TORONTO -- The global leaders of hockey convened in Toronto Tuesday to announce details of the upcoming Molson Canadian World Hockey Summit, a three-day event to be held in Toronto, from August 23-26, to dissect the current state of hockey and collaboratively identify and address key concerns and issues facing the game today as well as opportunities to further grow and develop the sport.
The summit's core theme -- Global Teamwork Promoting the Growth of the Game -- will be brought to life through interactive seminars, presentations and discussions, led by a who's who of the global hockey world from the National Hockey League, International Ice Hockey Federation, Hockey Canada, USA Hockey, and Canadian Hockey League.
"As leaders, stakeholders and fans of hockey we have a shared responsibility for the care, nurturing, protection and development of our game," said Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. "The goals of the Molson Canadian World Hockey Summit are to provide an inclusive forum to table the most pressing questions surrounding our game and work together to find implementable solutions."
Key topics to be addressed at the Molson Canadian World Hockey Summit include:
· Player Safety and Skill Development Initiatives: Exploring current trends and issues concerning player safety in today's game; understanding the need for a long term plan for player development, recruitment and retention; fostering long term participation in the sport at all levels of play
· Junior Development in the World: Assessing the results and figures from IIHF World Junior (U20) Championship, the Olympics and the NHL Entry Draft; addressing the developmental shortcomings in elite junior hockey programs and the impact of European migration to the Canadian Junior ranks
· 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: How to grow the competitive environment in women's hockey outside the U.S. and Canada to ensure women's hockey remains an Olympic sport
· Contracts and International Transfers: Addressing the challenges facing transfers and contractual status throughout the hockey world; determining how all parties can have a common view on contractual status and a common interpretation of free agency; discussing Ethical Standards for Agents and the responsibilities related to advising young players about life decisions
This year's event is open to the public to attend and participate in the sessions. Registration is open at www.worldhockeysummit.com. There are 500 spaces available for the three-day event, with tickets priced at $450 (CDN). The events and sessions will be split between two venues in downtown Toronto: the Sheraton Centre and the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Past hockey summits, including the inaugural Molson Open Ice Summit held in 1999, produced 11 recommendations for change in hockey. These have resulted in some dramatic improvements to the sport in Canada over the past decade, notably:
· The creation of a national coaching mentorship network, including enhanced resource development to support coaches in the practice environment
· Hockey Canada's Age Change motion that moved all age classifications back one year and made Midget hockey up to a three-year category
· The development of Hockey Canada's National Skills Standards and Testing program (2004) and annual Coaching Day events
· The launch of the Hockey Canada Skills Academy program in partnership with school boards, local hockey boards, associations and sponsors, to better utilize ice times and school facilities and move towards development of young players
A full schedule of events and activities is now available online at www.worldhockeysummit.com.