The National Hockey League and Canadian Tire Hockey School announced an exciting initiative this week with the launching of the Canadian Tire NHL Junior Skills Competition, which seeks to award the title of Canada's most skilled youth hockey player.
Fifteen regional qualifying competitions will run across Canada through December, with the strongest contenders competing in the Canadian Tire NHL Junior Skills National Championship in Ottawa during the 2012 NHL All-Star Game weekend (Jan. 29-30, 2012).
Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who has won the Stanley Cup and an Olympic gold medal, is a founding member of the CTHS, which was created in Aug. 2010 to offer opportunities for kids and parents to learn more about hockey.
"I'm looking forward to seeing fellow hockey school members competing in and enjoying these events," Toews said. "I know the thrill of competing, winning and the camaraderie in competitions like the NHL All-Star Skills Competition, and I'm excited that Canadian Tire and the NHL can bring this experience to Canada's minor hockey players."
Canadian Tire, Canada's largest hockey retailer, is providing young hockey players between the ages of 7 and 12 an opportunity to showcase their skills at a national level. Youth hockey players will compete in a series of four challenges modeled after the NHL All-Star Skills Competition: fastest skating, shooting accuracy, puck control and passing accuracy. The winning players overall will travel to Ottawa to compete in the Canadian Tire NHL Junior Skills National Championship, attend the 2012 NHL All-Star Skills Competition and the 2012 NHL All-Star Game at Scotiabank Place. Winners will be selected from three age groupings, in the boys and girls division.
"As Canada's largest hockey retailer, Canadian Tire is the home of hockey -- the place where many Canadians go for their first pair of skates or hockey stick," said Mike Arnett, President of Canadian Tire Retail. "Most importantly, we want to give our young hockey school members the chance to experience the fun and thrills that NHL players like Jonathan get to experience."
"We are proud to offer a new national youth hockey competition program that will provide a platform for youth hockey players to test their skills against their peers. Our goal is to celebrate their dedication to the sport by giving these talented players the most pronounced NHL experience possible at qualifying and championship events," said Brian Jennings, the NHL's Executive Vice President of Marketing. "Our alliance with Canadian Tire expresses precisely what we've envisioned as it relates to the reach, scale and power when partnering with such an iconic Canadian brand."
Visit www.canadiantirehockeyschool.ca to join the school and register for a chance to participate in one of 15 upcoming Canadian Tire NHL Junior Skills Competition qualifying events in your local community. Ultimately everyone who registers has a chance to make it to Ottawa; beyond the regional winners, 10 lucky wildcard winners will be randomly selected to join the festivities.