Affiliate Sites expand
Hockey Canada logo

Hockey Canada hires Trevor Murphy to lead hockey development

Incoming vice-president of hockey development will begin new role July 15

NR.044.24
|
July 10, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has hired Trevor Murphy as the organization’s vice-president of hockey development, a role that will lead the strategic direction for grassroots hockey development across the country.

Born and raised in Mount Pearl, NL, Murphy joins Hockey Canada from the 2025 Canada Games Host Society senior leadership team, and previously held progressive executive roles with the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League and the ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers, including as the Growlers’ president and alternate governor in his last season.

From 2003 to 2008, Murphy led the delivery of hockey development programs in Atlantic Canada as the manager of Hockey Canada’s Regional Centre in Saint John, NB, before working three seasons with the Edmonton Oilers in community and consumer partnerships.

“Throughout his career, Trevor has made significant contributions to hockey as an executive, administrator, official and volunteer coach, and we are extremely fortunate to welcome him as Hockey Canada’s next vice-president of hockey development,” said Pat McLaughlin, chief operating officer and executive vice-president of strategy for Hockey Canada. “Adding Trevor comes at an exciting time for hockey in our country, after the number of registered participants during the 2023-24 season surpassed our pre-COVID-19 totals and for the first time ever, more than 100,000 girls and women laced up their skates in Hockey Canada programs.

“His hiring is another important step to continue advancing our Player Pathways, the Canadian Development Model and further establish Canada as an international leader in hockey development.”

A graduate from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Murphy has received a number of awards for his contributions to sport, including the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for commitment and dedication to the game of hockey, Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador’s Outstanding Service Award and is a provincial and territorial recipient of Baseball Canada’s National Grassroots Coach Award.

“It’s a privilege to be returning to Hockey Canada as the vice-president of hockey development,” Murphy said. “I am excited to work with the tremendous Members, volunteers and staff throughout the country to build upon the foundation that has been created for development programs as we look to take them to new heights and impact all hockey participants in a very positive manner.

“From grassroots to high-performance, development on and off the ice is something that should be a key focus for all leaders in the game and I am excited to get to work in this new role.”

Murphy will join Hockey Canada’s senior leadership team on July 15 and be based in St. John’s, NL.

To learn more about Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along through social media on FacebookX and Instagram.

Rivalry Series schedule announced for 2024-25 season

Five-game series includes Canadian stops in Halifax and Summerside

NR.043.24
|
July 09, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada, in partnership with USA Hockey, has announced the return of the Rivalry Series between Canada’s National Women’s Team and the United States for the 2024-25 season, featuring two stops in Atlantic Canada.

The 2024-25 Rivalry Series will feature five games, with Canada set to play host in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in February. The first Canadian stop will see the cross-border rivals face off at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, home of the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. AT. The teams will then travel to Summerside, P.E.I., to play at Credit Union Place, home of the Summerside Western Capitals of the Maritime Hockey League (MHL), on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. AT.

“We are excited to renew our partnership with USA Hockey to deliver the Rivalry Series, and to provide the best Canadian and American players an opportunity to showcase women’s hockey with games in Halifax and Summerside,” said Hockey Canada president and chief executive officer Katherine Henderson (Thunder Bay, ON). “The series has been a must-see event for hockey fans across Canada since 2018, and it has been instrumental in helping to grow the girls’ and women’s game across North America. We look forward to once again treating fans to five great hockey games and leaving a lasting impact and legacy in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island this season.”

“Halifax and Summerside have proven to be successful international hockey hosts, and we know both communities will embrace the opportunity to welcome and cheer on the best players from Canada and the United States as they compete in the Rivalry Series in February 2025,” said D’Arcy Hutcheson (Barrie, ON) , director of events with Hockey Canada. “The Rivalry Series has become a fan-favourite event on the international hockey calendar, and the teams will enjoy facing off in front of passionate hockey fans in two great Canadian communities.”

Tickets for the games in Halifax and Summerside will be available for purchase at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets at a later date.

Hockey Canada and its Members will announce grassroots initiatives that will take place leading up to the Rivalry Series games in both Canadian stops in the coming months, ensuring the next generation of the game can engage with Canada’s National Women’s Team.

“The Rivalry Series is a great event for players and fans alike, and I know the impact an event like this can have on young players in communities across the country. I am excited that hockey fans in the Maritimes will have the opportunity to take in two games and cheer on Team Canada next season,” said Team Canada forward Blayre Turnbull (Stellarton, NS/Toronto, PWHL). “Fans on the East Coast always embrace the opportunity to watch Canada compete and we know the atmosphere will be incredible, and it will be even more special for me to have a chance to play in my home province and two incredible communities that are close to my hometown.”

The series will kick off with a trio of games in the United States in November, with the teams opening the series at the Tech CU Arena in San Jose, California, on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. PT. The American portion of the Rivalry Series will also include stops at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah, on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. PT and Idaho Central Arena in Boise, Idaho, on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. MT.

TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada, will broadcast all five Rivalry Series games; please check local listings for details.

Last year, the Rivalry Series ended in thrilling fashion for a second-straight year, with Canada’s National Women’s Team winning four-straight games to win the best-of-seven series in seven games. The Canadian games welcomed an average attendance of more than 6,200 fans per game in Kitchener, Sarnia, Saskatoon and Regina, including sell-outs in Kitchener, Sarnia and Regina. Ottawa, Kingston, Kelowna and Trois-Rivières also hosted Rivalry Series games over the past two seasons that featured sold-out crowds.

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Women’s Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook , X and Instagram .

View More
Jamie Keeley.

A hockey mom, a hockey coach, a hockey leader

Armed with a passion for helping women find confidence behind the bench, Jamie Keeley has created opportunities in her association, in Calgary and across Alberta

Jason La Rose
|
July 05, 2024
The genesis of Jamie Keeley’s minor hockey coaching journey was about as Canadian as it gets – just a parent wanting to enjoy the hockey experience with their child.

“It was seeing my son on the ice and just having that want and desire to be out there with him and experience what he was experiencing, helping him learn,” she says.

That was almost six years ago.

Today, Keeley is the national BFL CANADA Women in Coaching Award recipient in the Community category, and the creator of a thriving coach development program with the Knights Hockey Club in Calgary.

“I think it’s important for women to realize that they have so much to offer and that what they have to offer is recognized and is appreciated,” Keeley says of the BFL CANADA honour. “This award gives that; it brings light to [the fact] that we can do this. We’re here now, and let’s keep blazing trails and breaking ceilings and all of those amazing things.”

A ringette player growing up who dabbled in hockey when the boys’ team in her northern Saskatchewan community needed bodies to fill out the lineup, Keeley had never given much thought to coaching until her son got into the game at the Timbits U7 level in the fall of 2018.

When she wasn’t selected to coach the following season in U9, her attention turned back to her first athletic love and she joined the Bow View Ringette Association, working as an assistant coach and head coach at U10 and U12.

“[It was about] learning and gaining the confidence that I needed to step back into hockey and make a difference,” she says of her three years with Bow View.

The word that continually comes up is process – Keeley spent those seasons observing other coaches, ensuring she was surrounded by the right people, building her coaching support system, filling her toolbox and learning how to be a coach in the competitive space.

One of her biggest takeaways? No one does it alone.

“What I believe makes the most successful coach is to surround themselves with people for the skills that they don’t currently have,” Keeley says. “And so for me, I always make sure that I have a very, very rounded team of people that can offset the skills that I don’t have, that I can learn from.”

When the 2022-23 hockey season rolled around, Keeley was ready to get back behind the bench with her son at the U11 level.

But she didn’t come back to hockey empty-handed. In addition to the skills she had learned with Bow View, Keeley came armed with a proposal for a coach development program targeted at women.

“The program was not so much about giving women all the tools they needed to be a coach,” she says. “It starts with having the confidence to put up their hand and say, ‘Yeah, I have something to offer.’ It was really about just helping the ladies to make that decision to put up their hand and to help them have that confidence to step on the ice.

“One of the objectives was to make sure that we had strong female leadership to keep girls in sport, because that’s important. What if we have strong leadership from the same gender on the ice? Would that make a difference? Would girls want to stay [involved in hockey] if they saw strong female coaches on the ice?”

The association was quick to jump at the proposal, and Keeley was off and running.

“Where we started was I held one on-ice session to begin with, and we had 12 ladies that put up their hand and came out,” she says. “And really what it was about more than anything was just to see what this program was all about.

“I had an hour-and-a-half ice time, and I think we spent 20 minutes on the ice. What we spent more time doing was talking about if this was the right fit for them, if they had the confidence to put their skates on and what this was going to look like if they actually got selected to be on the ice with their kid. It was amazing to hear females talk about challenges and obstacles and barriers, and me as a part of launching this program, being able to provide that space to have those open and honest conversations that they wouldn’t have anywhere else.”

What was originally meant to be a local program for women in the Knights program rapidly turned into something much bigger, much to Keeley’s delight.

Next was a training course, with the help of Hockey Alberta – the province’s first women-only Coach 2 clinic.

“At first, I was just opening it to the [local] group that had shown interest. Then we decided to open up to all of Alberta. And so on a very snowy November day, we had 24 females sitting in a room from across Alberta. We did the four-hour classroom, and then the next day we met for another seven [hours].

“That’s where the network started. A lot of us still keep in contact, and we send out emails to each other, and when there is an event happening for all female coaches, we make sure that we share and attend.”

In that first season, nine women were behind the bench with the Knights Hockey Club. During the 2023-24 season, that number grew to 14 – two as head coaches and 12 as assistants.

Keeley hosted a start-of-season meeting in September to teach coaches how to prepare a season plan and build practice plans, and had regular check-ins with every coach involved in the program, working through any challenges they were facing and ensuring they were getting what they needed from the experience.

She also continues to work closely with Hockey Calgary, participating in ongoing opportunities for women in coaching, including on- and off-ice development sessions.

But her No. 1 role is still being a mom, and there are few things that give her more joy than sharing hockey with her son. This season, Keeley led the U13 Tier 4 team.

“I always ask if he wants me to coach,” she says of her son. “And that even existed when I went and coached ringette because, of course, I wasn’t with him. I was always a non-parent coach in ringette, and I would ask him every season, ‘Are you okay if I do this?’

“When I coached the U12 AA team [in the spring of 2022], I was away quite a bit. We were on the ice five times a week. That was the first time he ever said to me, ‘Mom, I miss you. Can you come coach me?’

“We’re just in the midst of filling out our application for this upcoming season, which is his second year of U13. And he said, ‘Mom, are you going to coach again?’ I said, ‘Do you want me to?’ He said, ‘As long as you want to.’ So yes, I’m going to apply to be a coach again.”

That’s a lucky son, and a lucky association that gets to benefit from what Keeley has to offer.

But ask her, and she’ll tell you just the opposite – that she’s the lucky one, benefitting from what the players can offer her.

“I have had some really amazing experiences both on and off the ice, just learning from these players. The amount, if you sit back and you listen, that you can learn is just unbelievable, and they always make you smile.”

View More
Shakita Jensen.

Giving back through coaching

Guided by influential coaches during her playing days, Shakita Jensen knew she wanted to give back to the game she loved by becoming a coach in her hometown

Shannon Coulter
|
July 04, 2024

It was a full circle moment for Shakita Jensen when she stepped on the bench as head coach of Team Northwest Territories at the 2024 Arctic Winter Games.

In 2014, she played in the tournament in Alaska. A decade later, she returned to Alaska to coach.

“I felt a lot of emotions,” says Jensen, the national BFL CANADA Women in Coaching Award winner in the Competitive category.

Jensen, from the Tahltan First Nation, started as an on-ice volunteer with the Yellowknife Minor Hockey Association in 2014. Since then, her passion for giving back has driven her to continue her coaching journey.

“The hockey community has given me so much that I felt an obligation to want to give back to the hockey community in any way I could,” Jensen says. “When I got back from school, I was like, ‘I should probably try coaching, see if I like it.’ And of course I liked it right away.”

In addition to giving back, a few impactful women who coached Jensen growing up opened her eyes to her own potential journey.

“Having my first female head coach was super cool, and that made me want to get into coaching,” she says. “Growing up, being sometimes the only girl on my hockey teams, not really many women coaching, and then having my first few female coaches thinking, ‘Wow they’re so cool, I want to be like them one day.’”

The position of being a role model and a leader for youth in her community was also a driving factor in wanting to become a coach.

“I’ve had so many influential coaches in my own playing career. [There are] everlasting impacts they can have on their players, not only on the ice, but off the ice as people as well, what you can teach your players as a coach. I felt that I had lots to offer [as a head coach] and I wanted to be there for kids.”

Shakita Jensen coaching Team NWT at a One For All practice.

 Jensen was in the right place at the right time to get her first head coaching position. There was a shortage of coaches in her association, so they asked Jensen—who initially applied to be an on-ice helper—if she wanted to be a head coach.

“It was a lot of quick learning and kind of being thrown into it, but I felt confident in myself the whole time,” the 26-year-old explains. “I just tried to network with past coaches as much as I could to have a successful season, which I think I did.”

Early in her career, Jensen decided to apply to be a part of the 2023 Canada Winter Games coaching staff for Team NWT, but she wasn’t selected. However, one of the coaches recommended she apply for the Aboriginal Apprentice Coach program with the Aboriginal Sports Circle.

“They chose one woman and one man from the territory, and it could be from any sport, so I knew that it was a bit of a long shot, but when I heard I got in for hockey, I was super excited.”

Through the apprenticeship program, Jensen was able to attend last year’s Canada Winter Games on Prince Edward Island and work with Team NWT leading up to the event. Afterwards, she became an assistant coach for Team NWT for the 2023 Arctic Winter Games before being promoted to head coach for the 2024 tournament.

“I think that definitely opened a lot of doors,” she says. “It was cool to see the progression and to allow me to gain all the tools and resources that I needed to prepare my team.”

As head coach of Team NWT, the location of each player’s hometowns can often be difficult to navigate—sometimes resulting in very few full team practices before an event.

“It was definitely a challenge wanting to build your team culture and work on your strategies and trying to prepare for a high-performance, short-term competition when your team is scattered all over the territories, in some places that are fly in/fly out or just a lot of money barriers,” she explains. “I think one thing that was super helpful was our ability to connect online leading up to the Games.”

Another huge opportunity for Jensen’s team this year was February’s One For All event in Yellowknife. With more than 300 participants over four days, the event celebrated women’s and girls’ hockey with Try Hockey events, on-ice skills, coaching clinics and more.

Team Northwest Territories and Team Nunavut gathered to practice and face off in an exhibition game.

“It was an overwhelming successful weekend—players putting on their hockey gear for the first time and then other players who were about to be graduating minor hockey,” says Jensen, who volunteered with the event. “It felt super to contribute to that program, give back and hopefully keep that program on a yearly basis here.”

When Jensen found out she was the BFL CANADA Women in Coaching Award winner for Hockey North in the Competitive category, she was shocked.

“I was so surprised, kind of caught off guard. I felt so much pride and gratitude.”

Jensen was unsure if she would be able to compete with the great provincial and territorial candidates across the country. But when she saw Cassie Campbell-Pascall on a video call congratulating her for winning the national award, she was in disbelief all over again.

“There are really no words,” she says of winning the national award. “There are so many influential coaches who go unrecognized sometimes for all the work they do. [I’m] really feeling proud of myself, but also feeling proud of everyone else across Canada who’s doing so much for the women’s game.”

View More
Dave Cameron, Sylvain Favreau, Mike Johnston, Chris Lazary and Justin Pogge.

National Junior Team staff named for 2025 IIHF World Junior Championship

Dave Cameron to serve as head coach; Sylvain Favreau, Mike Johnston, Chris Lazary named assistants

NR.042.24
|
July 04, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has announced the coaching and support staffs that will lead Canada’s National Junior Team in its attempt to reclaim gold on home ice at the 2025 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa, Ontario.

Dave Cameron (Kinkora, PE/Ottawa, OHL) returns to take the reins as head coach after leading Canada to a gold medal at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship. He will be joined by assistant coaches Sylvain Favreau (Orleans, ON/Drummondville, QMJHL), Mike Johnston (Dartmouth, NS/Portland, WHL) and Chris Lazary (Toronto, ON/Saginaw, OHL), as well as goaltending consultant Justin Pogge (Penticton, BC) and video coach James Emery (Calgary, AB).

In addition, Peter Anholt (Naicam, SK/Lethbridge, WHL) will return as the U20 lead for the Program of Excellence management group, serving alongside three-time Stanley Cup champion and Olympic gold medallist Brent Seabrook (Tsawwassen, BC), who returns to the National Junior Team for the second-straight year. Anholt and Seabrook helped select the staff alongside Scott Salmond (Creston, BC), senior vice-president of high performance and hockey operations, and Benoit Roy (Sudbury, ON), senior manager of hockey operations.

“Dave has won two gold medals at the World Juniors and has proven to be an excellent leader of Canada’s National Junior Team, and we are excited to have him return to coach our team as we look to reclaim gold in the nation’s capital this year. We are also fortunate to round out our coaching staff with Sylvain, Mike, Chris, Justin and James, as all seven will benefit our team with their extensive CHL and international experience,” Salmond said. “We are also fortunate to work with Peter and Brent again, as they have helped assemble a world-class staff and will be key factors in building a highly skilled team that fans in Ottawa and across the country will be proud to cheer for this holiday season.”

Cameron has served as head coach of the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for the past three seasons (2021-24), leading the team to three-straight playoff appearances and winning OHL and Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Coach of the Year awards in 2022-23. He previously spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Calgary Flames (2016-18) and five seasons with the Ottawa Senators (2011-16) as head coach and assistant, and was the head coach and GM of the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (1997-99) and Toronto St. Michael’s Majors (2000-04, 2009-10). Cameron was also an assistant with the St. John’s Maple Leafs (1999-2000) and head coach of the Binghamton Senators (2004-07) of the American Hockey League (AHL). Internationally, he has won four medals at the IIHF World Junior Championship, including silver and gold as head coach in 2011 and 2022, respectively, and gold and silver as an assistant in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Cameron also won gold medals as an assistant coach at the 2016 IIHF World Championship and as head coach at the 2004 Junior World Cup.

Favreau recently completed his first season as head coach of the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) after six seasons as head coach (2021-23) and assistant coach (2017-21) with the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads. This season, he led the Voltigeurs to a QMJHL championship and a spot at the Memorial Cup after finishing the regular season atop the Western Conference. Prior to making the jump to the QMJHL, he served as both an assistant (2009-11) and head coach (2011-15) of the Gloucester Rangers of the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), and was head coach and director of hockey operations for the CCHL’s Cumberland Grads for two seasons (2015-17). Favreau won a gold medal as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, and was an assistant with Canada Black and head coach of Canada White at the 2018 and 2019 U17 World Challenge, respectively.

Johnston has been senior vice-president, general manager and head coach of the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League (WHL) for 13 seasons (2009-14, 2016-24), winning the U.S. Division Executive of the Year and Coach of the Year awards this season. He also became the 11th head coach in WHL history to win 500 games, and has led the Winterhawks to seven-consecutive 40-win seasons. Johnston has also served as an assistant (1999-2003) and associate coach (2003-04) with the Vancouver Canucks, an associate with the Los Angeles Kings (2005-08) and head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins (2014-16). He also coached Canada’s National Men’s Team from 1994-99, winning two gold medals (1997, 2007), two silver (1996, 2008) and one bronze (1995) at the IIHF World Championship. Johnston also won gold at three IIHF World Junior Championships (1994, 1995, 1996) as an assistant coach, was an assistant at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games and head coach at the 2009 IIHF World U18 Championship, and won the Spengler Cup in 1993.

Lazary has served as head coach of the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit for the past five seasons (2018-24) after parts of three seasons (2016-18) as an associate coach with Saginaw and two seasons (2014-16) as an assistant with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting. He led the Spirit to a Memorial Cup championship as the host team this season, as well as back-to-back West Division titles (2018-19, 2019-20). Prior to his CHL coaching career, he spent two seasons (2010-12) as an assistant coach with the St. Michael’s Buzzers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) and one season (2012-13) as an assistant with York University. Lazary was also named head coach of Canada Red for the 2020 U17 World Challenge, which was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The support staff that will work with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2025 IIHF World Junior Championship includes:

  • Athletic therapists Kevin Elliott (Charlottetown, PE) and Andy Brown (Owen Sound, ON/Owen Sound, OHL)
  • Team physician Dr. R.J. MacKenzie (Albert Bridge, NS/Cape Breton, QMJHL)
  • Equipment managers Chris Cook (Ottawa, ON/Brantford, OHL) and Clayton Johns (Toronto, ON/Portland, WHL)
  • Strength and conditioning coach Sean Young (Ennismore, ON/Ottawa, OHL)
  • Mental performance consultant Luke Madill (Kirkland, QC)
  • Senior coordinator of hockey operations Jacob Grison (Lion’s Head, ON)
  • Media relations manager Spencer Sharkey (Hamilton, ON)
  • Coordinator of hockey operations Cassidy Wait (North Vancouver, BC) – camp staff
  • Hockey operations student Jared Power (Calgary, AB) – camp staff

“The coaching and support staffs that will lead Canada’s National Junior Team is second to none, and we know this group will do everything it can to help our team be successful in Ottawa in December and January,” Anholt said. “I know all members of our staffs are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a special event in Canada, and we look forward to building a roster that wears the Maple Leaf with pride on and off the ice as Canadians across the country cheer us on.”

Canada’s National Junior Team will gather at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ontario, for a four-day training camp, July 28-31, which includes practices, a Red-White game on July 30 at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT and a game against Sweden on July 31 at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT. Tickets for the games in Windsor can be purchased at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets starting July 5, and are available for $30 plus fees per game or $45 plus fees for a two-game package. 

The team will also travel to Plymouth, Michigan, to participate in the World Junior Summer Showcase, Aug. 1-3; it will take on Finland on Aug. 2 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT and the United States on Aug. 3 at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT.

For more information on Hockey Canada, Canada’s National Junior Team and the 2025 IIHF World Junior Championship, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.

View More
Kelly Paton with the BFL Canada Women in Coaching logo.

The importance of mentorship

When Kelly Paton began her coaching journey after she hung up her skates, it was her coaching mentors that were key to helping her develop confidence behind the bench

Shannon Coulter
|
July 03, 2024

Even as a player, Kelly Paton had always taken an interest in what happens behind the scenes in hockey. She took opportunities to learn more about the game from her coaching staff, including how staff helped to support student-athletes while she attended the University of New Hampshire.

That, along with her strong hockey IQ, led Paton’s head coach, Brian McCloskey, to give her a piece of advice: “Patty, you’re a coach.”

“He just kept telling me I was a coach,” says Paton, the national BFL CANADA Women in Coaching Award winner in the High Performance category. “Certainly, I was interested; I didn’t have my mind made up. I wanted to find ways to stay connected to the game and at that point, with some limitations of hockey beyond college, that was probably my best pathway for it.”

A Woodstock, Ontario, native who has spent the last six seasons as head coach of the women’s hockey team at Wilfrid Laurier University, Paton grew up in an athletic family. When her older brother started playing hockey, Paton wanted to start playing as well.

“Many days were spent in our cul-de-sac; I got stuck in the goalie position and his friends would shoot many pucks and balls my way,” Paton says. “That’s probably where my interest started.”

Paton initially played boys hockey in her hometown until switching to girls’ hockey with the London Devilettes. After her final year of minor hockey, she spent four years at New Hampshire, serving as captain and finishing as a top-three finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award as a senior in the 2009-10 season.

“[It] helped shape my confidence in my ability to play the game, but then big picture, how there are ways where I could give back and help the development of others,” Paton says of her time as a Wildcat. “I think that’s where I had some affirmation that my IQ for the game was pretty good and that aligned really well with coaching.”

Kelly Paton coaches the Laurier women's team during a break in play.

After completing her undergraduate degree, Paton wasn’t sure how she wanted to incorporate coaching into her life, whether as a volunteer or as a career. But after finishing a graduate degree at Mercyhurst University and then living on Vancouver Island for a while, she decided to return home to Southwestern Ontario and get back involved with the game she loved.

She reconnected with her minor hockey roots by taking on a coaching role with the Devilettes’ junior program. There, Paton credits Dwayne Blais for being one of her mentors as she began her coaching journey.

“I was the head coach, but he certainly was the one I leaned on the most with being mentored and learning how to manage conflict, how to manage expectation, but more importantly just building practice plans that supported development.”

After reconnecting with one of her junior coaches, Paton was presented with an opportunity to join Western University as an assistant coach.

“I walked into a space where [the Mustangs] were coming off a national championship, which came with a lot of expectations,” Paton says. “I was happy we were still able to carry out some of that momentum and be a top performer in the OUA.”

Paton served as an assistant coach for two years before being promoted to head coach at Western. Ahead of the 2018-19 season, she made the move to Laurier.

“We’re coming off a great season this past year and our leadership group has done an excellent job of really stepping into a space where they’re allowing me to coach, which is awesome,” she says. “We’re certainly a team that carries high expectations, knowing that we still have responsibility to carry the legacy of Laurier hockey. […] The goal is to keep moving forward. I certainly think we’re in the right pathway to do that, and a lot of that is a testament to the players that we have in our program now.”

Kelly Paton looks on from the bench.

Reflecting on her time coaching in U SPORTS, one of the bigger transitions for Paton was navigating how to match her communication to each individual player on her team.

“In the university sector, it can get really challenging to satisfy 25 athletes with all different learning styles and still walk away and feel like we got through what we needed to get through today,” she explains. “Now with experience, I’ve learned that’s part of the process. But when I was younger, that day-to-day management of seeing where everybody’s at—generally the only way to figure that out is to ask, and that’s where the communication piece is.”

Building relationships has been key to Paton’s coaching journey, and she is grateful to have found a support system in her corner as she continues to develop as a coach.

“It’s been a pretty critical piece to finding confidence in myself,” Paton says of her mentors. “There’s been a couple that have been instrumental with shaping my coaching style, my communication style, my knowledge of the game. Dwayne was a big piece of that, Rachel Flanagan, and even my college coach, Brian. I still speak with him [14 years after graduating].”

For those looking to begin their coaching journeys or advance their coaching career into the high-performance area, Paton’s advice would be to stay honest and accountable.

“When mistakes happen, don’t shy away from taking ownership of that. If there are areas that are challenging or you need advice on, that’s where that mentorship really comes in handy; having somebody that’s a neutral soundboard that’s going to help you make decisions without carried bias or carried experiences.

“I’m really grateful that I’ve had those opportunities to have good people around me and have the confidence that went up when mistakes are made, and that helps trickle into the player group as well.”

View More
Sidney Crosby, Brad Marchand, Brayden Point, Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar surrounding the 4 Nations Face-Off logo with Canada written below.

First six players unveiled for 4 Nations Face-Off

Crosby, MacKinnon, Makar, Marchand, McDavid, Point named to Canada for international event

NR.041.24
|
June 28, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), has announced the first six players who will wear the Maple Leaf at the 4 Nations Face-Off, Feb. 12-20, 2025, in Montréal, Québec, and Boston, Massachusetts.

The initial roster includes Sidney Crosby (Cole Harbour, NS/Pittsburgh, NHL), Nathan MacKinnon (Cole Harbour, NS/Colorado, NHL), Cale Makar (Calgary, AB/Colorado, NHL), Brad Marchand (Hammonds Plains, NS/Boston, NHL), Connor McDavid (Newmarket, ON/Edmonton, NHL) and Brayden Point (Calgary, AB/Tampa Bay, NHL), and was selected by general manager Don Sweeney (St. Stephen, NB/Boston, NHL) and associate general manager Jim Nill (Hanna, AB/Dallas, NHL). Head coach Jon Cooper (Prince George, BC/Tampa Bay, NHL) and Scott Salmond (Creston, BC), senior vice-president of high performance and hockey operations, also provided input.

The initial list includes three former first-overall picks in the NHL Draft (Crosby, MacKinnon, McDavid), while all six players have suited up for Canada’s National Junior Team at the IIHF World Junior Championship and five have played for Canada’s National Men’s Team at the IIHF World Championship (Crosby, MacKinnon, Marchand, McDavid, Point). The six players have won a combined eight Stanley Cups, as well as two gold medals at the Olympic Winter Games, six gold at the IIHF World Junior Championship, four gold and two silver at the IIHF World Championship, and gold and bronze at the IIHF U18 World Championship.

“We are excited to announce the first six players who will represent Canada at the 4 Nations Face-Off in February, as these are six world-class players and leaders on their NHL teams that we can build a strong and successful team around,” Sweeney said. “Sidney, Nathan, Cale, Brad, Connor and Brayden have been successful at various levels of their professional and international careers, and we look forward to all six being key contributors to our team as we look to win on the international stage next season.”

Crosby has played in 1,272 games over 19 seasons (2005-24) with the Pittsburgh Penguins, serving as captain for 17 seasons and amassing 1,596 career points (592 goals, 1,004 assists). He has also collected 201 points (71 goals, 130 assists) in 180 playoff games, helping the Penguins win the Stanley Cup three times (2009, 2016, 2017). Over the course of his career, Crosby has won the Ted Lindsay Award three times, the Hart Trophy, Art Ross Trophy, Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy twice, as well as the Mark Messier Leadership Award. Internationally, he won back-to-back gold medals at the Olympic Winter Games, as well as gold and silver at the IIHF World Junior Championship. He also won gold at the IIHF World Championship, becoming a member of the IIHF’s Triple Gold Club – the first to win all three as captain - and won the World Cup of Hockey.

MacKinnon recently completed his 11th season (2013-24) with the Colorado Avalanche, where he has served as an alternate captain for the past eight years. He has played in 791 career games, registering 899 points (335 goals, 564 assists), and has contributed 114 points (48 goals, 66 assists) in 88 career playoff games. He helped the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup in 2022, and has won the Calder Trophy, Lady Byng Trophy, Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award. MacKinnon has worn the Maple Leaf five times, winning a gold and silver medal at the IIHF World Championship, and gold at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. He also suited up at the IIHF World Junior Championship and played for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey.

Makar has suited up in 315 career games over five seasons (2019-24) with the Colorado Avalanche, registering 336 points (86 goals, 250 assists). He has also appeared in 72 career playoff games, collecting 80 points (21 goals, 59 assists), earning the Conn Smythe Trophy while helping Colorado win the Stanley Cup in 2022. Makar has also won the Calder Trophy and Norris Trophy, as well as the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in NCAA men’s hockey. Internationally, he won a gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship, and suited up for Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge twice, winning one gold medal.

Marchand has spent 15 seasons (2009-24) with the Boston Bruins, serving his first season as captain in 2023-24 after five years as an alternate captain. He has amassed 929 career points (401 goals, 528 assists) in 1,029 games, as well as 138 points (56 goals, 82 assists) in 157 playoff games, and won the Stanley Cup in 2011. On the international stage, Marchand won back-to-back gold medals at the IIHF World Junior Championship, a gold medal at the IIHF World Championship and the World Cup of Hockey.

McDavid recently completed his ninth season (2015-24) with the Edmonton Oilers, leading the Oilers to the Stanley Cup Final and winning the Conn Smythe Trophy in his eighth season as captain. In 645 career games, he has registered 982 points (335 goals, 647 assists), and has added 117 points (37 goals, 80 assists) in 74 playoff games. McDavid has registered 100 or more points in seven different seasons, helping him win the Art Ross Trophy five times, the Ted Lindsay Award four times, the Hart Trophy three times and the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy once. He has suited up for Canada five times, winning gold at the IIHF U18 World Championship, IIHF World Junior Championship and IIHF World Championship. McDavid also played for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey.

Point has played for the Tampa Bay Lightning for his entire eight-year NHL career (2016-24), collecting 553 points (264 goals, 289 assists) in 580 career games, as well as 87 points (42 goals, 45 assists) in 87 playoff games. He scored 14 goals in the playoffs in two-consecutive seasons to help the Lightning win back-to-back Stanley Cups (2020, 2021). Internationally, Point has won silver at the IIHF World Championship, gold at the IIHF World Junior Championship, gold at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup and bronze at the IIHF U18 World Championship.

The full roster will be announced between Nov. 29-Dec. 2, while the coaching and support staffs will be announced in the coming months. 

Canada will open the 4 Nations Face-Off against Sweden on Feb. 12, 2025, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT at the Bell Centre in Montréal. It will also take on the United States on Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT in Montréal and Finland on Feb. 17 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT at TD Garden in Boston before the tournament concludes with the championship on Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT in Boston. 

For more information on the 4 Nations Face-Off, please visit the official tournament page.

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along through social media on FacebookX and Instagram.

View More
Jon Cooper.
© Tampa Bay Lightning/Mark Lomoglio

Jon Cooper named head coach for 2025 4 Nations Face-Off and 2026 Olympic Winter Games

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach returns to Team Canada for first time since 2017

NR.040.24
|
June 25, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has announced that veteran National Hockey League (NHL) head coach Jon Cooper (Prince George, BC/Tampa Bay, NHL) will lead Canada at the 2025 4 Nations Face-Off and 2026 Olympic Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

The Tampa Bay Lightning bench boss and longest-tenured active head coach in the NHL will make his return to the Team Canada bench for the first time since 2017, when he led Canada’s National Men’s Team to a silver medal at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Cooper was selected by Doug Armstrong (Sarnia, ON/St. Louis, NHL), management group lead for Canada’s National Men’s Team and general manager for the 2026 Olympics, as well as Don Sweeney (St. Stephen, NB/Boston, NHL) and Jim Nill (Hanna, AB/Dallas, NHL), who make up the management group for the 2025 4 Nations Face-Off and 2026 Olympics. Player relations advisor Ryan Getzlaf (Regina, SK/Anaheim, NHL) and Scott Salmond (Creston, BC), senior vice-president of high performance and hockey operations, along with Katherine Henderson (Thunder Bay, ON), Hockey Canada’s president and chief executive officer, and Pat McLaughlin (Saint John, NB), chief operating officer and executive vice-president of strategy, also provided input as part of the executive committee preparing for the 2026 Olympics.

 “Jon is a world-class person, coach and leader, and his impressive resume and success in the NHL make him the perfect person to lead Team Canada over the next two years at the 4 Nations Face-Off and 2026 Olympic Winter Games,” Armstrong said. “Our management group knows that Jon will represent our country with pride while bringing his winning pedigree to the international stage, and we look forward to working with him as we build teams with the best NHL players in Canada at two marquee events.”

Cooper recently completed his 12th season as head coach of the Lightning, and is the franchise’s all-time leader in regular season games coached (879), regular season wins (480), playoff games coached (139) and playoff wins (84). During his time with the Lightning, he has led the team to 10 playoff appearances, one Presidents’ Trophy (2018-19) and four Stanley Cup Finals (2015, 2020, 2021, 2022), winning back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2020 and 2021. Prior to joining Tampa Bay, he spent two seasons (2010-12) with the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League (AHL), winning the Calder Cup and AHL Coach of the Year Award in 2011-12, and part of one season with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch. Internationally, in addition to his silver medal in 2017, he served as an assistant coach with Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. He was also announced as head coach of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team for the 2022 Olympics if NHL players participated.

The first six players for the 4 Nations Face-Off are expected to be announced in late June, while additional announcements regarding Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team will be made at a later date.

The 4 Nations Face-Off is a new international event that will feature NHL players from Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United States. The seven-game event will take place Feb. 12-20 at the Bell Centre in Montréal, Québec, home of the Montréal Canadiens, and TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, home of the Boston Bruins.

For more information on Hockey Canada, Canada’s National Men’s Team and Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.

View More

Hockey Canada expands call for Indigenous artists

Indigenous artists encouraged to submit proposals for national and international events, including the 2025 World Juniors

NR.039.24
|
June 05, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has launched a call for Indigenous artists to create art initiatives that will support the delivery of upcoming national and international events, including the 2025 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa, ON.

Indigenous artists from across Canada are invited to apply with a general submission of interest on an ongoing basis, while the deadline to submit a proposal for the World Juniors is June 30, 2024.

“The inclusion and integration of Indigenous art at our events has become a tradition for Hockey Canada, and one of the elements of a tournament that players, staff, teams and fans look forward to the most,” said Khanh Be, senior manager of community and social impact for Hockey Canada. “With the World Juniors coming to Ottawa, a city that is committed to understanding and celebrating the diverse heritage and contributions of Indigenous peoples, it was important to expand our call for Indigenous artists and continue to build on our relationship with Indigenous communities throughout the country.”

As part of the general call for artists, Hockey Canada is seeking proposals from artists who will collaborate with the organization to create gifting, installations and signage at events, as early as Fall 2024.

Potential projects for the World Juniors include but are not limited to Player of the Game gifting, merchandise design, bag beading and murals.

Submission information can be found on Hockey Canada’s Call for Artists website.

To learn more about Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along through social media on FacebookX and Instagram.

View More

Hockey Canada forms women's and girls' steering committee

15 stakeholders to lead work on reflections and insights on state of women’s and girls’ hockey

NR.038.24
|
May 31, 2024

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Hockey Canada has formed a committee of stakeholders, chaired by current board member and National Women’s Team alumna Gillian Apps, to oversee a discussion paper that will lead to formal recommendations to guide the organization’s next women’s and girls’ hockey strategic plan.

The committee was formally launched at a press conference in Winnipeg today, where Hockey Canada’s Spring Congress is taking place alongside a women’s and girls’ hockey symposium with provincial and territorial representation from all of Hockey Canada’s 13 Members, facilitated by Canadian Women & Sport.

“Internationally, Canada has always been a leader in women’s hockey. Now is the time to ensure we are on the leading edge of identifying and addressing gaps in the current system to provide women and girls with even more opportunities to thrive in the future,” said Apps. “This committee’s efforts will be critical to furthering the game at all levels, and we are grateful this group has agreed to volunteer and be part of this important work.”

The committee features 15 stakeholders, including six National Women’s Team (NWT) alumnae:

  • Gillian Apps, Hockey Canada Board of Directors and NWT alumna
  • Pierre Arsenault, chief executive officer of U SPORTS
  • Thérèse Brisson, president and chief executive officer of Alpine Canada, and NWT alumna
  • Cassie Campbell-Pascall, broadcaster, special advisor to the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) and NWT alumna
  • Debra Gassewitz, president and chief executive officer of the Sport Information Resource Centre
  • Jayna Hefford, senior vice-president of hockey operations for the PWHL and NWT alumna
  • Katherine Henderson, president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada
  • Marian Jacko, Hockey Canada Board of Directors
  • Angela James, Hockey Canada Foundation Board of Directors and NWT alumna
  • Rob Knesaurek, senior vice-president of youth development and industry growth with the National Hockey League
  • Anne Merklinger, chief executive officer of Own the Podium
  • Mary-Kay Messier, vice-president of marketing for Bauer Hockey
  • Brad Morris, Hockey Canada Foundation Board of Directors
  • Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, chief executive officer of Canadian Women & Sport
  • Kim St-Pierre, regional manager at Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities and NWT alumna

“Supporting the growth of women’s and girls’ hockey in Canada is a priority for our board, and forming this committee is a tremendous next step to further understand and address the challenges that exist in the game,” said Jonathan Goldbloom, chair of the Hockey Canada Board of Directors. “We thank Gillian for taking on a leadership role with this project and are confident the committee’s efforts will benefit our organization, Members, stakeholders and Canadians for generations to come.”

After consulting with Hockey Canada’s Members, the committee’s women’s and girls’ hockey discussion paper is expected to be published in early summer 2024. Additional interviews will take place at that time with stakeholders inside and outside of the game, including opportunities for the Canadian public to be part of the research.

“Our women’s and girls’ hockey department, led by Marin Hickox, has made significant strides in the past few years to grow the game at all levels, including by mobilizing the leads from each of our Members,” said Henderson. “We are thrilled this new committee will work collectively with Marin and her leads to review existing research and establish a roadmap for where we all envision women’s and girls’ hockey in the future, as there remains a tremendous amount of potential to remove existing barriers to the sport.”

To learn more about Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along through social media on FacebookX and Instagram.

View More

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

Videos
Photos
play_logo
BFL: Celebrating the best behind the bench
play_logo
HCF: Assist Fund in Action – Simon
play_logo
HCF: Dreams Come True in Membertou
play_logo
MWC: Highlights – SWE 4, CAN 2 (Bronze Medal)
play_logo
MWC: Highlights – SUI 3, CAN 2 SO (Semifinal)
play_logo
MWC: Highlights – CAN 6, SVK 3 (Quarterfinal)
play_logo
MWC: Highlights – CAN 4, CZE 3 OT (Preliminary)
play_logo
MWC: Remembering the wild ride in Riga
play_logo
Centennial: Highlights – Collingwood 1, Melfort 0 (Championship)
play_logo
MWC: Highlights – CAN 3, SUI 2 (Preliminary)
play_logo
MWC: Highlights – CAN 5, FIN 3 (Preliminary)
play_logo
NMT: Evason brings passion and pride to Prague
Schedule
HC Logo
Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Date: Jul 19 to 23
HC Logo
Edmonton, Alta., Canada
Date: Aug 3 to 10
HC Logo
San Jose, CA | Salt Lake City, UT | Boise, ID | Halifax, NS | Summerside, PE
Date: Nov 6 to Feb 8