HALIFAX - Canadian Hockey completed the last agenda items today at the annual general meeting of its membership with the meeting of the new board of directors. The annual convention, hosted by the Nova Scotia Hockey Association, began Friday evening and included plenary sessions, council congresses and Canadian Hockey awards banquet happening throughout the five days.
At the Association's annual banquet Monday evening, the following 1996 Awards were presented: The Cape Breton County Minor Hockey Association was named 1995-96 Minor Hockey Association of the Year; Jed Ritcey of Truro, Nova Scotia was selected as the Volunteer of the Year; Dr. Carl "Bucky" Buchanan of Sydney, Nova Scotia received the Gordon Juckes Award for hockey development; and the Order of Merit recipients were Vern Paul of Edmonton, Alberta, and Joe Tookenay of Thunder Bay, Ontario.
On the final day of the annual general meeting, the national body held elections for its executive committee. The two changes at the officers level were the addition of Sheldon Lanchbery and Don Brown. Lanchbery of Deloraine, Manitoba, is the past-president of Hockey Manitoba, and Brown of Kanata, Ontario, is the Ottawa District Hockey Association's past-president. They replace Joe Richard of Saint John, New Brunswick, and Cecil Taylor of Charlottetown, P.E.I.
The complete slate of Canadian Hockey officers includes Frank Lento of Fernie, B.C., chairman of the board, Toronto's Bob MacKinnon as executive vice-chairman, Bill MacGillivary of Fredericton, N.B. as past-chairman, and vice-chairmen Lanchbery and Brown are joined by Michel Lagacé of Montreal, and Dr. Ian Macdonald of Toronto, Allan Matthews of Williams Lake, B.C., and Wayne Russell of St. John's, Newfoundland.
The main topics discussed during the five plenary sessions and the respective council meetings were the age change proposals, limiting the number of non-North American imports and evaluating the Canadian inter-university Athletic Union's membership status.
On the age change issue, the board of directors requested that the decision process go back to the grassroots level with presentations at provincial association annual general meetings in the upcoming weeks. As a result, there will be no change in age playing categories.
With respect to the CIAU's membership status and the incident involving the University of Moncton hockey team, Canadian Hockey's board of directors voted to impose sanctions of its own, which matched those originally handed out by the Atlantic University Athletic Association, on five Blue Eagles players. The suspensions ranged from one to five years.
The Association also decided to put CIAU hockey on probation for a year and implement a zero-tolerance policy next season toward abuse of officials at all levels of amateur hockey.
On the subject of imports, the board of directors voted in favour of a notice of motion requesting that Canadian Hockey limit the number of non-North American imports to one (1) from the current eight (8), and that once a player is considered an import, they are always an import. A combination of imports from other Canadian Hockey branches and the United States would remain at eight. These imports cannot be called up as affiliates.