Hockey Canada launched their 95th Annual General Meeting Thursday in Calgary, AB. The 2014 AGM runs Thursday May 29 through to Sunday June 1 – the latter date is surely embedded in the mind’s of Canadian hockey fans everywhere, as it marks the day Bob Nicholson is set to end his 16-year tenure as CEO of the organization. This will be the last Hockey Canada AGM Nicholson attends.
A number of initiatives are on the agenda for the annual gathering including the safety, growth and development of the game throughout Canada. The organization will delve deeper, dissecting issues such as player recruitment/retention, technology, national championship hosting and regulation changes. More than 250 hockey thought leaders are slated to attend, representing regional and provincial hockey associations throughout the country, as well as councils responsible for overseeing hockey at the minor, junior and senior levels. Women’s hockey will also be represented, the Canadian women remaining a notable powerhouse on the international stage.
What remains to be seen is whether Team Canada’s early exit from the IIHF World Championships, in Minsk, Belarus, will be discussed. The team made it to the quarter finals after a shaky start in a surprise 3-2 loss to France in the opening game of the preliminary rounds. Team Canada then finished first in Group A, ahead of Sweden and Czech Republic, and went on to the quarter finals where the Canadian men’s team fell 3-2 to Finland. Sweden and Czech Republic went on to face each other in the latter stages of the competition, where Sweden claimed bronze. In the final, Finland scooped silver and Team Russia secured the coveted gold medal. Team Canada walked away from the tournament without earning any hardware, a long way from Sochi 2014 when the team won gold against the Swedes.
There is one item that is certain – eight recipients will be recognized at Hockey Canada’s 2014 awards banquet at the end of the AGM’s first day. It is an evening dedicated to recognizing the contributions of those who have furthered hockey in a country that loves the game with a patriotic passion.
Hockey Canada’s 95th AGM will also launch the organization’s 100th year celebrations. Founded on December 4, 1914 and then-known as the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, the 2014-15 season marks the organization’s centennial year. Further details on the celebration will be released publicly at a news conference in Toronto on June 16, 2014.