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10-27-2013, 11:48 PM
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Hockey Canada C.A.H.A

Originally Posted by BadgerBruce View Post
My interest in Murray Costello is largely related to his role as the primary broker of the 1994 merger that created the modern incarnation of Hockey Canada. Bob Nicholson assumed the reins of the newly-integrated governing body just a few years later, so in many respects brokering the merger was Costello's final act of enduring significance after holding the CAHA presidency for 15 consecutive years. But you folks are correct -- he did not assume a CAHA leadership role until more than a decade after the sponsorship system ended. My mistake.

The relationship between Hockey Canada and the CAHA was rocky from the start. HC had a federal mandate to "oversee" ALL hockey in Canada (indeed, both the Habs and the Maple Leafs were original HC members in '68), but no authority whatsoever as a governing body. Further, HC's mission was strictly to elevate Canada's international performance, nothing else.

Think about that within a 1968 youth hockey context. The CAHA had just spent 30 years in a financially profitable NHL sponsorship system where kids grew up wanting to sign C-cards and eventually play for the Habs or Leafs, not the Belleville Mcfarlands.

That's where Costello comes in, after about 10 years of CAHA floundering in the 70s. To me, he's a pivotal figure in the "re-missioning" of the CAHA from an NHL-centric body to an almost jingoistic "Team Canada" focused body, beginning around 1980 and culminating in the 1994 merger, where the "new" agenda became a reality.
The impact on youth hockey has been profound, to say the least.
Hockey Canada, C.A.H.A. Main experience is with Hockey Quebec. Basic issue since the seventies and before is that the various governing bodies under the C.A.H.A. or Hockey Canada, is that they are not pro-active, rather very slow to re-act.

The hockey year issue was finally resolved. Now every jurisdiction follows the calendar year. The issue of importing, now buried in the three junior entry drafts, still exists and no solution is close. The relationship with school hockey is weaker than it was in the fifties when some of the original elite organizations were formed.

Most troubling is the inability to integrate diversity. Alliance Hockey, a parallel option and off-season AAA hockey being two immediate examples.

That said, there has been a great deal of progress during the last 10 seasons especially at the elite levels and eliminating the violence. More of a Dave Branch initiative than anything.

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