The 2010 Molson Canadian World Hockey Summit Steering Committee on Wednesday announced the four individuals who will serve as the Summit Leadership Team for the four-day event to be held in Toronto from Aug. 23-26.
They include Daniel Alfredsson, a 14-year member of the Ottawa Senators, an Olympic gold medalist and longtime member of Sweden's national team; Brian Burke, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the GM of the United States' silver medal-winning team at the 2010 Winter Olympics; Hayley Wickenheiser, a member of Canada's National Women's Team since 1993-94 and four-time Olympic medalist; and Steve Yzerman, a four-time Stanley Cup winner with Detroit, a two-time Olympic gold medalist with Canada and now the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
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 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), Hockey Canada, USA Hockey, the National Hockey League (NHL), NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL).
"The Summit is an important opportunity to exchange ideas with major hockey constituencies," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. "The League takes its role in international hockey seriously. The objective of the Summit is to improve the quality of hockey throughout the world at all levels and we want to be part of the leadership effort."
Among the leadership, of course, is the all-star group announced Wednesday.
Alfredsson, selected with the 133rd pick in the 1994 Entry Draft, has been an Ottawa Senator for each of his 14 NHL seasons and team captain since 1999-2000. He holds franchise records for career games, goals, assists and points for both the regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs. The 37-year-old native of Gothenburg, Sweden, also boasts extensive experience in international hockey, highlighted by his role as alternate captain on the gold medal-winning Swedish entry at the 2006 Olympics in Turin.
Burke, who became GM of the Maple Leafs in November 2008, has more than 20 years of NHL experience in a variety of management roles. The 1981 Harvard Law graduate has represented professional hockey players, worked in the League office as Senior VP and Director of Hockey Operations and served as GM of the Maple Leafs, Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks. He won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007, received the Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States in 2008 and earned an Olympic silver medal as GM of the U.S. men's team at the 2010 Winter Games.
"The Summit is an important opportunity to exchange ideas with major hockey constituencies. The League takes its role in international hockey seriously. The objective of the Summit is to improve the quality of hockey throughout the world at all levels and we want to be part of the leadership effort." -- Bill Daly
Wickenheiser, a member of Canada's National Women's Team since 1993-94, has won three gold medals and one silver medal in four Olympic Games, captured six golds and one silver at the Women's World Hockey Championships and earned MVP honors several times at the Canada nationals. In January 2003, she became the first female hockey player to earn a point in a men's professional game with HC Salamat of the Finnish second division. She also attended the Philadelphia Flyers rookie camp in 1998 and 1999.
Yzerman was named general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning on May 25 after spending the previous 27 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings as a player and executive. He won three Cups as a player and another in management with the Wings, and has captured two Olympic gold medals with Team Canada, as a player in 2002 and as executive director in 2010. Yzerman also served as GM for Canada at the 2007 and 2008 World Championships, winning gold and silver medals, respectively. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009, his first year of eligibility.
The inaugural Molson Canadian World Hockey Summit will open on the evening of Aug. 23 with a series of roundtable discussions on the issues confronting the hockey world, including the challenges facing transfers and contractual status.
Beginning on Aug. 24, the following six themes will be addressed:
- Player skill development -- Understanding the need for and establishing a long-term plan for player development will assist player recruitment and retention and provide opportunities for a safe, positive and enjoyable experience in youth hockey and foster long term participation in the sport at all levels of play.
- Junior development in the world -- Assessing the results and figures from the IIHF World Juniors, the Olympics and the NHL Entry Draft; the North American vs. the European approach in developing players.
- Vancouver 2010 evaluation -- Evaluating the 2010 Olympic men's tournament, helping hockey to benefit 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 of the game.
- Women's hockey after 2010 -- In light of IOC President Jacques Rogge's comments with respect to female hockey worldwide, what steps need to be taken to close the gap and to ensure women's hockey remains an Olympic sport.
- Growing participation in hockey -- Growing hockey means both recruiting new players and retaining current ones. It is important to promote positive messaging about the game and share best practices from around the world.
The event is open to the public to attend and participate in the sessions. Registration information can be obtained at www.worldhockeysummit.com