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Alfie answers hockey summit's call

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson is enthused about participating in the Molson Canadian Hockey Summit in August in Toronto (Photo by Eliot J. Schecter/NHLI via Getty Images).

Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson will be front and centre at the inaugural Molson Canadian World Hockey Summit.

Alfredsson has been named to the leadership team for the summit, slated to be held Aug. 23-26 in Toronto, along with Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke and Hayley Wickenheiser, a three-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian women's hockey team.

The four-day event is a joint venture involving the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), Hockey Canada, USA Hockey, the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) and Molson. Sessions will be split between the Hockey Hall of Fame and Sheraton Centre in Toronto.

Global Teamwork Promoting the Growth of the Game is the core theme of the summit, which plans to address six themes: player skill development, junior development in the world, the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, establishing a long-term global event agenda, women's hockey after 2010 and growing the participation level in hockey.

"It’s pretty exciting to be part of this," said Alfredsson, also a member of Sweden's gold-medal-winning team at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics. "It's a great job by the people who have put this together ... to have the most influential people from all over the world in hockey together at the same time to brainstorm and discuss the current state of the game and the future of the game and where we can see this going.

"I feel honoured to be a part of this and, hopefully, I can bring some insight from my own experiences internationally and about development in Sweden and the NHL as well. I’m really looking forward to this and it should be a great weekend."

"It’s pretty exciting to be part of this. It's a great job by the people who have put this together ... to have the most influential people from all over the world in hockey together at the same time to brainstorm and discuss the current state of the game and the future of the game and where we can see this going. I feel honoured to be a part of this and, hopefully, I can bring some insight from my own experiences." - Daniel Alfredsson
Alfredsson is taking time out from summer vacation with his family in Sweden to participate in the summit, a clear indication of the importance he places on being part of a discussion about the worldwide state of the game. Especially as someone who's played the game on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

"Having the perspective of both sides, I felt and I hoped that I could contribute with my experiences," said Alfredsson. "It would be fun to golf in August, but I’m sure I’ll have enough time to get some games in before then. I’m really looking forward to this.

"It’s a lot of people with a lot of experience and I’m sure I can contribute a little bit, but I’m going to learn a lot as well."

With an eye toward the game's future, Burke suggested one of the summit's primary goals should be "to create hockey players for life."

"That fan watches games on TV, that fan buys a ticket in Ottawa," said Burke, a former NHL general manager in Vancouver and Anaheim, and the head of the United States team at the Vancouver Games. "That’s my goal, to grow this game so that people play this game for life. That’s what I want. Then, if the base of the pyramid is big enough and enough elite athletes pick up the stick, you get a Daniel Alfredsson out of that group.

"That’s not why you put the group on the ice, but there’s where you find Daniel Alfredsson."

For more information or to purchase one of 500 available tickets, log on to www.worldhockeysummit.com.


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