sensible, logical advice for hockey coaches and parents as you would expect from the iconic #4.
Link: Staples: Homework for Edmonton hockey parents unwelcome but worthwhile
This is a difficult case of many getting punished for the actions of a few as “most” hockey parents I’ve encountered over the years are generally sensible and well-behaved people who don’t need to be taught how to behave in or out of a hockey rink. However, I have of course, also encountered the more stereotypical hockey parents who go overboard with verbal and even physical abuse of coaches, refs or their own kids. And yes, I will admit that even I have been known to take my frustrations out (albeit only verbally) on a ref or two; only to feel a twinge of guilt soon thereafter (depending on the degree of the official’s perceived ineptitude). But mandating a one-hour, $12 course for every hockey parent is undoubtedly not being well received in the face of ever-rising hockey expenses. It certainly doesn’t seem like a one-hour course is going to solve any problems or cut down on the number of senseless parents who will no doubt be the loudest critics of such programs. The darker sides of human nature will likely always get in the way when it comes to certain parents and competitive sports.
Link: Too Much Outdoor Hockey
Ok, this is taking the whole Winter Classic concept a little too far as there is a minor league team proposing to play their entire 30-game home schedule at a minor league baseball stadium.