Can’t We All Get Along, It’s for the Kids, Not for the Adults

Saultsports.com is putting minor hockey in Sault Ste Marie under the microscope to get a sense of the greatest challenges facing the game today at the grassroots levels from Sault Minor Hockey Assocation, Sault Female Hockey Association, KBX Hockey, Soo Peewee Hockey League and Sault Major Hockey Association.

Is minor hockey in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario causing stress in your household? Trouble parents, politics, questionable coaching, bad officiating, problems scoring, losing team, ice time concerns? If your answer is yes, you are probably in the majority. Good news, it can be fixed and it is called a SAULT STE MARIE HOCKEY TOWN HALL MEETING!

Here at Saultsports.com, we have decided to make sports our life and unfortunately no matter where we go in the city the politics is all around us, I suppose this should come as no surprise to anyone that politics rears its ugly head in several spots when it comes to minor hockey. What association should my child play in, coach selection and player tryouts. Maybe this should be left up to the child and taken out of the parent’s hands.

The biggest problem today is that minor hockey has become a social outing for parents and not as much for the children.  Minor hockey should never be about who is going for extra power skating and who is going straight from Tom Thumb to the Soo Greyhounds, but about creating a fun atmosphere and building memories for kids, parents and families that will last forever.

Sometimes, when we are around the arenas in Sault Ste Marie I can’t believe the tone of the conversations we hear. These visions are so shortsighted. The conversations are almost always about tomorrow and what are children are going to do next when it comes to their hockey. Not enough people use the word fun and not enough sell it that way either anymore, what has happened to minor hockey in Sault Ste Marie.

In retrospect, I guess it’s naive to think things will ever significantly change and all these groups can work together for the benefit of our children in the community in Sault Ste Marie.

I have asked many NHL players how they grew up in the game. My favorite answer came from Aaron Gavey, who played for the Soo Greyhounds, Tampa Bay Lightning, Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.  He told us that he would retire when he found it was no fun anymore.

Do us a favour: Until the agent comes knocking on your door, and even after that, let’s keep it that way. A game for kids.

And one reminder, we don’t care what the age: Don’t forget the snacks and juice boxes for the post – game ritual.

Wait for part two when the May 6th – 8th plan is uncovered?

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