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by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
Darcy Regier (Getty Images)

The Molson Canadian World Hockey Summit, to be held in Toronto from Aug. 23-26, will be highlighted by seven sessions that will help highlight the summit's theme: Global Teamwork Promoting the Growth of the Game.

Each session will be fully interactive and feature guest speakers and panelists from across the hockey world.

The Player Skill Development session will include discussions on long-term player development strategies, a review of current youth development programming best practices, addressing the developmental shortcomings in youth hockey, and current trends and issues concerning player safety. The discussion will be led by Dr. Steve Norris, Director of Sport Physiology and Strategic Planning at the Canadian Sport Centre for 2002, 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics, and Dr. Mark Aubry, IIHF and Hockey Canada Chief Medical Officer. Panelists include Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette; Columbus Blue Jackets assistant coach Bob Boughner and Brendan Shanahan, NHL vice president of hockey and business development.

The Junior Development in the World session will feature topics such as the impact of European migration to the Canadian junior ranks, the effects of Europeans leaving for the NHL and AHL, and strategies for maintaining the popularity of the World Junior Championship. IIHF Vice President Murray Costello will help lead the group, with Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier, Brandon Wheat Kings coach Kelly McCrimmon and USA Hockey Assistant Executive Director of Hockey Operations appearing on the panel.

The Vancouver 2010 Evaluation session will discuss topics related to the success of the 2010 Olympic men's ice hockey tournament, and will be led by John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee; IIHF President Rene Fasel; and Timo Lumme, IOC managing director, television and marketing services. Among those appearing on the panel will be Red Wings GM Ken Holland, Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson and New Jersey Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner.

A session dedicated toward establishing a long-term global event agenda will be led by long-time Swiss national team coach Ralph Krueger. Topics will include addressing the need for an annual world club championship to be held, and whether the Champions Hockey League can be re-launched. Among those on the panel will be NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, and KHL President Alexander Medvedev.

Canada national women's team member Hayley Wickenheiser will be the main speaker at a session titled Women's Hockey After Vancouver 2010, which will examine what steps need to be taken to close the competitive gap between North American and European teams to insure women's hockey remains an Olympic sport. U.S. women's Olympian Angela Ruggiero will be among those on the panel, as will U.S. Olympic women's coach Mark Johnson.

Chicago Blackhawks president John McDonough and Hockey Canada COO Scott Smith will be among those speaking at a session dedicated to growing participation in hockey. The speakers will share their experiences and best practices in growing the game at all levels.

Also at the Summit, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will take part in a fully interactive question-and-answer session.

The Molson Canadian World Hockey Summit is open to the public, and registration information can be obtained online at
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