Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Lockout shelves ‘Hockeyville’ bid

As the NHL lockout drags on, the effects are beginning to be felt in other places than the highest level of hockey in North America.
The cancellation of this year’s “Winter Classic” kiboshed planned outdoor contests for OHL and NCAA teams in Detroit next month.

And now the annual Kraft “Hockeyville” contest has been put on ice for this year due to the ongoing labour dispute.
That, in turn, means a local bid to capture year’s “Hockeyville” crown, which was being spearheaded by Jonathan Glueheisen, had to be shelved.
“I’m definitely disappointed about it,” Glueheisen said yesterday morning, shortly after Kraft made the official announcement.
“But it’s just one of those things where you just throw your hands in the air and say, ‘What can you do,’” he reasoned.
Having putting together a last-minute bid earlier this winter for the 2012 edition of “Hockeyville,” which eventually was won by Stirling-Rawdon, Ont., Glueheisen was hard at work getting ready for this year’s competition, which was slated to officially start Dec. 15.
“I was basically getting my ducks in a row before then, which is when everyone’s bid goes up on the website,” he explained.
“I had submitted a letter to [town] council, which was submitted to [Community Services manager] Jason Kabel, and I also had a letter in the process of coming to me from [local MP] John Rafferty’s office.
“At this point, it was more a process of making sure I had everything all set to go so that it was ready with the bid,” he added.
Although Glueheisen admitted it’s way too early to think about trying for the next “Hockeyville” competition in 2014, where the winning town gets to host an NHL pre-season game and receives funding for arena upgrades, he didn’t rule out working on a bid again.
“I really didn’t have much of a shot last year because I submitted a bid really late, but I gave it a full effort to be ready for this year,” he remarked.
“But we will see what happens in 2014.”
Instead of its usual “Hockeyville” promotion, Kraft instead will give $1 million to Hockey Canada-affiliated minor hockey associations.
Under the new program, Kraft will award the top five volunteers by giving their hockey associations $100,000 each.
Twenty other volunteers will win $20,000 for their respective associations.
Kraft also will give $100,000 to Hockey Canada for learn-to-skate programs.

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