NEW @ CHE!

As the hockey camp season comes to a close it’s always an exciting time at CHE as we transition into our Youth and Adult Tournament season.  Even though most of the events don’t start until mid-November, this is the time of year when we get to play around with ideas, talk about new locations, possible new features and generally figure out something we and the hockey community can get excited about.  We’ve already committed to a few new ideas, so take a look and let us know what you think.

QUEBEC CITY!

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For a number of years we ran a youth tournament in Quebec City that at one point was as big as 40 teams.  After a couple of quiet years we took the location off of the roster, but after much demand we’re heading back to Quebec City January 10 – 12, just to make sure participants get to enjoy and experience the frigid cold of a Quebec City winter.  I can assure you, it’s freaking cold.  Cold as in the thermometer reads the same temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit, watch your breath freeze and fall to the ground cold.  So knowing how cold it’s going to be, participants better bring all of their winter gear so they can make the most of their trip to this unique and amazing city.  Quebec City is like visiting Europe without the expense or the jet lag.  400 year architecture combined with the French Canadian culture, the worlds largest winter recreation park, great hotels and arena, this tournament will certainly be the highlight of your teams year.  Just make sure to bring your mitts.

Banff in the Fall!

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We’ve decided to expand our Fall Adult Tournament line-up of Montreal and Las Vegas and added the November 22 – 24 weekend in Banff.  Why not start your rec season off with a bang by heading to Banff at the beginning of ski season.  While the rest of the country goes to work, heads to the rink for their hour long game, then home and repeat, you and the guys can head to Banff, eat delicious Keg dinners (and caesars), play a few hockey games at the beautifully re-designed Banff Arena and maybe get in some early season skiing/riding.  The town will be a buzz as alpine enthusiasts from around the world come to warm up on these world class slopes.

Pond Hockey in Jasper!

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Hockey is an amazing game in it’s own right, but there’s a special feeling you get when you take it back to its roots and play on a frozen lake on a crisp winters day.  Since the first outdoor NHL game was played in Edmonton in 2003 there’s been a massive revival in pond hockey as players want to leave their equipment at home, grab their skates, stick and toque and play a super fun game.  Suddenly search for a puck in a snow bank is the coolest thing you can do on the weekend.  This February 7 – 9 we’ll be hosting an event in beautiful Jasper, AB, surrounded by glacier capped mountains, teams might have to toe drag a moose to win this amazing event.

There’s a number of ideas still on the table, but we’re pleased to announce these new events and hope to see you in one of these amazing locations.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

12 Months of Hockey?

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Working in every facet of the hockey world I’m fortunate to see first hand all of the changes that take place from year to year, and generation to generation.  Equipment advances have had a huge impact on everything from the weight and strength of your stick, getting your skates profiled as opposed to sharpened, to being able to drag your hockey bag on wheels.  Increased awareness of concussions and their long term affects have given way to league after league adjusting to non-contact hockey right up through the midget years.  But by far the biggest change I’ve seen is the transition from a seasonal activity to a year round pursuit.

It’s hard to say this without sounding like an old man, but when I was a kid hockey tryouts were in September.  If we made it deep into the playoffs the season was done in early March at the very latest.  Luckily the snow would typically be melting at this point and the spring / summer sports (baseball, lacrosse, soccer, golf, ball hockey) would fill the void and keep me active and outdoors.  Maybe in late July/early August you’d start going for jogs, shooting some pucks or going to a hockey camp to get ready for the upcoming tryouts.

These days, many teams hold their tryouts after the season in March/April, then kids sign up for their spring teams where they go to a different tournament every weekend, and play for the duration of the summer.  If they do play another sport their schedule for the ‘summer break’ is absolutely packed, and just when it ends, the pre-season games and tournaments begin for the winter team in early August.

Specializing in one particular pursuit has it’s obvious advantages, and you can often tell who continued to play hockey all summer during the pre-season, they’re a little sharper and engaged with the game.  Malcolm Gladwell points out in his book ‘The Outliers’ that it often takes 10000 hours of practice to reach a level of mastery in a particular discipline, so there’s definitely something to be gained.  Players at an Elite level (NHL) tend to skate at least 3 times a week with specialized skating, stick handling and shooting coaches as well as an extensive dry land training regimen, but it’s not necessarily the right choice for kids.

In a fantastic article by Hockey Now (link) Vancouver Giants coach Don Hay says “I would like to see young players compete in a variety of sports because I think it really helps to improve their athletic ability, it forces them to learn different skills to become an athlete. I really think the more athletic they are, the better it will be for them. I like how it exposes them to having to deal with winning and losing in different sports.”  This sentiment was echoed by Hockey Canada VP Paul Carson in the same article who said “I do worry that if we have kids who are involved in hockey 12 months of the year at ages like 10-years-old, we run the risk of overuse injuries and demotivation. There are just so many pressures on kids at such a young age.”

It’s hard to disagree with statements like these, especially when you see the kids who didn’t play summer hockey, who were a little slower in August, excel more past them as the season wears on.  Sometimes taking a break only stokes the fire and ignites the passion necessary to truly master something.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises