TORONTO (October 30, 2019) - Bauer Hockey announced today that together with founding partner Hockey Canada, they have joined forces with the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) and National Hockey League (NHL) to continue to advance and strengthen the First Shift program - an innovative and successful learn-to-play initiative designed to welcome new-to-hockey families to the game. The three-year partnership brings together some of the most influential organizations in hockey to further elevate the program experience and continue to grow hockey participation at the grassroots level in Canada.
Through this partnership, the NHL® and NHLPA will provide the program with additional resources, marketing/media platforms and a unique local brand identity utilizing the seven Canadian NHL clubs and NHL alumni, in collaboration with Hockey Canada. The partners will explore ways to effectively broaden the program, extending into more rural communities, offering additional programming specifically designed for girls and providing new special programming for participants with disabilities - each of which continue to grow in popularity and availability in the hockey community.
"The NHL and NHLPA are premier partners because of their unique ability to elevate the First Shift experience and increase exposure, both of which will help attract more families to this successful program and ultimately to our game," said Mary-Kay Messier, VP of Global Marketing for Bauer Hockey and a founder of the First Shift. "I'm proud to be working closely with the NHL and its member clubs, the NHLPA and our founding partner, Hockey Canada. Our collective passion and efforts will allow us to bring exceptional first-time experiences to more families and expand our offerings to make our game more accessible and inclusive."
The NHL® First Shift programs will be affiliated with an NHL Canadian team determined by geographic proximity. NHL team names and logos will be incorporated into the branding to further elevate the excitement and experience for the participants, allowing for expanded program offerings - for example, the Vancouver Canucks® First Shift. In areas where there is no team affiliation, the national program will go by NHL/NHLPA First Shift. Current NHL players, NHL Alumni and elite female players will more regularly participate in First Shift events, including on-ice sessions with kids and families.
"We are excited to partner with Bauer Hockey and Hockey Canada on this important grassroots program and will continue to lean on our Clubs to share their expertise and provide community activations in their local markets," said Rob Knesaurek, NHL Group Vice President of Youth Hockey and Industry Growth Fund. "Our goal is to help Canadian families experience the very best of our great game and in turn share their generational knowledge with other new-to-hockey families."
Upcoming First Shift Ice Times
|Thursday Oct 10th ||4:00 - 5:00 PM ||Port Moody Minor Hockey Asscociation ||Port Moody Rec Centre Arena ||Kirk Mclean / FIN |
|Sunday Oct 20th ||2:15 - 3:15 PM ||Semiahmoo minor Minor Hockey Asscociation ||South Surrey Arena ||Jyrki Lumme / FIN |
|Tuesday Oct 22nd ||6:30 - 7:30 PM ||Surrey Female Falcons Minor Hockey Asscociation ||North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex ||Kirk Mclean / FIN |
|Sunday Nov 3rd ||1:45 - 2:45 PM ||Coquitlam Minor Minor Hockey Asscociation ||Poirier Sport & Leisure Centre Rink #2 ||Dave Babych / FIN |
|Monday Nov 4th ||5:15 - 6:15 PM ||8 rinks / Burnaby Minor Hockey Asscociation ||Canlan Burnaby 8 Rinks ||Dave Babych / FIN |
|Wednesday Nov 6th ||5:00 -6:00 PM ||Vancouver Minor Hockey Asscociation ||Britannia Ice Rink ||Dave Babych / FIN |
|Saturday Nov 9th ||10:15 - 11:15 AM ||North Vancouver Minor Hockey Asscociation ||North Shore Canlan Ice Sports- Rink # 3 ||Dave Babych / FIN |
|Sunday Nov 17th ||9:45 - 10:45 AM ||Burnaby Minor Hockey Asscociation ||Burnaby Lake Arena ||Kirk Mclean / FIN |
|Sunday Dec 8th ||9:15 - 10:15 AM ||Squamish Minor Hockey Asscociation ||Brennan Park Recreation Centre ||Dave Babych / FIN |