On Monday the who’s who in the hockey world are coming together to discuss the state of the game at the Molson World Hockey Summit and I’m privileged to be one of the chosen bloggers to represent both the blogging community Molson while covering the event. Now when I say the hockey world, I don’t just mean Bettman and the NHL’s brass. This is an international gathering which will see the heads of national bodies such as Hockey Canada, Hockey USA, and the Swedish Federation (amongst others), come together with the NHL’s brass, the IIHF, ambassadors of womens hockey and junior hockey, all for the purpose of furthering the sport on a global level.
The event starts Monday and runs through Thursday and through a series of breakout sessions and discussion lead and facilitated by some of the most respected names in the hockey: Brian Burke, Steve Yzerman, Hayley Wickenheiser and Daniel Alfredsson. This global look at the game and International “state of the union” style meeting is going to touch on a lot of important aspects of hockey including:
Player Skill Development Initiatives: Understanding the need for and establishing a long term plan for player development will assist player recruitment and retention and provide opportunities for a safe, positive, and enjoyable experience in youth hockey and foster long term participation in the sport at all levels of play
Junior Development of hockey in the World: Assessing the results and figures from IIHF World (U20) Juniors, the Olympics and the NHL Draft; men’s competitive level is declining and European development is suffering. Is it just a cyclical or a worrisome trend?
Vancouver 2010 Evaluation: Evaluating the 2010 Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament, helping hockey to benefit long-term from the unprecedented success by sustaining the positives while developing other areas
Establishing a Long-Term Global Event Agenda: Exploring the possibilities to provide hockey with a long-term international event agenda for both national team and club events, further enhancing the IIHF-NHL cooperation for the growth the game
Women’s Hockey after Vancouver 2010: In light of IOC President Jacques Rogge’s comments with respect to Female hockey worldwide – what steps need to be taken to close the gap and to insure women’s hockey remains an Olympic sport
Growing Participation in Hockey: Growing hockey means both recruiting new players and retaining our current ones. It is important to promote positive messaging about our game and share best practices from around the world.
Heading to the summit one of the things that excites me the most is the chance to explore the game and development of the game at the international level. As a Canucks fan discussion far too often revolves around the league and changes that we want to see made at a focused level. Being a die-hard Canucks fan is one thing, but getting the opportunity to embrace the die-hard hockey fan in me doesn’t come along very often.
A couple of weeks ago, we held a hockey roundtable of sorts to discuss these issues with current and future CHB bloggers (J.J., Alix, Matt and Tom) and readers (Spiro, Justin and Ryan) for the purpose of bringing some thoughts and ideas to Toronto.
In Toronto, I’m teaming up with Angela MacIsaac of the Calgary Flames loyalty, as well as Darrin Reynolds and Justin Kendrick of The Hockey Card Show to bring you the World Hockey Summit through Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, you name it.
We’ll also be getting a little crazy on Youtube but those videos can be found through our Facebook and Twitter pages as we give you the inside scoop on what’s happening. One of the things to know about this summit is that we’re there to be your voice. We’re able to take questions that you the fans have, and table them when appropriate in the attempt to get a response from the people that ultimately make the game changing decisions we see trickle down to each game.
So what are you waiting for? Have any questions, let us know what they are and we’ll do our best to get them answered!