Spring has sprung.
The Memorial Cup is upon us. I am really proud of our team for pulling together eight fantastic pages for our preview section. We give you a full page on each of the participating teams. First, the Kelowna Rockets, the WHL champions who loaded up with star talent in season and have had it pay off. History shows us that it doesn’t always work out in the long run to bring in a bunch of high-end talent mid-season, good for the Kelowna management to make all the right decisions. Next, the Oshawa Generals as OHL champions who are as deep as any champion heading into the Memorial Cup in recent memory. And finally, the Rimouski Oceanic (Crosby’s old stomping ground), who won the QMJHL championship in OT in Game 7, and the Quebec Remparts as hosts and proven foes. Our preview also includes an exclusive piece on the host city, profiles on the key players we’ll be seeing a lot of, and bios on the four head coaches.
As always, the event will be a very compelling ten days. I encourage you to follow us online and on Twitter and Facebook as we deliver a daily blog on what happened “yesterday” and what is to come “tonight,” every day from start to finish.
Another sure sign of spring is the RBC Cup. What a beauty it was this year. Unlike any other hockey championship, the RBC Cup starts out with 129 teams from coast to coast, playing a full schedule of league play, and all fighting through league playoffs to qualify for regional championships, and then having to win those or at least place to be one of the five teams sent to the event. Then a full round-robin to send four teams to a set of semifinal games, all culminating in a single final game to determine the winner.
If you’re not up to speed with Jr. A and the RBC Cup in Canada, check out our site and read up on it. It truly is an incredible journey and an outstanding brand of hockey.
I would definitely be remiss if I didn’t also include spring hockey in our Spring has Sprung edition. No shortage of spring hockey tournaments are dotting the Canadian landscape, from east to west.
Another big deal right now are the WHL Bantam Draft and OHL Priority Draft, which both just wrapped up. For those who aren’t familiar with the rules, the WHL drafts Bantam players who can only play a max of five games for their WHL teams next year and the OHL drafts Midget players that can move on to Major Junior right away.
The next crop of superstars have just been selected, and these players make up our top list of candidates for the HockeyNow Minor Hockey Player of the Year in B.C., Alberta and Ontario. The selection team is currently going over all the eligible players and narrowing down the list from our year-long selection process to pick the winners in each region. Stay tuned.
I am really excited to announce a bunch of fantastic initiatives and content pieces over the next few weeks. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, sign up to our newsletter on hockeynow.ca, or go to a rink or hockey shop in your town and pick-up our print magazine.
Enjoy your spring. It has begun!
1) Former NHLer Jason York Now Part of Kemptville 73’s Ownership Group
2) Where Are They Now: 2016 Player of the Year Owen Lalonde
3) Justin Sourdif Named 2017 HockeyNow Player of the Year for B.C.
4) Introducing the 2017 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Players of the Year
5) Peter Goulet Leaves Pro Ranks To Focus On OJHL’s Kingston Voyageurs