Truth & Rumors > NHL

Mark Messier stunned by drop in Canadian youth hockey

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08:33 AM ET 08.03 | Last winter, Hockey Canada and Bauer Hockey Inc. commissioned an independent survey to better understand the challenges facing non hockey-playing families. That's because according to the two organizations, approximately 90 per cent of Canadian families choose to not have their kids play hockey. So a survey of 875 non hockey-playing families in Ontario and Nova Scotia was conducted to better understand why they don't play the game and the top four reasons given were a) it wasn't fun b) was too time consuming c) safety concerns d) and affordability. Former NHL star Mark Messier is assisting Bauer and Hockey Canada in their quest to get more players in the game. Messier, for one, was stunned by the survey results. "I think it comes to a shock to everybody," he said. "We like to consider ourselves at the top of the pyramid in hockey around the world and if we're going to stay there . . . we have to continue to develop our talent pool. "In order to do that we have to continue to introduce the game to more kids, get more kids playing and keep those kids that do try it in the game. This is one way, hopefully, we can start to do that. We're trying to send the message now that hockey is for everybody and there's a place for everybody if you want to play hockey."

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Mark Messier, Getty Images Mark Messier, Getty Images
August 3, 2013  09:31 AM ET

It's because they are turning hockey into a sissy sport. I grew up playing AA or AAA for the most part and then Jr.B, it used to be a tough fast sport. I can't believe they took contact out of minor hockey houseleague and then bumped it up to Bantam for the competitive teams. Houseleague should offer a non-contact league and a contact league and more people will play

August 3, 2013  09:32 AM ET

It would be nice to have some comparison percentages from the '80s, '90's, and '00s.

Chip?

August 3, 2013  09:48 AM ET

I'm surprised they didn't blame it on global warming.

August 3, 2013  09:52 AM ET



:-)

August 3, 2013  10:02 AM ET

"Mark Messier stunned by drop in Canadian youth hockey"

Send them to the US! We have excellent youth hockey programs here.

August 3, 2013  10:12 AM ET

Influx of immigration has begun changing Canadian values as well. Recent polls suggest other sports valued by other cultures (cricket, soccer) now challenging and surpassing hockey in the GTA. It is far from the old days when every Canadian kid aims to be the next Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky or Sidney Crosby. You add in the expense of playing hockey (by far the most expensive children's sport) and you have easy choices by this generation. Our future as global leader in hockey is now perilous when you project the continuing trends into the future.

August 3, 2013  10:15 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

It's because they are turning hockey into a sissy sport.

Kids are not giving up hockey because there's no contact. That's silly and extremely simplistic. They're giving it up because they (coaches, parents and system) took all the fun out of it. Hockey's become rigidly robotic. It is strictly a results oriented thing, even at the youth level, and a very expensive one at that. The average family simply can't afford it. Hockey is no longer fun. And, if it's not fun, kids don't wan it.

August 3, 2013  10:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Kids are not giving up hockey because there's no contact. That's silly and extremely simplistic. They're giving it up because they (coaches, parents and system) took all the fun out of it. Hockey's become rigidly robotic. It is strictly a results oriented thing, even at the youth level, and a very expensive one at that. The average family simply can't afford it. Hockey is no longer fun. And, if it's not fun, kids don't wan it.

Agreed, and parents don't want to see their kids "Bertuzzied"

August 3, 2013  10:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I'm surprised they didn't blame it on global warming....

.... or on GW Bush.

August 3, 2013  10:30 AM ET
QUOTE:

my neighbor's sister makes $80 an hour on the laptop. She has been fired from work for nine months but last month her income was $19531 just working on the laptop for a few hours.

You and your friends must be very good clients. BTW ... when are you going to start getting rich by doing the same?

August 3, 2013  10:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

...Send them to the US! We have excellent youth hockey programs here.

Damn right!

August 3, 2013  10:37 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Damn right!

They'll have to sneak in through Mexico though.

August 3, 2013  10:43 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

They'll have to sneak in through Mexico though.

They had better be careful then. Especially with that "Shoot First" policy we have down here...

August 3, 2013  10:58 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

They had better be careful then. Especially with that "Shoot First" policy we have down here...

The "Shoot First" thing only applies to the bad guys. The good guys have to wait till after they've been shot at. By then, they might be dead and dead men can't shoot.

August 3, 2013  10:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

They had better be careful then. Especially with that "Shoot First" policy we have down here...

This still cracks me up.

August 3, 2013  11:01 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

They had better be careful then. Especially with that "Shoot First" policy we have down here...

And the guilty until proven innocent rule. That's gotta sting. I thought Arizona had a lock on the old "Shoot First".

August 3, 2013  11:03 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

This still cracks me up.

Ron White always cracks me up.

August 3, 2013  11:12 AM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Ron White always cracks me up.

Ron White for Prez! Ted Nugent for border security! :-)

August 3, 2013  12:07 PM ET

Time commitments for hockey - even house league - are ridiculous. Forget about waking up for 5 am practices - after driving to the rink, dressing and undressing, and playing the game (where your kid will likely be sitting for two thirds of the game), you're out about 3 hours. Other sports are far more accessible in terms of time alone.

And hockey parents and politics are absolutely insane.

 
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