Canada takes Gold!!!

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A huge congratulations to everyone at Hockey Canada, especially the coaches and players who participated in the WJHC this past week.  A truly impressive and inspiring performance by a group of hyper-talented young men who took the energy of the Canadian crowds and propelled themselves to hang on to a 1 goal lead in one of the best 3rd period performances in recent memory.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

Top 5 Off-Season Deals

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  1. P.K. Subban Gets his Deal in Montreal

Love him or hate him, there’s absolutely no question that P.K. Subban will be a superstar defenceman in the NHL for years to come.  Canadiens fans had to sit through 24 hours of panic before learning that Subban and the Canadiens had come to an agreement after 1 day of arbitration….and what a deal it was.  8 years for $72 million for an average of $9 million per season makes P.K. the highest paid defenceman and 3rd highest paid player in the NHL behind only Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin, which leaves one to ask; How much does Sid the Kid make?

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  1. Spezza Traded to Dallas

Hockey fans in southern Ontario cheered out with glee on July 1st with the knowledge that they’d rarely, if ever, have to watch Jason Spezza giggle his way through another post-game interview.  After a number of tenuous seasons on a “rebuilding” Senators club Spezza wanted out and was absolutely thrilled when he woke up knowing he was Dallas Star.  Not only does Spezza get out of star vacuum in Ottawa, but he will now be lacing up alongside future superstars Tyler Sequin & Jamie Benn, as well as Ales Hemsky, Patrick Eaves and a host of fresh faces brought in by Jim Nill in the off-season.

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  1. O’Reilly Avoids Arbitration

Heading into salary arbitration can be a nasty mess, creating lasting tensions between team ownership, management and the player.  So it was with great fervor the Colorado Avalanche General Manager Joe Sakic announced that they’d come to terms with star forward Ryan O’Reilly in the lobby as they awaited arbitration.  O’Reilly had a career season in 2013-14 leading the Avalanche in points as well as setting career highs in goals (28) and points (64) as well as winning the Lady Bing Award, receiving 2 penalty minutes in 80 games played.  The Avs are thrilled to have locked O’Reilly up for the next two seasons, and O’Reilly is thrilled with the $12 million he’ll collect during that time.

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  1. Richards Signs in Chicago

After a disappointing season on a Rangers team seemingly full of underachievers there was no doubt that Brad Richards was actively shopping for a new address this summer.  So when his agent let him know that the Chicago Blackhawks were interested he jumped at the chance and signed a 1 year, $2 million deal.  It’s definitely a great move for Richards but also solidifies one of the best top 2 lines in the game as he’ll fit nicely centering the 2nd line flanked by the super speed of rising star Brandon Saad and perennial sniper Marion Hossa.  Let’s hope the aging Richards will be able to keep up and help his star winger (Hossa) cross the 1000 point plateau this season.

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  1. Kesler Waives his N.T.C. to Anaheim

 If there was one thing that was hard to believe about the 2013-14 NHL season it was the significant decline in play of every single player on the Vancouver Canucks and utter failure (who’d a thunk it) of coach John Tortorella to get the star studded roster to live up to their potential.  What wasn’t hard to believe was the trade demand by forward Ryan Kesler, and though they couldn’t close any deals at the trade deadline, Canucks management finally found a deal they liked with a team good enough to persuade Kesler to waive his no trade; the Anaheim Ducks.  After being knocked out of the playoffs by eventual champion LA Kings, the Ducks decided to open their coffers and take on Kesler’s $10 million salary over the next 2 year in an effort to bolster their overall team defence.  Only time will tell how this union will end.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

3 (+5) Types of Hockey Fans

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I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this witty and spot on article describing different hockey fans on the Gongshow Hockey blog (link) but I felt there were a couple of fans missing from the list.  So without further ado, I present the 3 hockey parents that didn’t make it on the Gongshow list.

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  1. Glass is Completely Full Always

No matter how you played, what the outcome of the game was or what was on the line they always tell you what a great game you played.  Whether you got kicked out on a questionable call, took a lazy tripping penalty resulting in the game winner for the other team on the power play or straight up scored on your own net, they’re always there to say “great game”, “hey, good job” or “you played your best.”

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  1. Next Year’s Coach

Actually just the next level of “The Coach” mentioned in the gongshow post, the parent can no longer just sit in the stands as the coach clearly misses line matchups, plays everyone evenly on the power play and completely misunderstand how the 2-1-2 works.  No longer do they shout obvious coaching cliché’s from the crowd, but begin slowly introducing their own coaching philosophies to the kids on long bus trips and organizing parents into a quiet coupe before ultimately gaining their support to become next year’s coach for the team.  Common characteristics include a lettered jacket with leather sleeves and being the parent of the worst player on the team.

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  1. The Church Mouse

Every coach’s favorite parent is the church mouse.  Usually a mother whose experiencing organized sports for the first time, the church mouse is always there but never says anything, positive or negative.  They bake fresh banana bread for long road trips, always volunteer their time, and never say anything, ever.  And for being perpetually prepared to be taken advantage of and taking it, every time, ceremoniously the church mouse is the only parent on the team to garner the most and least respect simultaneously.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

Tournament of Champions Season

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After 4 years of success and continuous growth at our Tournament of Champions (TOC) tournament in Las Vegas, Canadian Hockey Enterprises is thrilled to announce the expansion of our Tournament of Champion series of tournaments this November and will now be in Las Vegas, Banff, and Montreal.

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On November 6 – 9, 2014 we will once again be heading to beautiful and exciting Las Vegas, NV to kick off the TOC tournament season with winners and runner ups from our 2014 tournaments flying in from all directions.  Team can book their own accommodations, or choose to stay on the CHE package at beautiful Excalibur Hotel & Casino right on the strip.

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The following weekend, November 14 – 16, the TOC championship trophy will travel right across the continent to the wonderful and unique city of Montreal, QC.  Montreal has arguably the greatest hockey culture and history in the world, and the Habs are in town on Saturday night to play the Philadelphia flyers, and teams who participate will be staying in downtown Montreal at the Chateau Champlain Marriott.

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Once the TOC trophy has been handed to teams in the desert, then teams in la belle provence, the cup gets back on a plane and heads to the Canadian Rocky Mountains for the TOC event in spectacular Banff, AB November 21 – 23, 2014.  Teams will be able to choose a 3 or 4 day package staying at the Caribou Lodge and Inns of Banff, both walking distance from the city center.

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For more information on all of our Tournament of Champion (TOC) events, please CLICK HERE to view our 2014 Fall Tournament brochure for men’s and women’s teams.

 

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

Dave Dalliday #tbt

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This weeks throw back thursday is dedicated to David Dalliday.  As you can see, Dave started his illustrious career with goaltending in mind, but after a couple clappers rang of of his “trapper”, he decided to forgo the pads and took up his position on defence.  Dave took his toe down approach to the slapshot and turned it into a 3 year OHL career with the Mississauga Icedogs and Owen Sound Attack, and eventually moved on to the Uniersity of PEI where his steady defensive play and impressive physique earned him the nickname “Pillar”.

These days Dave is teaching in both the classroom and at CHE’s Summer Hockey Camps in Peterborough, so if you haven’t already signed up, make sure you call our office for available spots, and don’t forget to say hi to Pillar at the camp.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

Conn Smythe

Even though the fellas over at TSN have been debating this topic for more than 2 months, at this point in the Stanley Cup Finals it’s actually appropriate to start to consider who should be the recipient of this years Conn Smythe Award for most valuable playoff performance.  Given the 3-0 lead LA currently holds over the Rangers, it’s safe to say that this year’s winner will come from the Kings, so I’ve narrowed it down to 4 players who’ve all been instrumental to the Kings playoff success.

1. Jonathan Quick

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The 2012 Conn Smythe winner has been incredible once again in 2014.  His unbelievable flexibility and athleticism combined with sounds goaltending fundamentals create a seemingly impenetrable fortress, and as both Derick Brassard and Mats Succarello found out last night, there’s no such thing as a wide open cage when Quick is in goal.

2. Anze Kopitar

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Jonathon Toews, Ryan Kessler and Pavel Datsyuk are typically the first to come to mind when you’re asked about defensive forwards who can light the lamp, but after this year’s final, Mr. Kopitar should be at the top of the list.  Already up for the Selke Award for best defensive forward, Kopitar has been pivotal in shutting down the opposing teams top line while still contributing to the score sheet.  In game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, he was on the ice for 100% of the time that Rick Nash was, and help the Rangers to 0(zero) shots against for the entire game.  He also happens to have the 2nd most playoff points by an LA King with 26. (just 14 behind the Great One)

3. Justin Williams

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Some say his beard is too pointy, many said his career was over and he’d out lived his usefulness, but when the season is on the line, Justin Williams has been the definition of “clutch” for his entire career.  Now running with the nickname “Mr. Game 7” Williams has apparently decided that every game for the rest of the season is a game 7 as he has been truly outstanding for the entire finals changing his Conn Smythe nickname from dark horse to shoe in.

4. Jeff Carter

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A prolific goal scorer for his entire career, the 2014 playoffs is where Jeff Carter finally cemented his mark as a truly elite NHL goal scorer and not a truly elite NHL lady killer.  Paired up with relative no namers Tanner Pearson (70) and Tyler Toffoli (73), the “70’s Line” (due to all of their numbers being in the 70’s, not because they were born in the 70’s) has arguably been the Kings most dominant line for the entire playoffs, no doubt thanks to Carter (77) and point per game performance.

We’ll give an honorable mention to coach Brent Sutter, who can’t win the award but probably should.

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You pick’em and we’ll see how close we were.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

Bill Stewart #TBT

After a fine performance in the Memorial Cup Championships this past Sunday, this weeks Throw Back Thursday is dedicated to the scariest person, best fisherman and most successful coach I know, the assistant coach of the 2014 Memorial Cup finalist Guelph Storm, Bill Stewart.

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Bill Stewart, or “Stewie” as I affectionately call him is the scariest human being I’ve ever met.  I mean look at the image above and imagine skating down the wing towards that intimidating creature.  That’s him smiling.  He’s incredibly happy to have his picture taken, especially in the uniform of his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs.  Stewie made his first strides in the NHL for the Buffalo Sabres in 1977 after being drafted 68th overall after a well traveled junior career.  Known for his rough and tumble style, Bill had soft hands and heavy mitts and went on to have a relatively successful professional career bouncing between the AHL and NHL for 9 years before truly finding his calling in Italy.  After 7 seasons in Italy he was able to get Italian citizenship and played for the Italian National Team in the 1992 and 1993 World Championships as well as the 1992 and 1994 Olympic Games.

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After a lengthy playing career, Stewie pursued his next calling where he stood behind the bench and scared the hell out of his players until they played exactly how he wanted them to.  His coaching career took a more linear progression than his playing career,. and he seemed to rocket from Ontario Jr B, to winning an OHL championship with the Oshawa Generals, to coaching in the AHL and finally a stint with the New York Islanders all within the first 4 years of retirement.  Though the NHL job didn’t last for long, he quickly rebounded the following year taking the Barrie Colts to the Memorial Cup finals where they ultimately lost.  After a questionable incident involving Vladimir Chernenko hiding in the equipment bags under the bus travelling over the US border, Stewie took his brilliant coaching style over to the German Elite League where he immediately won a Championship in Mannheim, where he may or may not have faked a heart attack during the finals to buy an extra timeout.

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Terrifying I know!!!  Finally, after 8 years in Germany and some heart to heart talks with CHL Commissioner David Branch, Stewie is back at the helm with the Guelph Storm along with fellow CHE hockey camp instructor Mike Kelly.  Together for the past 3 years, they built the Storm into a veritable force to be reckoned with and the team to beat heading into this years Memorial Cup tournament.  Ultimately they lost by 1 goal in a crushing defeat to the Edmonton Oil Kings this past Sunday, in his 3rd appearance in the Memorial Cup finals in 5 years as a coach.  That’s right.  60% of the time he’s spent in the OHL has ended in the Memorial Cup finals.

From everyone here at Canadian Hockey Enterprises, we want to send a hearty congratulations to Bill Stewart, Mike Kelly and everyone else in the Guelph Storm organization and we look forward to seeing both of you at the Peterborough camps this summer.

Once again, don’t forget to vote for the latest and greatest CHE tournament location.  Nashville once again made it through however (and not surprisingly) Honolulu took over the spot formerly held by Halifax.  Halifax is great but….come on….Hawaii!!!

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

Batus Flames – Best Dressed of 2014!

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There’s an army base, a British army base located just outside of Medicine Hat, Alberta.  At this base, large groups of advanced British military officers spend 1 – 3 years time practicing various acts of valor in the rolling hills of South-Eastern Albert.  They practice tank maneuvers, work on infantry tactics and will spend weeks at a time surviving in the wilderness, but the most nerve racking experience of their entire deployment takes place at the CFB Suffield Arena, where men and women learn to play hockey.

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They not only love the game they pick up while visiting the great white north, but for the past 15 year we’ve been fortunate enough to have the BATUS teams attend various CHE tournaments.  This year, Andy Keohane was kind enough to bring the BATUS Flames to Kelowna, BC, and as they are every year, they were by far the best dressed teams there.  With matching socks, pants, gloves and helmets to go along with their flashy, European style jerseys with nick names embroidered on the back, they looked like a force to be reckoned with for sure.  But it was the uniforms they wore to the Friday night banquet that won them the honor of Best Dressed team of 2014.  Congrats to the BATUS Flames.

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As per last weeks post, we have left the top 2 locations from last weeks post and added a couple of new potential locations.  Don’t forget to vote for the next CHE location again this week.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

Adult Tournament Season Recap

Hello friends!

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I know it’s been a while since I’ve written anything, but for those of you who know me and our business you’d know we just worked our way through an extremely intense month of Adult Hockey Tournaments.  Each spring, typically starting on the last weekend of March and wrapping up on the first weekend of May, Canadian Hockey Enterprises runs 23 adult recreational hockey tournaments in Banff, Ottawa, London, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Chicago, Niagara Falls, Phoenix, Fort Lauderdale, Atlantic City, Kelowna, Montreal, Quebec City and Lake Placid.  Needless to say we rack up a lot of air miles in April!  It’s an incredibly busy and stressful time for everyone in our office, but it’s also extremely rewarding as the bulk of our work from September to March comes to fruition during the tournament season.  Whether teams have been coming for 20 years or it’s their first time, we have great opportunities to connect face to face with our customers and seeing the smiles on their faces during the games makes all of the effort worth while.  So I asked some of the staff to share some of the more memorable stories they had from this past month and I’ll be posting the stories throughout the next couple of weeks.

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Mike McCabe thought he was a lucky man when he found out he was heading to Chicago April 2 – 6 to run our Chicago tournament once again. There were 16 teams heading to the windy city  from Phoenix to Finland and everywhere in between, and for those lucky enough to get an extra day off work, some teams were able to catch the Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild game on the Thursday night.  But what Mike didn’t know was that his luck would pale in comparison to Dan Walper of the Great Canadian Oilers from Delisle, SK.  The Oilers were enjoying a sneak peak of this years Central Division Championships, having a couple of cool refreshing beverages along with a full United Center crowd.  It was anything but  typical Thursday night for the boys from rural Saskatchewan but it got even stranger with the announcement of the night’s 50/50 draw, as Dan looked at his ticket with a shocked expression having realized he’d won!!!  His team didn’t get to take home a trophy, but at least Dan had $14 000 to bring with him, and I’m sure every cup winner would trade him in a heartbeat.

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Stories like these are what make this job exciting and what inspire us to come up with new and exciting tournament ideas for our teams to take advantage of.  Over the year’s we’ve slowly introduced new locations such as Chicago and Phoenix that have proven to be extremely popular, while some other destinations like Denver and St. John’s have fizzled out.  We want to know where YOU want to go and will be running an ongoing survey as we share some of our stories.  The top 2 locations from this posts survey will continue on for the next 4 or 5 posts until we have solid evidence that teams want to go _______!   So make sure you vote for your preferred location on each post so we can set up the tournament of your choice.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterrpises

 

 

 

 

MONT-TREMBLANT POND HOCKEY CHALLENGE

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DON’T DELAY..CALL OUR OFFICE AND SIGN-UP NOW! Bonjour and hello from Mont-Tremblant! 12 of a possible 32 Teams from Montreal, Ottawa area and all around Quebec  and Ontario are heading into the Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, February 21-23, 2014 for CHE’s 1st annual Pond Hockey Classic which highlights a 4 game guarantee starting Friday afternoon and ending Sunday noon…This is going to be “real hockey” just like when we were kids – only better. Picture this scene…6 rinks on Lake Ouimet, steps from the HOST HOTEL The Grand Lodge..Bring your skates, stick, shin pads and elbow pads (don’t forget your helmet) and walk from your hotel suite to the frozen lake, where you will see a zamboni preparing one of the glistening surfaces ..while walking that LONG 100 foot trek,  you can warm up by the outdoor fire on shore and after your game walk with your skates on hover to the “barn bar” for a cold one! In the background you can quickly look up to the back drop of beautiful Mont-Tremblant, a short 5 minute drive from our Pond Hockey Tournament…On Friday night around 7pm CHE has invited all the teams and guests to a rousing Meet and Greet party, with more beer, munchie platters and some great entertainment…

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CHE encourages you to bring your family or put 3 guys in one room as EACH ROOM is complete with 2 separate rooms (king and queen beds), a sitting area with a pull-out couch, 2 full bathrooms and a kitchenette for cooking options and entertaining…talk about spacious!  Minutes away from the Grand Lodge you can choose many other winter activities including cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, horse and sleigh rides and of course head to the mountain and do some skiing or shredding at Mont-Tremblant…

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In the evening we have spectacular nightlife at the town of St. Jovite, 5 minutes away, where you can enjoy the “Jutras Sports Bar”  or a more relaxed evening at “St. George” or Rock all night at “Jack and Johnnies”..of course if you want to go to the Village of Tremblant CHE is providing a complimentary bus shuttle on Saturday night where you can join the ski bums right at the base of the mountain and party all night at the Petite Caribou or Diable..what a party..

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For sure after this spectacular Mont-Tremblant Pond Hockey Classic is over on Sunday you will drive home exhilarated from the hockey and pumped about all that Tremblant has to offer. Don’t delay and call our office today to sign up your team of 6 (4 vs 4 format-with 2 players on the bench). CHE is determined to have 32 teams so we are offering an EARLY BIRD draw if you give your deposit by December 15th, 2013..Call to enquire and see you on the POND!

Paul Crowley
President of CHE and
Pond Hockey Director