Hockey Canada has named the 14 players selected to attend the National Para Hockey Team Training Camp, presented by Canadian Tire, set for Jan. 16-26 in Calgary. The camp is the first opportunity of the season for the coaching staff to evaluate players during on- and off-ice activities.
The 11-day training camp includes practices and three-on-three intrasquad games at the Markin MacPhail Centre at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park, and will take place in a bubble environment closed to the public. To ensure the health and safety of all participants and the community at large, Hockey Canada will closely follow enhanced safety measures around quarantine periods, COVID-19 testing and team protocols that have been approved by Alberta Health.
“We are excited to bring together members of Canada’s National Para Hockey Team in a safe manner during these unique times, and we are grateful to Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services for their work in limiting the risk to our athletes, staff and the community at large,” said head coach Ken Babey (Saskatoon, Sask.). “We are fortunate that our players and coaches have been able to get on the ice in a limited capacity over the past six months. Their commitment to individually train and stay connected through our virtual meetings is imperative as we prepare to compete at a high level for the remainder of the season.”
Prior to this week’s training camp, many athletes have been able to participate in weekly ice sessions in small groups through regional hub training centres in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, while others continue to train individually.
Throughout the 2020-21 season, Canada’s National Para Hockey Team will continue to prepare for the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing, China. The team intends to hold additional camps prior to the 2021 IPC World Para Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic in May, while future camps and international competitions remain dependent on further impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Hockey Canada’s focus and priority remains the health and safety of all participants and the community at large.
Coaching staff named for Canada’s National Para Hockey Team
Hockey Canada also announced that Babey will return behind the bench for his seventh season, leading the team as head coach throughout the 2020-21 season.
Babey will be joined by Team Canada alumnus Steve Arsenault (Edmonton, Alta.) as an assistant coach along with Mike Foligno (Sudbury, Ont.) and Russ Herrington (Unionville, Ont.), as well as goaltending consultant Mike Fountain (Gravenhurst, Ont.).
The support staff that will work with Canada’s National Para Hockey Team at camp includes:
- Guest coach Maxime Gagnon (Longueuil, Que./Team Quebec Sledge)
- Mental performance consultant Kyle McDonald (Regina, Sask.)
- Equipment managers Ashton Murley (Beaumont, Alta./University of Alberta, CW) and Blair Smook (Airdrie, Alta.)
- Adaptive strength specialist Tessa Gallinger (Windsor, Ont./CSI Calgary)
- Exercise physiologist Nicole Bewski (Winnipeg, Man./CSI Calgary)
- Athletic therapist Charley Hasselaar (Millarville, Alta./University of Calgary, CW)
- Dr. Ben Cameron (Summerside, P.E.I.)
- National team senior coordinator Benoit Roy (Sudbury, Ont.)