Background

The Molson Open Ice Summit was held in Toronto from August 25-27, 1999. Its purpose was to bring together Canadian hockey constituents from all levels to examine the state of hockey in Canada and to develop concrete recommendations to enhance player development at the grassroots level.

The Summit brought together over 100 of the 'key players' in Canadian hockey, representing the National Hockey League and its teams, as well as minor hockey parents, coaches, association Branch presidents, and Hockey Canada Board Members and administrators. Each day, the 10,000 Canadians from all across the country who logged unto the official Molson Open Ice website had access to real-time video and audio of the proceedings, and had the opportunity to e-mail questions, comments and general input.

The Hockey Canada has given itself a mandate to inform those involved in Canadian hockey about the Molson Open Ice Summit and its recommendations. We encourage all Hockey Canada members to distribute this information sheet to minor hockey associations, coaches, parents and other participants, in order to increase awareness of the Summit. Hockey Canada will be proactive in creating awareness about the recommendations, with the goal of promoting and enhancing player development in Canada.

The format of the Summit focussed on analyzing how far Canadian hockey has come over the past 100 years, where we are today, and where we are going as we enter the new millennium. The focus of the presentations and discussions was player skills development in Canada, with an agenda that included the following topics:

  1. The World Context, presented by Dave King, former head coach of the national team;

  2. How Skills Develop, presented by Janet Starkes, Professor at McMaster University;

  3. Teaching and Coaching, presented by Paul Carson, Chair, Hockey Canada Coaching Committee and minor hockey coach;

  4. Rules and Regulations, presented by Murray Costello, past president, Hockey Canada

After each presentation, a panel responded with comments and questions, followed by an "open-mike" session for all participants, including the thousands of participants "on-line" via the internet, which gave everyone the opportunity to add feedback and input on each topic.

The Summit was assisted by the findings from an extensive research project carried out by Northstar Research Partners. A total of 2,313 Canadians were polled, 1,288 of whom were from the general population and 1,025 from amateur hockey.