The weekend’s highlight was Father’s Day and that’s exactly where we begin our latest recap of news and notes from around the Canadian Hockey league.
Here’s a look at that story and more:
Happy Father’s Day
The CHL and many of its member teams took time Sunday to wish everyone a Happy Father’s Day with special recognition for hockey dads and billet dads from coast-to-coast. The CHL’s social thread below features videos from Christian Propp of the Kingston Frontenacs, a Saskatoon Blades dressing room clip with captain Chase Wouters’ dad Scott, and a photo of 2020 Rimouski Oceanic draft pick Loik Miville and his father Francois who was selected by the team back in 1998. Other teams got creative further down the thread by posting photos of their players and dads, and some video messages of thanks.
Between two Barber Poles
The Ottawa 67’s introduced a new web video segment titled Between Two Barber Poles and used the first episode to feature goaltender Cedrick Andree and his father Frank just in time for the weekend.
Hockey Canada begins road to World Juniors
Preparations for the holiday classic that is the IIHF World Junior Championship are underway as Hockey Canada has announced its roster of 41 players invited to take part in a virtual National Junior Team Summer Development Camp. The 39 CHL players involved will hope to represent their country in Edmonton and Red Deer this December. Among that group are seven who won gold in 2019 including Quinton Byfield (Sudbury Wolves), Bowen Byram (Vancouver Giants), Dylan Cozens (Lethbridge Hurricanes), Jamie Drysdale (Erie Otters), Alexis Lafreniere (Rimouski Oceanic), Connor McMichael (London Knights), and Dawson Mercer (Chicoutimi Sagueneens).
Five CHL players to skate with Team USA
The United States National Junior Team will converge in Plymouth, Michigan, for a Summer Showcase to evaluate their own talent ahead of the World Juniors. Five CHL players are among the 43 total invites including Dustin Wolf of the Everett Silvertips and Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs who both represented their county last season in the Czech Republic.
Four CHL players named to Switzerland U20 Camp
Simon Knak of the Portland Winterhawks is the only returning member of the four CHL players invited to Switzerland’s summer camp for World Juniors. The other hopefuls include Inaki Baragano (Kamloops Blazers), Giancarlo Chanton (Niagara IceDogs), and Noah Delemont (Acadie-Bathurst Titan).
Four CHL players eye Team Finland
First year Oshawa Generals forward Oliver Suni and former Windsor Spitfires Kari Piiroinen and Ruben Rafkin hope to represent Finland on the world stage along with Everett Silvertips defenceman Kasper Puutio. Only Piiroinen competed in last season’s event.
World Under-18 Championship Scheduled
The IIHF assigned hosts and announced dates for several world championship events for the 2020-21 season including the under-18 category which will take place April 15-25, 2021, in Plymouth. The event returns to USA Hockey Arena where it was scheduled to take place in 2020 before its cancellation due to the pandemic.
New Bauer PPE
Bauer, one of the CHL’s proud equipment suppliers, is excited to introduce some new Personal Protective Equipment to help us all stay safe as we continue to return to more frequent social and public gatherings.. These products include the Integrated Cap Shield, which can be worn over a baseball cap or alone, and Reversible Fabric Masks, which cover the nose and mouth, to provide a comfortable option where face coverings are recommended or required.
Design a Winnipeg ICE mask
The Winnipeg ICE recently unveiled the winning entry in the club’s Goalie Mask Design Contest. The event was proudly supported by CHL partner Real Canadian Superstore that hosted the big reveal.
Rangers Reach to help serve community
The Kitchener Rangers have announced the launch of a new Community Fund called Rangers Reach. The independent, non-profit organization, will work at arms length from the hockey club with a focus on supporting the community. The fund will coordinate community support and donations previously managed by the business operations side of the team which includes over $15 million since 2002.
Spirit Fill The Bus
The Saginaw Spirit partnered with the United Way of Saginaw County and several local business and organizations for two Fill the Bus events to benefit Saginaw County flood victims. An estimated $30,000 was collected for those in need.
Bulldogs Foundation still supporting Hamilton Food Share
The Bulldogs’ Foundation is donating $5,000 to Hamilton Food Share to continue supporting the fight against food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bulldogs’ Foundation, ATS Healthcare and the Andlauer family donated $100,000 to Hamilton Food Share in early April when COVID-19 had shut down the city and province.
More new sweaters
QMJHL prospects continue to receive special deliveries from around the league since first hearing their names called during the league’s 2020 Entry Draft held June 5-6. The Charlottetown Islanders, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, and Sherbooke Phoenix were among the latest clubs to share photos of their new players and their families celebrating the next step in their hockey careers.
A search through social media to see CHL stars staying active at home finds a Peterborough Petes online gaming tournament between Shawn Spearing and Tye Austin, Logan Nijhoff of the Regina Pats thanking those on the front lines, and Jacob Rabouin of the Sherbrooke Phoenix in motocross action.
New Player Ambassadors
Hockey Gives Blood, a non-profit society that partners with Canadian Blood Services to engage and educate the hockey community about the importance of blood and stem cell donation, continued naming new Player Ambassadors last week. Among the CHL faces joining the fight are Ethan Crossman (Charlottetown Islanders), Braden Hache (Kingston Frontenacs), Dylan Garand and Logan Stankoven (Kamloops Blazers), Ethan Cardwell (Barrie Colts), Cole MacKay (Soo Greyhounds), Liam Peyton (Halifax Mooseheads), Trevor Wong (Kelowna Rockets), and Jack Thompson (Sudbury Wolves).
19 QMJHL players receive academic bursaries
The Sport-Etudes Foundation announced a list of 68 student athletes recognized for their excellence in the classroom and in various sports. 19 QMJHL players were among those who each received bursaries of $1,250 including Rafael Harvey-Pinard who was named the league’s Scholastic Player of the Year.
Sea Dogs name Greg Gilbert head coach
The Saint John Sea Dogs recently introduced Greg Gilbert as the team’s new head coach. A three-time Stanley Cup champion as a player with the New York Islanders and Rangers, the 58-year-old from Mississauga has 20 years of head coaching experience across all levels. He last coached in the CHL for the Saginaw Spirit in 2015-16 and won OHL Coach of the Year honours back in 2012. Gilbert is the eighth head coach in franchise history and will take over head coaching duties from interim head coach, Jeff Cowan.
Wildcats solidify staff
The Moncton Wildcats are pleased to announce that Daniel Lacroix will be returning as head coach for the upcoming season and Ritchie Thibeau, who has been interim director of hockey operations, is moving into the role in a full-time, permanent capacity. Lacroix took over as head coach in December and guided the team to a record of 26 wins and 6 losses over 31 games. Thibeau became assistant director of hockey of operations and head scout for the team back in 2016.
U SPORTS Commitments
Scott Walford of the Saskatoon Blades is the latest member of the CHL’s 2020 class of overage graduates who will continue his hockey and education in U SPORTS while taking advantage of the league’s scholarship program. The former Montreal Canadiens third round pick has officially committed to McGill University.