CALGARY, Alta. -- Canadian Hockey and Royal Bank have teamed up to launch Royal Bank Canadian Hockey Week, a week-long celebration of our national sport, a time to acknowledge the work of hundreds of thousands of volunteers who are the sport's lifeblood in Canada.
The timing of Royal Bank Canadian Hockey Week -- Jan 18-25 -- is particularly fortunate this year, coming as it does on the heels of the Royal Canadian Mint striking a coin commemorating the 1972 Summit Series and its heroes -- Paul Henderson, Yvan Cournoyer and Vladislav Tretiak.
Canadian Hockey salutes the Royal Canadian Mint for recognizing the key players in what many consider the most important sporting event in Canadian history. The never-quit spirit of the 1972 team captivated and inspired the whole country, and issuing the coin will help keep the legend alive for a new generation of Canadians.
That spirit remains a daily part of hockey in Canada. It's present in the parent who rises in darkness to drive his son or daughter to practice at the local arena; in the volunteer who devotes countless hours ensuring that the community bantam tournament runs smoothly; and in the business executive who sponsors a PeeWee team.
International hockey supremacy is a central element in the Canadian identity, but Canada's enviable record of excellence would not be possible without the broad base of volunteer support provided by the hundreds of thousands of volunteers from coast to coast.
Royal Bank Canadian Hockey Week is a time to celebrate the daily contributions made by the army of hockey volunteers and Canadian Hockey is presenting a varied menu of activities to do just that.
Canada's National Men's team gets the week started with a game on Saturday, 18 January at Calgary's Father David Bauer Arena against the Japanese Olympic team. The game is a homecoming of sorts for former National Team head coach Dave King, who is general manager of the Japanese club.
At the junior hockey level, 63 teams and 85 Royal Bank branches will be participating in the Toonies to Play program, a fundraising effort for minor hockey and the junior teams taking part. One highlight of this program will be the Toonie Toss, which involves fans tossing toonie-filled envelopes at targets on the ice surface during intermission in an effort to win prizes such as Bauer hockey equipment.
Other elements of Royal Bank Canadian Hockey Week include: the Canadian Hockey Outstanding Service Awards; a week-long series of features on The Sports Network, spotlighting minor hockey coaches, women's hockey and on-ice officials; as well as a full slate of clinics, demonstrations and seminars.