Date: February 1, 2023 #2206 

To: Hockey Calgary Member Association Families 

From: Kevin Kobelka – Executive Director 

CC: HC Board, HC Governors, Association Presidents 

SUBJECT: EMHW & January Update 

A belated Happy New Year to all. I hope that everyone enjoyed a great holiday season with your friends and family. We look forward to a prosperous 2023 where we continue to witness some great hockey action in and around our city. 

As we head into the home stretch of the 2022-23 hockey season, we wanted to provide an update on some of our key events and some of the projects that Hockey Calgary and our ‘Member Associations’ are working on. 

1. Esso Minor Hockey Week – We just finished an extremely successful EMHW this past weekend, and it was great to see the arenas full, and the enthusiasm of all participants and fans. After being forced to cancel in 2021, and operating under restrictions in 2022, we were pleased to see the event back in full force. We were also blessed with an extremely warm week for the event, which made it even more enjoyable to get out and catch some great hockey action. We would like to congratulate the 53 new EMHW Champions on their performance (click here for list of champions). We would also like to acknowledge the efforts of all participants who competed at a high level throughout the event. EMHW is truly a community event and whether you are 8 or 18, the passion for this event is second to none. 

2. The Circle K Classic U18 AAA Tournament (formerly known as the Mac’s)- this event, which is a holiday tradition, brought 32 top ranked U18AAA teams to Calgary and concluded on January 1. The South Alberta Hockey Academy (SAHA) defeated the Calgary Buffaloes in the A Final to capture the title in front of a full house in the Max Bell Arena. The 4 local Hockey Calgary AAA teams all performed extremely well and represented our city and program well. We look forward to building on the quality of this event in 2023-24. 

Behind the scenes the numerous Hockey Calgary and Association volunteers and staff continue to work hard to improve the game and ensure that all participants are enjoying their experience. When you have the opportunity, please ensure to thank those individuals for the countless hours they give back to the program. 

Throughout the Covid break we were unable to complete some of the projects that we had been working on but now that we are back operating at full capacity, we wanted to update you on a couple of projects that are being completed. 

1. Community Boundary Review – In April of 2020 we finalized boundaries for most of the city and left the NW corner as a project that needed to be worked on in the 20-21 season. As everyone is aware, Covid struck, and we were forced to delay that plan. We have picked it up again this year and since November of 2022 a sub-committee made up of the Presidents of 7 Associations have been working together on a resolution for north Calgary. 

The decision will be made by the full group of Association Presidents and finalized early this spring for implementation this fall. This is an emotional discussion with many differing opinions. The goal is to find a solution that is best for the ‘full hockey community’, and not just one association or another. 

2. Elite Hockey in Alberta – Hockey Alberta has been once gain reviewing the elite models and draw zones across the province to determine the best path forward. The process is ongoing, but I can communicate the following: a. Draw Zones (boundaries) will remain in place for the 2023-24 season, all players must access their 1st AAA tryout within their designated draw zone (ie. In Calgary this means, CBHA, CNHA, NWCAA, CRAA) 

b. The current AAA leagues and age categories will remain the same as they are this now, at the AAA level there will be U15, U17 and U18 AAA divisions 

c. Elite Female Hockey is expanding – there will additional U15 AA teams for the upcoming 2023-24 season, and HA will introduce a new U13 AA female program. There is still a lot of work going on with this project, and more information will follow in the coming weeks. 

Finally, as we head into the home stretch of the hockey season, I want to remind all players, spectators, and parents of the importance of positive behavior. The hockey world has been tarnished over the past year, and it is the collective responsibility of all involved to ensure the game is left in a better place moving forward. 

As most are aware Hockey Canada and its members have taken a very aggressive stance on bullying, abuse, and discriminatory language. We will continue to investigate these issues to the best of our abilities and deal with them accordingly. 

Good Luck to all for the remainder of the season. 


Kevin Kobelka Executive Director