As we move forward in the NHL season we reflect on some of the responses to the proposed Spirit Challenge Cup.
“First of all, I think amateur teams from all nations should be eligible to compete for the cup. We could still have the tournament in Canada, but it should certainly be open to whomever wants to make the trip! The tricky thing is: so many different teams are going to want to compete for this, with a wide variance of skill (and age, and size). The other tricky thing is the short timeframe. The other tricky thing is that it all could be called off at a moment’s notice. Still, for this thing to have any legitimacy, it seems to be done big. What I propose begins as a distributed crowd-sourced tourney (sort of) with more and more oversight as you get closer to the cup. I’m picturing some kind of modified ladder tournament… at the start there would be many regional ladders running, which could perhaps feed into a “division 1″ super-regional (say, provincial… or just larger regions) ladder. Alternatively, some kind of points system could replace the ladder… that is probably a lot better actually, as it is less likely to frustrate teams. We need three things: 1. Venues 2. Refs /administrators 3. Players Venues: Make a list of eligibility criteria for each stage of the tournament, arenas that wish to host games would register with you (giving details of availability, pricing (? … ice time donations from arenas could be encouraged). Refs / admins: Admins and refs volunteers at the early stages. They would also be registered through you. We need to instil a sense of community service, like Elections Canada volunteers… highly capable refs and admins could be selected from this pool to managed the higher-tier games. Teams: Any team should be able to register and play in registered games… the points system / ladder should be configured such that high-skilled teams are able to rise quickly (and cannot be challenged by lower-ranked teams). Higher-ranked teams should also be given preference in arena bookings. So, there is a germ of an idea. There are a lot of empty areas to fill in, and a lot of logistical hurdles to overcome, but if done right I think this could be grand enough for the Cup herself.”