The Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) has announced a groundbreaking partnership with the Toronto Marlies in an effort to introduce more kids to Canada's game and take hockey development to a new level in Toronto.
The new partnership will see the Marlies, the American Hockey League farm team of the Toronto Maple Leafs, support the GTHL by establishing a hockey development fund, with the proceeds from the inaugural Marlies Cup Tournament to be held at Ricoh Coliseum, home of the Toronto Marlies.
“We’re excited to work with the Toronto Marlies to promote and grow minor hockey," said Scott Oakman, executive director of the Greater Toronto Hockey League. “A partnership with a professional hockey team such as the Marlies is important to grow our game. The Marlies have the resources, knowledge and expertise to support our players and coaching staff, which will make a significant impact for the sport in the long-term."
The Marlies Cup is a three day tournament where 32 A-Level Hockey teams compete for the bragging rights and the Marlies Cup, a team trophy that symbolizes winning, sportsmanship, teamwork, perseverance and leadership.
Money raised from the Marlies Cup will benefit the GTHL Minor Hockey Development Fund. The Fund will be used in programs, educational materials and events aimed at attracting new participants to the game of hockey.
“Our new partnership with the GTHL is a win for hockey and player development,” said Jim Edmands, director of Marlies Business Operations. "It's important that teams like the Marlies continue to actively support and promote minor hockey because these leagues play a critical role in developing future AHL and NHL players.”
Edmands added a partnership with a professional hockey team helps motivate the next generation of hockey players, giving them a team and league to aspire too.
An ancillary goal in this new partnership is instilling the values of healthy competition and the importance of having fun when playing sports.
This sponsorship is the first of its kind for the Marlies, who believe in growing and developing hockey at all levels. The team begins their third season in Toronto this fall.
Minor Hockey teams will compete in the inaugural Marlies Minor Hockey Tournament at Toronto’s Ricoh Coliseum at Exhibition Place between September 20 and 23. To enter a minor hockey team in the tournament or for more information, visit www.torontomarlies.com