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

Canada’s 2014 Men’s Olympic Roster

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The US quickly announced their team shortly after the Winter Classic, Sweden, Finland and Russia quietly released their line-ups on the internet as the week went on, and then there’s Canada.

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As of yesterday, the Team Canada roster was to be announced by 10:30 am.  By 10:30 am this morning, the roster was going to be announced at 11:00 am.  At 11:00 am, Steve Yzerman finally took the stage.  Team Canada did an amazing job of dragging out the announcement of the team, culminated by Mr. Yzerman’s extremely long winded introduction.  But finally, after 4 long years of anticipation, countless rosters and bubble men presented by the various sports news outlets, and plenty of office bets, the Team Canada roster was officially released in full by 11:42 am.

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With the depth of hockey talent available, there were many spots that were locked up well before the announcement, specifically in the goal tending department where all 3 selected (Price, Luongo, Smith) were expected to make the team.  There’s really only 2 players on the roster that caught me off guard; Dan Hamhuis and Steve Stamkos.  Hamhuis’s selection surprised me for no other reason than I had no idea he was even on the radar.  There are so many strong Canadian defensemen that I honestly didn’t think Hammer was even in contention, but as a big, strong defensive minded player, I think he’s a great pick and really rounds out the Canadian D as there’s plenty of fire power with Subban, Doughty and Weber.

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Most people had Stamkos on their line-up even though he suffered a broken leg less than 2 months ago and has barely skated since.  I think that most people assume that he’ll be back to full form by the time the games get going in February, but the likelihood of him going from a walking cast to competing at the level the entire country is expecting is a bit of a stretch.  My reasoning is not whether Stamkos has the necessary speed and skill to be on the Olympic team, he obviously has it in spades.  My concern is whether or not it’s worth assuming he’s going to be a full capacity in a month while leaving so many talented players to watch on TV.

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Speaking of players who didn’t make it, how about Stamkos’s teammate and 2010’s outside-looking-in man Martin St. Louis.  Everyone has had St. Louis on the bubble for the entire season as there’s a plethora of reasons why he should or shouldn’t make the team.  Pros: explosive speed and creativity with the puck which work perfectly on the Olympic ice, natural leader, has been top 10 in scoring in the NHL each year since 2010, has carried Tampa Bay since the departure of Stamkos (proving he doesn’t rely entirely on Stamkos), and plays for Yzerman!  Cons: he’d be the oldest player on the team (last 2 Canadian Olympic Golds have featured many players in their late 30’s/early 40’s), he’s not very big, doesn’t have the Team Canada traditional resume.  Right now he’s sitting 24th in the NHL in points and the only players ahead of him in points that aren’t headed to Sochi are Canadians Joe Thornton, Taylor Hall and Tyler Sequin.  Call me crazy, but on a team loaded with play making centermen, why they took Duchene or Benn (both behind him in points and Centermen) made it over Marty (a natural winger) is beyond me.

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The image above displays what might be considered Team Canada B, and although they probably wouldn’t do very well at this year’s Olympics, we’d be tickled pink if we could send this team to the World Championships at the end of the season.  So while I complain ademently about St. Louis being left off the roster again, our country is so deep in exceptional hockey talent that ultimately there’s no way to pick a team without leaving a few superstars and well deserving players at home.

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Overall it looks like Team Canada will be a strong contender to bring home the Olympic Gold in men’s hockey, and though they’ll have to compete against some pretty heavily star laden teams like Sweden, Russia and Team USA, I know I’m not alone in my excitement to watch a full tournament of all star teams compete for their country.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises