BARRY’S BAY – The Canadian International Hockey League (CIHL) will be coming to the Madawaska Valley for the 2015/2016 season.
On October 15, president of the CIHL Tim Clayden and township staff hosted a public information session at the Paul J. Yakabuski Community Centre.
With Madawaska Valley Wolves Junior C Hockey Club jerseys dotting the upstairs lounge, a team that dissolved in the late 1960s, Clayden hinted at a potential name for the Junior A team.
“It’s a tough act to follow from the Wolves of days gone by,” he said. “We are not here to outdo the Wolves.”
Recreation and Community Development Coordinator for the township Paul Nopper welcomed around 30 people to the meeting.
“We are hockey,” Nopper said. “We live, breathe, bleed hockey.”
He provided a slideshow, detailing information on the CIHL, which operates under the Canadian International Hockey Amateur Federation.
The league provides youth under 21 years of age the opportunity to participate in a worldwide league. Fifteen year olds are allowed on the team, providing they live at home or with their legal guardian.
Currently, the CIHL is based in Ontario with eight teams for the 2014/2015 season.
Players not only play hockey, they become immersed in the local community by volunteering.
“The kids have to become part of the community in order for the team to be successful,” he said.
Volunteer opportunities range from helping with the local food bank, to shovelling driveways, to helping with minor hockey.
On their days off, they are mandated to send their player profiles to colleges in Canada and the United States.
Players can move on to other leagues like the Ontario Hockey League or play hockey at the university or college level.
Get your October 22, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read more of this story.