Hockey Canada is thinking small. And it’s a very good idea.
Beginning next season, all games for Initiation players will be played sideways on divided rinks. Two or three games will fit onto one ice surface.
In addition to saving costs, it will also help the initiation-aged players, who are six and under, become better players. Hockey Canada realizes that putting smaller players in a smaller space will help them stay interested, become better puck carriers and pay attention to what’s happening nearby. The pace each game will also improve.
The old way, with new players on a regulation-sized rink, devolved each game into a series of breakaways by the best player on each team. The majority of the players rarely touched the puck.
Even Saskatchewan, which is occasionally philosophically opposed to Hockey Canada initiatives, is reportedly on-side this time.