Welcome to the 2023-2024 SJHL season! I hope everyone had an enjoyable summer. Our new season opened September 22nd. Our teams will battle until the middle of March for league supremacy and we will continue to work on our Stay Here Play Here campaign.
Who will be this years’ Canterra Seeds Cup Champion? At the end of last May, the SJHL’s North Stars found their way into the CJHL Centennial Cup final against the Brooks Bandits of the AJHL. The North Stars had a Cinderella season from start to finish.
Arguably last season as the new Commissioner I had some large shoes to fill following in the footsteps of Bill Chow and Wayne Kartusch. I thoroughly enjoyed working with our Board of Governors, our coaches and our officials. I also enjoyed traveling throughout the league, watching games, meetings fans, and engaging with our many volunteers and media. Our communities, our fans, and our volunteers, keep our league and our franchises meaningful, viable and solvent.
Last season the league and our teams had great success both on and off the ice. Well over 260,000 fans attended either a regular season or SJHL playoff game last season.
The SJHL will be western Canada’s premier Junior “A” hockey league known for its exceptional player development and its commitment to its players, its people, and the communities we serve.
Last season the SJHL Board of Governors and I set several goals for our league and for our twelve franchises:
- Improving the promotion of the league through the social channels/website etc. has gone from being arguably one of the worst in the CJHL to the best in one year.
- Innovating the way, the game is officiated to bring a faster and more skilled style of play to the league
- Developing a strategic plan that is doable and trackable
- Raising more player and team awareness through Social Media, Relationship with fans, coaches, boards, and communities and
- Improving the overall quality of HockeyTV broadcasts in most locales.
Last season we also celebrated the most players ever in league history who transitioned to the life of student athletes. It is my hope that the SJHL continues to provide an opportunity to assist all our players to make successful transitions to post-secondary hockey opportunities including at the Usport, ACAC and the various NCAA levels. I also hope that whatever path our players choose that all players make successful transitions from hockey to the world of work and life.
This season many of our teams are celebrating 30, 40 and 50 years of SJHL hockey. Hockey is alive and well in our 12 SJHL communities. I am positive that our league and the franchise in your community continues impact our players and your community positively through outreach and through positive player ambassadorship.
Again, this season with the enthusiasm of Jeromy Corrigan and IKS Media, all social media platforms will be coordinated and activated and the SJHL brand and our players will be prominent both inside and outside of the province. HockeyTV will also be better leveraged to promote the league, our players, and our brand. We are hoping that you will continue to support our players our community franchises and the SJHL.
In closing, I want to thank all the SJHL sponsors both new and old for your continuing interest in and support for SJHL Hockey. I look forward to continuing to work with our teams and Hockey Saskatchewan on the Stay Here Play Here campaign where our aim is to put more Saskatchewan kids in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. I look forward to another year of fast paced, skilled and entertaining season of SJHL Hockey. I will see you at the rink!