As you are aware, our four associations are part of the Hockey Quebec’s Lac Saint-Louis region. On February 24, 2022, the associations of Lac Saint-Louis received a memo strongly recommending a reduction of the number of Double Letter (DL) teams in the region. Below are some excerpts from the memo:
Following the results known in recent seasons in terms of the changes that have been made to the classification and creation of AA and BB teams, the Hockey Lac Saint-Louis Board of Directors has analyzed the situation and will move forward with some modifications for next season to meet certain needs.
The following points were considered during the preparation of this proposal:
- Too many AA-BB teams at the regional level (63)
- Low number of teams at the BB level in several categories
- Poor performance of AA-BB-A-B-C teams outside the region
- Overall decrease in membership in the region
Considering these points, our intention is to reduce the number of AA-BB teams in the region.
As a result, the four associations have started discussions to form a partnership for DL hockey beginning during the 2022-23 season. Understanding this partnership brings about many questions, below are some points to consider and understand.
- This partnership is only for the DL program and will not affect the Single Letter (SL) programs of the four associations. The associations, SL programs will remain independent. Furthermore, each association will appoint a representative to the committee that will oversee and manage the partnership. The committee’s members will be the appointee of each association and the independent Technical Director who will oversee running the program.
- The primary aim of this project is to ensure the proper development of all athletes whether they are SL or DL. Proper development starts with each athlete playing at the level where they belong.
- School hockey continues to be an enormous challenge for municipal hockey and this reality will not change. It is in fact getting more challenging every year as schools are offering many different hockey programs at most of the levels of play (D1-D2-D3). Every year, our M13, M15 and M18 DL teams struggle to even fill a DL roster. Municipal hockey must adapt to this, and this is one of many ways where we are adapting.
- In no instance players will be forced to join the DL program. Playing DL hockey requires a commitment that goes beyond the actual abilities of an individual player and so if they are not ready to make this commitment, they will certainly be able to play SL.
- All four associations are committed to their SL program as much as to the DL program. Indeed, every athlete, especially at a young age, has varying developmental curves and it is our collective duty to provide the tools for every single athlete to develop to their fullest capacity. By pursuing this project, we all anticipate our SL programs to continue to be competitive within the region and improve outside the region, overall improving the experience of our athletes and shifting the culture within the associations in a positive way.
- All four associations have organized spring evaluations in order to filter their lists to a reasonable number. The DL committee, along with our Hockey Director (who has attended all spring evaluations camps) will prepare an invite list that will be posted on their respective websites by June 1, 2022. These lists are subject to change, especially at the U13 level as it is dependent on school hockey. The Main Camp schedule and location will also be posted by August 1, 2022. “Mise en forme” will start the week of August 22, and tryouts will officially start the week of Aug 29. We anticipate the following:
- U11 and U13- group of 45-60 skaters
- U15 and U18- group of 30-40 skaters
- While we don’t yet have all the #s, we anticipate forming the following teams from the 4 associations:
- U11 AA
- U11 BB
- U13 AA
- U13 BB
- U15 AA
- U18 AA
Board members from each of the four associations are currently meeting and going through all the finer details of what this new DL project will look like. We aim to have the details finalized by the end of May and will hold information sessions where each of the four associations can attend so it is understood what the start of the 2022-23 season will look like.
We are all excited for this new endeavour and look forward to years of success working together with the same goal that the kids all have a great time and are given every opportunity to develop to their best ability.
On behalf of all association Presidents, we thank you for your time and patience and look forward to working together.
Pierre-Luc Beauchamp President STL
John Burgess President MRO
Matt Cutler President CSL
Samantha Mitra President MWH
Eric Rayment Hockey Director