In its report, the committee headed by former National League goalkeeper Marc Dennis identifies 190 potential solutions, the main purpose of which is to increase the number of hockey players in Quebec. Newspaper She collected several indicators from seven indicators that can change the face of hockey.
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Creation of three national teams in Quebec
The committee proposed creating three national programs – one for players under 18, one for players and one for athletes in hockey.
The latter noted that on the male side, 17-year-old players do not benefit from “optimal services in terms of an environment conducive to their development”. He wants at least 50 college-age players who do not play in QMJHL to be identified. They will be offered follow-up and paid supervision.
Among them, he will form 26 teams that will face clubs from RSEQ (College D1) and LHJAAAQ. This would protect “an additional 50 athletes per year from early elimination at the highest levels”.
For hockey players and athletes, this measure will not be based on age, but rather is aimed at bringing together elite hockey players who are not part of the Canadian national teams.
Ski lessons in elementary school
The group recommends adding skating lessons in primary schools, as part of physical education classes. Mark Dennis explains that it is a scale inspired by what is done in Australia for swimming and in Norway with cross-country skiing.
But for this, the report notes, it will be necessary to ensure that schools have access to infrastructure and ski facilities.
It is therefore also proposed to establish a program to build covered and cooled ice rinks in towns and villages that do not have enough ice for skating and hockey.
University of Quebec League
Mark Dennis and his group noted that after the under-18 level, training for players is “inappropriate”. They also believe that there are not enough college hockey programs in Quebec, for both women and men.
Of the 35 college hockey teams in Canada, three are from Quebec. This number rises to four out of 35 among women.
The Committee therefore proposes to financially support the establishment of male (section 1 and Division 2) and female university federations. It also suggests awarding scholarships to players who continue their studies at one of these universities, in order to curb mass immigration to other provinces or to the United States.
Eliminate the battles and protect the rulers
The group wants the security department and officials formed at Hockey Quebec to take on the task of imposing binding penalties on hockey players who fight, with the goal of eliminating fights.
The commission also wants to improve the safety of officials and condemns the “level of violence and abuse in the squares” in Quebec.
To counter this, he recommends placing cameras in all areas, reducing the number of offenses and recording them as evidence.
It also proposes to publish national campaigns that will promote sportsmanship and respect for referees.
No more stats or ratings before the age of 13
The committee recommends canceling the statistics and rankings for hockey players under the age of 13 (M13 minors), in order to give priority to the fun of the game. “It’s fun, we have to take it seriously. In a sport where a major is appropriate for adolescence, it is important to refocus expectations,” says Mark Dennis.
The report also suggests simplifying playing and training schedules for young hockey players, as well as reducing travel distances.
“We have to change the competitive situation at an early age,” adds Mr. Dennis. The number of important competitions should be radically revised. Do we encourage fun when a 9-year-old is called at 8:30 p.m. on a Saturday night for curfew, has to drive for two hours on Sunday and wears a tie when he gets to the ring for a regular season game? »
Tax credits for equipment and records
The report suggests measures aimed at easing the financial burden on parents, many of whom lament the high cost of playing hockey. We are talking about tax breaks and measures aimed at reducing the cost of registration, transportation or equipment purchase.
The commission also wants partnerships with suppliers and equipment manufacturers, as well as implementing programs to take back and reallocate used equipment.
During the presentation of the report, Minister Isabelle Charest referred to this
“There are already tax procedures for children who play sports,” but it would have taken time to analyze the situation.
She admitted that “financial access is an obstacle to playing sports, but especially hockey, which is very expensive.”
It is also proposed that hockey players under the age of 13 be prohibited from traveling outside their region, thus reducing costs associated with parental travel.
Equal resources for men’s and women’s hockey
File photo, Didier Debucher
Marie Philip Boleyn and Anne Rene Despens
The Committee regrets the small number of women’s hockey teams and the lack of opportunities for girls to play together at a young age.
We can also read in the report that Quebec is the only province where the number of women players has not increased in 12 years, despite the successes of the Canadian national team on the Olympic arena and the presence of a star such as striker Marie-Philippe. Pauline.
The task force makes several recommendations on this topic, including “ensure that resources allocated to women’s and men’s hockey are equitable.”
“Hours of training, ice time, number of practices per week, and outside resources should be fair to both,” the report states.
QMI’s photo by Marcel Tremblay
Marc Dennis chaired the work of the Quebec Committee for the Development of Hockey.
Mark Dennis | president
Former NHL goalkeeper and Canadian games analyst at RDS
Hockey Operations Manager at RSEQ and expert refereeing commentator for TVA Sports
Former Coach, Columnist and Media Analyst
Animator, journalist and sports director
General Manager of the M18 AAA League
A former NHL player, columnist, TVA Sports analyst, and co-host of the show blue pocket
QMJHL Assistant Commissioner
Physical educator by training, baseball, basketball and hockey coach, former coach of Quebec baseball and former honorary sports advisor to the Government of Quebec
Former Canadian hockey player and coach
Executive Director of the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation
Former NHL Defender and Vice President of the NHL Division of Player Safety
RSEQ School Hockey Coordinator and CAA Professional Players Agency Consultant
Former coach and general manager of the Canadian Women’s Hockey Team
Kim St. Pierre
Former Canadian Women’s Hockey Team goalkeeper, RDS Analyst, and Speaker
Former NHL goalkeeper, general manager of Quebec hockey and co-owner of Sherbrooke Phoenix at QMJHL.