Monday, 28 May 2012

Junior A Supplement Extended Two Years

Hockey Canada held its AGM this past week/weekend.  The big news items coming from the meetings are the extension of the Junior-A Supplement and the Vernon Vipers will host the 2014 RBC Cup.

Here's the summary of the weekend in release form (the important stuff is in the second half):
HALIFAX, N.S. - Hockey Canada's 93rd Annual General Meeting (AGM), attended by more than 250 delegates from across the country, wrapped up Sunday at the Westin Nova Scotian after three days of discussion about what will benefit the growth and development of Canada's game.
Hockey Canada's 2012 AGM brought together the governing body's board of directors, officers, life members, partner organizations and representation from all 13 branches, as well as from councils that oversee female hockey, junior hockey, minor hockey, senior hockey and hockey development.
The board, as elected for the 2012-13 season, will be comprised of the 13 branch presidents, as well as:
Chairman: Michael J. Bruni, QC (Calgary, Alta.)
Executive vice-chair: Jim Hornell (Grand Falls, N.L.)
Claude Allain (Gatineau, Que.)
Michael Brind'Amour (St-Charles-Borromée, Que.)
Joe Drago (Sudbury, Ont.)
Terry Ledingham (Bon Accord, Alta.)
Ed Pupich (Schumacher, Ont.).
Past chair: Ken Corbett (Winnipeg, Man.)

Joanne Hughes, Female Council (Cole Harbour, N.S.)
Barry Reynard, Hockey Development Council (Dawson Creek, B.C.)
Karen Phibbs, Junior Council (London, Ont.)
John Clements, Minor Council (Burlington, Ont.)
Dean Filane-Figliomeni, Senior Council (Schreiber, Ont.)
Ron Robison, Canadian Hockey League (Calgary, Alta.)
Advisor: James Mays, referee-in-chief (Prince Albert, Sask.)
Caroline Ouellette, female athlete representative (Montreal, Que.)
Gord Sherven, male athlete representative (Weyburn, Sask.)
Jean Labonté, sledge hockey representative (Ottawa, Ont.)
The Hockey Canada AGM delegates also recognized and thanked departing branch presidents and board members Shannon Bell (BC Hockey), Tom Donovan (Hockey New Brunswick), Brian Franklin (Hockey Manitoba) and Gene Power (Hockey P.E.I.), as well as one member of the advisory council Murray Costello (international director/IIHF Council member),
Developments at this year's AGM included:
- the loyalty program/ Club Hockey Canada on schedule for a 2012-13 launch;
- continued progress and discussion on a renewed governance framework being developed for 2014;
- the Junior A pilot program for 2011-12 has been extended for two years for further research, with the immediate addition of stronger regulations to reduce fighting and on-ice violence;
- branch updates, constructive discussion and positive feedback on the implementation of the zero tolerance contact to the head rules in minor and female hockey across Canada in 2011-12;
- updates on Hockey Canada's priorities: recruitment and retention, technology and e-learning.
Host communities approved by Hockey Canada's board of directors at the 2012 Hockey Canada AGM, subject to final agreements with host communities, were:
- 2014 Esso Cup - Stoney Creek/Hamilton, Ont.
- 2014 RBC Cup - Vernon, B.C.
Hockey Canada's Annual General Meeting kicked off Thursday, May 24 and included a banquet on the evening of Friday, May 25 that honoured nine deserving award recipients who have all had a significant impact on the hockey community.
The 2013 Hockey Canada Annual General Meeting will be hosted in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
If you're focusing on the Junior-A Supplement, the important line out of that whole release is the one conveniently bolded.  The pilot program is going to continue on for the next couple years to continue gathering data.  I'm slightly surprised by this development as I was near certain the Western leagues would be brought into the standard ruling that the rest of the CJHL leagues follow for the upcoming season.  My guess is the Western league commissioners had something to say about that, and got the program extended.
The line "immediate addition of stronger regulations to reduce fighting and on-ice violence" has me coloured curious.  I'll be trying to get a hold of Bill Chow soon to see if those rules are ready to go or if they're still under development.  That line could mean just about anything, but apparently doesn't go so far as to eliminate the Supplement.   A middle ground between the two rule sets perhaps?
Congratulations to Vernon and the Vernon Vipers on being awarded the 2014 RBC Cup.  With the near perennial strength of that program, it's scary to think what they could do with the added recruiting boon that a National Championship shot brings.
Check back over the next little bit for updates on the Junior-A supplement tweaks and changes.  Don't forget you can always get updates from my twitter feed or on Google+.

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