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From the Press Box: March Madness


(hockeyalberta.ca photo)

March Madness.

It sure is, but it’s not just about basketball.

Provincial championships from coast to coast are in progress, just finished or are wrapping up.

Have you taken a look at how many championships there are? Check out the associations outside of your local area, even go outside of your province. It is madness, and I mean that in a good way.

In British Columbia, there were 15 championships across the province, not counting Major Midget, and the senior and junior levels governed by BC Hockey.  Moving east, Alberta has 42 championships and then in Ontario it gets really complicated. Championships from GTHL, Ottawa, Alliance, OMHA and the OHF add up to dozens of champions. On top of that are the OHL Cup, the Western Canadian Bantam Championships, the many Jr. B leagues and others I’m sure I’m missing!

That is March Madness.

The amount of hockey this month goes beyond the minor hockey ranks too. Junior A playoffs are on across the country as the “march” to the Royal Bank Cup is under way. The RBC Cup, in my opinion, is the hardest trophy to win in all of hockey. Over 100 teams start out the season and in every case you have to win your league then another playoff just to get to the championship tournament, then you have to win that. That is the ultimate madness.

The Memorial Cup championship is in May and at the time of this writing, the playoffs in all three CHL leagues (WHL, OHL and QMJHL) are just a couple of days from starting. As a 17-year veteran of HockeyNow, this tournament is always on my top must-watch list. It’s one game per day, high intensity, no margin for error, three teams that have fought for weeks to be there and usually a host that is equally as good. Many of these players were in the World Junior Championship last year, or will be this year. Some were drafted into the NHL last year, some be will this year. It is as intense as it can get.

Once the March Madness of hockey ends, it’s spring hockey season. Did I say madness yet? It doesn’t end. Again, I mean that in a good way. Enjoy the ride.

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You, our readers, are why we are here and what drives us. HockeyNow would not exist if it were not for you. When we did our rebrand 20 months ago, we came out of it with a greater focus on delivering engaging and unique content. We also wanted to have a strategic social and digital plan that would deliver digital-only content but also allow our print content to be available to you if you weren’t in a rink or a store. We think we have made huge strides in that direction. We also feel we have a long way to go and that is what inspires us. Your interaction and engagement with us whether in arena, on Facebook or Twitter, or via our site is everything.

All that said we have a very basic (read: quick!) but important reader survey that we would like you to fill out. It will help shape our focus and direction. We don’t think everyone loves everything we do, but we know one thing. We all love hockey.

One last thing—we have top shelf prizes for you. Fill out our survey on hockeynow.ca and you will have a chance to win gear and products from our partners at Bauer, CCM, Hockeyshot, Firstar, GRAF, Colt, Winnwell, and SportChek to name a few.

See you at the rink!

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