Presidents Report to the Annual General Meeting
(May 4th, 2011)
you for coming this evening. First I would like to thank everyone in the
organization for their contribution. This includes the many hours put in by the
coaches, managers and trainers and the Board members and last but not least the
parents who contribute their time and money.
are often inundated with stories about what is wrong with minor hockey and it
is important to listen to the criticisms as every hockey organization should
strive to improve. Improving, however, does mean change and people by nature
are resistant to change. Some changes work and others don’t and it’s important
for an organization to remain sufficiently agile to recognize what works and
what doesn’t and to respond appropriately. In my opinion the biggest mistake
that an organization can make is to be complacent and not recognize the need
for improvement and change.
the last 2 years and in particular, during the last year, there have been a
number of changes within the organization some being at the initiative of your
Board and other being in reaction to changes beyond the Board’s control. These
changes include the following:
winter an Agreement was reached with the Greater London Hockey Association. As
many of you are aware the associations within the GLHA were allowed into the
seeded league 2 years ago. Greater London had been lobbying for some time to be
allowed into the seeded league as they were looking for a greater breadth of
competition. The Alliance was supportive of Greater London’s bid and, although
the Jr. Knights were resistant, it became apparent 2 years ago that they would
be allowed to participate. The Jr. Knights’ Board was concerned as we saw
allowing the Greater London teams to participate in the seeded league created a
competing program with the Jr. Knights within the City of London.
The tryout procedure for the 2010-2011 season was
mandated by the Alliance. In our opinion the procedure was flawed and did not
work for any of the stake holders - in particular the participants. It was
clear that for competitive hockey to function properly within the City of
London, it was necessary for the Jr. Knights and Greater London Hockey
Association to put down past differences and work together towards an
As with any negotiations there is give and take and the
final Agreement which you can find on our website was struck after many
discussions (actually 2 years of discussions). The deal finally reached was
structured with the genuine intent on behalf of both Greater London and London
Jr. Knights to reach an accommodation that would best work for minor hockey
participants in London.
The Agreement reached is not one everyone will like, but
it does create a structure that I feel will, in the long term, enhance the
development of players within the City of London.
As I previously said, adapting to change is difficult,
and some changes work and some don’t. The Agreement with the Greater London
Hockey Association is a one year renewable agreement allowing each side to
choose not renew the Agreement in the event it is not working.
Having now had our first set of tryouts with this
Agreement in place we can report that it has certainly worked better than the
tryout procedure imposed upon us last year. There may be some suggestions once
a post mortem of the tryouts has been conducted. One issue that perhaps
requires discussion is the fact that this year Greater London required all
players wishing to play MD hockey to first try out for the LJKs. This resulted in many more participants at
the tryouts than we anticipated. This is something under review for next year
and should be relatively easy to correct.
second change I would like to discuss, is the change to spring tryouts. The
reason we changed to spring tryouts is easy-we had to. Spring tryouts were
mandated across the Province by the OHF. The only associations not required to
conduct spring tryouts for AAA (for the 2011-2012 season only) were
associations unable to secure spring ice. Spring ice was available to us so we
therefore had no option. Next year all associations must hold Spring tryouts.
Also of note with respect to spring tryouts is the fact
that now the teams are selected in the spring there is an opportunity for teams
to come together during the summer. That can be good news and bad news. It is
the opinion of the Board that our players should have the chance to participate
in summer sports and take family trips. As a result there will be certain rules
restricting the amount of practice time a team can have during the summer
months and mandating that the practice not be mandatory.
- This year we brought in the
Impact Concussion Program and we were the first organization in Canada to
do so. Many other associations across the Province and Country have been
in contact with us to discuss our experience and several associations are
now following our lead and will be implementing the program. Kevin Gardner
took the lead in bringing Impact to the Junior Knights and if you have any
questions later with respect to the program you can direct your questions
this season the Board also worked on developing a Junior Jr. Knights program.
This is meant to be a development program for Novice aged players. The details
of the program are still being fleshed out but, ice permitting it is hoped that
this will be implemented by the Fall.
website received a complete overhaul this year and in conjunction therewith
PayPal for the first time was accepted for online payment. As with the other changes,
the registration payment tool contained on our new website had some hiccups,
but overall received good marks. The glitches will be worked out for next
the most controversial change this year will be the reduction of number of
teams at each age group from 3 to 2.
This change is tied into the Agreement struck with the Greater London
Hockey Association and is also tied into the fact that the hockey geographical
boundaries in Ontario may disappear as early as this summer. The reduction on
the number of teams is, in part, meant to assist the Greater London teams be
more competitive in the seeded league. At the end of the day the City of London
will have 5 teams playing in the seeded league, 3 more than was historically
the case. It is hoped that we can continue to work with Greater London Hockey
Association in terms of player development and can assist each other with
getting all players ready for the next level.
the year our teams had a fair amount of success. The strength of the program
should not be looked at in terms of championships but it is an indication of
how players are being developed. I would like to congratulate the following
Minor Pee Wee AAA
Minor Bantam AAA
Minor Atom AA Green
Atom AA Green
Minor Pee Wee AA Gold
Pee Wee AA Gold
Midget AA Gold
Minor Atom AAA
Minor Atom AA Green
Minor Pee Wee AA Green
Pee Wee AA Gold
Midget AA Gold
AA made it to the semi-finals
Wee AA made it to the semi-finals
Midget AAA coached by Chuck Dufton desires special congratulation. They had an unprecedented year:
- regular season record
- playoffs 10-1-1
- were finalists in three of 6
- won the Peterborough Tournament
- central region championship 7-1
- captain Wyatt Coghill won the
esso scholarship $500.00
- Telus Cup beat the first place
and undefeated Vancouver Giants on the last day of round robin and earned
spot in the semi final
- semi final beat the #1 ranked
Giants in OT
- first Alliance team ever to
advance out of the round robin
- Craig Wood was named tournament
- in total team has played 97 games
in the 2010-2011 season
my view the members of the Board this year were extremely hard working. Some
put in a substantial amount of hours while others put in a ridiculous amount of
hours. The Board meetings could be long (typically ran from 7pm to 11pm) and as
much time as was required was used to fully debate the difficult issues.
Everyone on the Board without exception weighed in on issues and expressed
their own opinions.
are things that can be done better as there always are. I would recommend to
the next Board that they consider the steps required to increase the size of
the Board. There are just not enough bodies and enough person hours available
to do everything.
of my goals this year as President of the Board was to have better
communication with the membership, and in that regard I think I get a failing
grade. Again one of my recommendations to the Board for next year is to post
information of interest to the membership quickly on the website. It will be up
to the membership at that point to actually read the information. In terms of
maintaining better communications it may also be feasible to, with the use of
technology, poll members for their opinions on major issues.
you for attending today and if there are any questions from the members please
direct them to myself. I will answer where I can and call upon other Board
members to assist where applicable.