Puck Talk

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Puck Talk Feedback – some of the responses to questions that rose from the Spirit Challenge Cup proposal:

If you think there should still be a challenge cup competition to determine the best amateur team in Canada, how should the best team be determined?

Why did Lord Stanley grant the Stanley Cup?

What is the meaning of hockey to you?

Is it revenue sharing of gate receipts and merchandise or something deeper, less commercial and grounded in fair competition in a beautiful game?

Responses

“Congrat’s to you and your team members for stepping forward and keeping the ‘real’ spirit of Lord Stanleys gift alive. You are true Canadians, and we are proud of you for such a wonderful effort.”


“Go ahead with it! The cup should go to the best playing team in Canada.”


“Let the next level in hockey take the challenge. There are already lots of Junior league playing out there. It that is the next level of hockey let them play it out on a national level.”


“Sign me up. All the best with your movement to restore some sanity to our game. A word of advice, get more visible. You are on the side of the angels with this one and exposure will gain you lots of support.”


“How can I help you? I would really love to see the Stanley Cup awarded this year no matter what. Besides the legal work that you guys are doing, is there any help on the political front that you would need? Or in spreading the word? Let me know how I can help.” Best, – Zach


“A single-elimination tournament, where any amateur team in Canada can enter to play. (And only minors and current professionals are NOT allowed to play. So, yes, that would include beer-leaguers, but certainly wouldn’t be restricted to them. And, yes, that includes people of either gender. But no one in the NHL, CHL, or women’s semi-pro league.) If you can prove that your team exists and is active and playing in a league somewhere – no all-star teams, only rosters that actually play together – you can enter. There’s precedence for this (though they usually include pros) in European football you can deal with the problem of an asymmetrical bracket by doing some manner of seeding – teams that have former pros, etc. would get first-round byes – but otherwise the distribution of teams/brackets would be random (like the French or FA Cup) but with allowances made for certain geographical necessities (ex. provinces and large municipalities are their own sub-bracket), so that the travel isn’t unreasonable. So, as an added benefit, you give cities and provinces the chance to crown their own local champion, as it were. And then everyone fights it out over a period of a couple months. It would make for awesome drama. (Single-elimination tournaments can be unimaginably huge but still resolve themselves pretty quickly.) Anyway, any plan that aims to be inclusive – that is modeled in some way after the French Cup – can’t go wrong.” Thanks, and good luck. – Neil Shyminsky


“Coming from a person in the States, Lord Stanley’s Cup belongs to the people of Canada, not a corporation. An ameteur team tournament with either teams from cities or provinces solely from Canada seems to embody the wishes of Lord Stanley.”


“A champions tournament with the top 2 university teams (M and W), amateur teams (M and W), first nations teams (M and W) and mixed (2) teams. The teams play a 3 game round robin, top 4 teams to a best of 3 semi-final play-off round, and the winners to a best of 5 final. The play off games should be played across the country, to bring the best hockey in Canada to all of Canada.”


“I’m 100% for your effort! GO Spirit GO!!”


“Love of both hockey and competition. That’s what the cup represents.”


“I think any team of Canadian adults willing to play under current (NHL or International rules) should be able to challenge. That’s the proposal that is the simplest, most interesting, and most in keeping with Cup history. There could be Provincial challenges with the winners playing in a week-long, National challenge for the Stanley Cup.”


“The Stanley Cup should go to the best men’s senior team in Canada. 2. There should be a knock-out tournament (1 game winner) for university teams. 3. There should be a knock-out tournament (1 game winner) for mens intermediate and senior ‘A’ teams. 4. The winner of 2 and 3 should meet in a 1-game winner-take-all game. 5. There should be a knock tournament for pro Tier-2 games (eg. AHL). Canadian teams only, one-game winner only. 6. The winner of 4 should take on the winner of 5 in a best 2-of-3. That would do a LOT for Canadian hockey interest.”


“Have an FA Cup type of competition which would allow every pro, semi-pro and amateur team to compete. Start the first two rounds with the amateur teams and then add the semi-pro and pro teams for the third round. Utilize a draw system such as the FA Cup allowing smaller market teams to potentially host larger market teams. Televise the draw to create excitement in local communities. One game elimination. No shootout. Games played until a winner is determined. Since women play a non contact game it would be great to have a championship for women and for men.” Cheers, Ted Etobicoke, Canada


“Where do I sign up to be a supporter? This is really awesome and way overdue. So many of us love the game but not the ‘millionaires on ice’. Lets get the excitement of real people playing back in hockey. I think community teams would be great! I remember the story of the team that came down from Dawson to play against Montreal. That story really epitomizes what hockey really means to Canadians. Let’s go again!”


“Best junior level team in the country should be awarded the cup.”


“Please organize a national tournament that encourages the values of true sport. Let the best non-professional team win. Gender and age should not be limited. Player’s and organizers should not be allowed to t make a profit from the tournament directly. The people of Canada (who received the Cup from Lord Stanley) should benefit.”


“I believe the Stanley Cup should be awarded to the winner of the highest caliber of hockey in Canada as intended by Lord Stanley when he donated the CUP.” Daryl Blackmore


“I’ve all but forgotten the NHL but I still like to watch a game now and again. I think the Stanley cup should be awarded this year to an amateur team. I don’t follow the sport closely enough to suggest how it may be done I’ll leave that to others.”


“Good Morning, I’m a ‘hockey mom’ with an 8 year old kid who can recite player stats for hours (and hours). My family loves the game and I worked on this emotional video spot produced by RBC Play Hockey: http://youtu.be/TbT85pbbwbc The video and recent grassroots action around the Stanley Cup (there’s a movement to get the cup be awarded to a community team this year) underscores that as long as kids are on the ice, there’s hockey. The game doesn’t stop. I’m hoping that you’ll consider sharing this video on your site, twitter and Facebook. Our video profiles a team of 7-year-old kids as they lace up their skates, tape their sticks, get tips from their coach and take to the ice. It’s an emotional video that gets kids (and grown-ups) stoked about community games and the Juniors and reminds us what hockey is really about. In the absence of NHL hockey, I think we should all work to make this a record year for attendance at community games! Please let me know if you can help spread the word! Hockey never stops!” Best, Rebecca


“Build on ‘Hockey Day In Canada’, which already has TV time and sponsors. Do not award the Cup to one category only: an impossible task. Rather, hold tournaments for several categories in different Canadian centres, and award each it’s “Cup”. The team names for each category would be inscribed on the real Stanley Cup for the year 2013. The Cup belongs to the people of Canada. Take back the Cup!”


“Competition is the best learning experience.”


“Team with best plus minus average.”


“I think we have every Beer league teams, one night per weekers and a bunch of shinny players who play on a regular basis work up thru a tier system, best team moves on to the Junior A ranks then onto Canaian AHLers to see who takes home Lord Stanley’s Cup, be a nightmare to setup and be fair but would determine which team is the BEST IN LAND. Who knows a beer team could take it home from the semi pro’s!!! The whole country will be routing for the Underdogs???” Shorthanded, Ottawa, Ontario


“100% with you and sick of the NHL greed on both sides. I have already tweeted suggestions @kertjk. My best idea ??? Each Province take their top Senior A team, Junior A team and University team and have a grandiose tournament , the winner of which will get the Stanley Cup.” Jk


“It should be awarded to the best Team in Canada. That would most likely be the CHL champions. They are the best amateur players in the country by far. On how it is awarded there can be 2 options as I see it. 1 – Give the Stanley Cup alongside the Memorial Cup 2 – Give the Stanley Cup in a sort of Grand National Tournament between all the teams of all 3 Junior Hockey Leagues. (This format would almost resemble the FA cup in England)”


“Absolutely brilliant idea and way overdue. We, the community of Canada need our hockey without the NHL and their nonsense if necessary. I had pretty much given up on the real spirit of hockey in Canada until I heard the newscast about what you are doing. How can I help?”


“Where do I sign up to be a supporter? This is really awesome and way overdue. So many of us love the game but not the ‘millionaires on ice’. Lets get the excitement of real people playing back in hockey. I think community teams would be great! I remember the story of the team that came down from Dawson to play against Montreal. That story really epitomizes what hockey really means to Canadians. Let’s go again!”


“Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! Your initiative is a wonderful Christmas present to Canadian hockey fans. In my opinion, the NHL have almost destroyed the sport–with few exceptions, there’s no longer any love of the game on either the owners’ or players’ side. Regarding the amateur teams that will compete for the Spirit Challenge Cup: would it be possible to run 2 qualifying streams, one for women and one for men, with the best male and female teams sharing the cup? Best of luck with this initiative! If it goes ahead our family will certainly be in the stands for the games in the Toronto area.”


“I have read with interest your suggestion that the Stanley Cup should be awarded this year to an amateur team, in the event that the NHL is not able to resolve their labour dispute. In that event, I would suggest awarding the cup to the winner of one of the longest rivalries in hockey – the Cambridge/Oxford match. There has been an ice hockey match between these two teams since at least 1900, although ice hockey in Cambridge goes back to 1885. These teams are invariably stocked with Canadians studying at these universities, and therefore the rivalry is one of the longest in Canadian sport history. For the past four years alumni of these universities have been playing in Toronto. They currently have a match scheduled for March 16 at Upper Canada College. Players have come from as far away as Sweden to play. This is good hockey, with a great tradition, fitting to allow the winning team to lift Lord Stanley’s cup.”


“It should be very simple: let any team that wants to challenge for the Cup first play off in its own province or territory. That’s any team, regardless of age, sex, disability or skill level, with the exception of AHL teams. One-game eliminations will determine a provincial champion. Then all provincial and territorial champions play a single-game elimination first round, followed by a seeded best-of-seven playoff series among the remaining teams.”


“I think what you are doing is awesome. Let us play for what is truly ours. Let the americans fight over the money. We want the cup.”


“Canada-wide competition amongst teams. – Starts locally in major cities/centers of population. Run local round robins from Feb-March towards goal of finding winning team from area. – Goal is to have teams moving forward by geography. With the idea of say, 2-3 teams from BC, 3-4 teams from Alberta, 1-2 from Saskatchewan, 1-2 from Manitoba, 5 Ontario, 5 Quebec, 1 PEI, 1 New Brunswick, 1 Nova Scotia, 1 Newfoundland, and 2 from Yukon/NWT/Nunavut. (Total of 23-27 teams) – Run a playoff format from then on (best out of 3? 5? 7 maybe for final round) – Restrictions of players should not be over-policing. Maybe ensure roster that starts tournament must be the same. Any new players (due to injury) can’t have played pro in last 5 years. – Travel will be an issue, so would need to allow donations to teams. I would assume by second/third round of playoffs, Canadians would start taking an interest. (Heck the threat of this tourney would help push the NHL and NHLPA back together.”


“Canada-wide competition amongst teams. – Starts locally in major cities/centers of population. Run local round robins from Feb-March towards goal of finding winning team from area. – Goal is to have teams moving forward by geography. With the idea of say, 2-3 teams from BC, 3-4 teams from Alberta, 1-2 from Saskatchewan, 1-2 from Manitoba, 5 Ontario, 5 Quebec, 1 PEI, 1 New Brunswick, 1 Nova Scotia, 1 Newfoundland, and 2 from Yukon/NWT/Nunavut. (Total of 23-27 teams) – Run a playoff format from then on (best out of 3? 5? 7 maybe for final round) – Restrictions of players should not be over-policing. Maybe ensure roster that starts tournament must be the same. Any new players (due to injury) can’t have played pro in last 5 years. – Travel will be an issue, so would need to allow donations to teams. I would assume by second/third round of playoffs, Canadians would start taking an interest. (Heck the threat of this tourney would help push the NHL and NHLPA back together.”


“Dear Organizers, An excellent idea. Please proceed with all speed to get this up and going. Consider some guiding principles 1. Open to all amateur groups in Canada and the US to keep promoting the game but keep it tight and simple structure to improve likelihood of success. 2. Transparent governance to maintain trust. 3. Not for profit structure, to ensure accessibility to all fans and remove a potential source of conflict with the NHL that would would challenge the Plan. 4. Get excellent media relations expers to position the plan for maximum exposure and avoid media pitfalls that would call this plan into question. 5. Finish the championship before Victoria Day so we in the True North can go on and enjoy our brief but glorious summer. Fans … And new Fans … Will much appreciate that consideration. I want to show the owners and players that fans are sick and tired of not just the strike but the entire structure of professional hockey that has radically veered away from a “customer focus”. Everyone deserves to make money … But not this way. Show the way for the sake of fans and this game. Good Luck.” Tom Magyarody


“I would think since the cup was all of Canada’s we should have 5 teams from each part of the CHL win the cup after the memorial cup. QMJHL OHL WHL. 5 of the best of the best teams + the memorial cup winners = 16 teams at a single game elimination series..”


You can also write us at info@spiritchallengecup.ca

 

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