"Each year, the Kraft Hockeyville Competition showcases the incredible ways the great game of hockey connects us, and the NHL is truly excited to hear stories from the most passionate hockey communities in Canada."
-- Kyle McMann, Director of Integrated Marketing for the NHL
It's been less than two months since Terrace, British Columbia hosted the annual Kraft Hockeyville game, but that doesn't mean communities across Canada aren't already gearing up for next year.
Along with NHL, NHLPA, CBC and Kraft will launch its Hockeyville 2010 competition on Monday. And changes are in store.
This year, there are two additional wild-card opportunities -- making a total of four wild-card chances. Each of the four regions (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, West) will have their own wild card, increasing that community's chance of winning. The judges will select a total of 12 submissions from all the entries (up from 10 last year). Canadian voters will then decide the top-five submissions.
"There are a few reasons," said Jim Kozak, who is Kraft's Senior Manager of Corporate Promotions. "For starters, more communities can now get involved and they want to get into that top 10, so we figured what a great way for everyone to get equal representation. It worked out well for us, we think."
"Each year, the Kraft Hockeyville Competition showcases the incredible ways the great game of hockey connects us, and the NHL is truly excited to hear stories from the most passionate hockey communities in Canada," said Kyle McMann, Director of Integrated Marketing for the NHL. "The NHL encourages all Canadians to show their community spirit and love of hockey by participating in the Kraft Hockeyville competition."
Kraft Hockeyville has been a tremendous success since invading Salmon River, Nova Scotia in 2006. The event made its way out west in 2009, as the Vancouver Canucks
played the New York Islanders
in Terrace on Sept. 14.
"It continues to grow," Kozak said. "It really comes down to a teamwork perspective between Kraft, the NHL and CBC. I think it's the best event we've put on together. I really take off my hat to the teams, too. The Canucks knew how the people in Terrace felt about them and they took part in a lot of great activities. It's really going to leave a legacy there."
So where will Kraft, the NHL, NHLPA and CBC bring some lifelong memories next? The answer will arrive April 3, 2010, when the winner is announced live on CBC. Other than the Olympics in Vancouver, Kraft Hockeyville may very well be the most exciting competition in Canada next year.
"On April 3, we're going to be visiting all five communities and showcasing them throughout the day and then we'll make the announcement that night," Kozak said. "We can share the first couple of months with the Olympics and then we'll take over the spotlight from there."