2015-6 Travel Hockey Season - PLEASE READ *** Important
DEAR WINTER CLUB HOCKEY FAMILIES,
We know that it is hard to focus on hockey in May, but we wanted to update everyone on our preliminary plans for the 2015-2016 travel hockey season.
I. Hockey Policy Committee
We are very pleased to announce that Mark Sproule has agreed to join the Hockey Policy Committee for the upcoming season. Mark has a great hockey resume, has coached Mites during the past several seasons and brings a wealth of new ideas about developing young hockey players to our hockey program.
Current HPC members are John Almeida (Chair), Katharine Calderwood, Doug Famigletti, Eric Haley, Ian Hobbs, Glen Reid, Chris Robustelli, Mark Sproule and David Tohir.
II. Program Overview
CHC. The Winter Club will continue to approach our level of play the same way that we have since the CHC went to a self- declared Tier System for squirt level travel hockey and above. We look at each team and choose the tier where we feel they will face equally competitive teams. As we did this past season, we are expecting to declare our A teams to compete in Tier 2, our A1 teams to compete in Tier 3 and our third Squirt and Pee Wee teams to compete in the Open/Tier 4 division.
Ice Time. As many of you noticed, we had more full ice practices and more home games last season than during previous seasons and our players (and families) benefited from the additional ice time and reduced travel. We continue to work on strengthening our position with local rinks for the upcoming season so our players have access to plenty of local ice time and can minimize travel to the extent we can. Expect more on this front as we approach next season.
Tryout Dates. We once again anticipate holding two or three voluntary pre-tryout skates for all age groups over Labor Day weekend. Try-outs will be held the weekend after Labor Day from September 11th to September 13th. We will send a note further detailing the tryout process as the date approaches.
Lake Placid. A number of our teams will be attending Lake Placid again this season, scheduled for the weekend of November 5-8. Mark your calendars.
III. Projected NCWC 2014-15 travel teams
Thank you to everyone who responded to Registration in April. We are pleased that interest in Winter Club travel hockey remains very high and we look to add three new teams to the overall lineup, including two (U16 and U18) split season Midget teams and a third Pee Wee team. This anticipated growth augments the expansion of our all girls IceCats partnership with DYHA that we announced in March. Next year projects to be the largest class of hockey players at the NCWC ever.
Based on our registration, we expect to offer our Members a great lineup of teams that meet the needs of most of our travel hockey caliber players. While we take great pride in the growth of our hockey program, we also must address the practical realities of a larger program, the most obvious issues being ice time and access to strong coaching. At this time, we feel we can provide the “infrastructure” for the additional teams and expect to move forward with the lineup we describe below. It is also important to note that given our numbers, we will unfortunately not be able to offer a travel team spot to every child who has registered for NCWC travel hockey. While we philosophically believe in trying to find an appropriate travel hockey team experience for all of our Members, this is practically not always possible.
For next season, we expect to have the following teams:
Four Mite teams (for birth years 2007 and younger)
Three Squirt teams (for birth years 2005 and 2006)
Three Pee Wee teams (for birth years 2003 and 2004)
Two Bantam teams (for birth years 2001 and 2002)
When a player accepts a position on a travel team, he/she is expected to participate fully in practices, games and tournaments. State and other tournaments have traditionally fallen over both the public and private school breaks. While fall sports may present some understandable conflicts, a strong commitment is essential to our Program’s success. Please keep in mind the NCWC also offers a house program for those who feel uncomfortable with this level of commitment.
IV. Anticipated Coaches for the 2015 - 2016 season
We are pleased that most of our coaches will be returning from last season, including Mike Carlucci, Scott Linde, Ken Gammill, John Greenwood, Jamie Hanford, Clark Jones and Kyle Mills to complement our strong group of parent coaches that we have identified to coach the other teams. We also have a number of other strong new coaches who will be joining our Coaching Staff. Please feel to reach out to us should you have any further questions on the coaching front.
V. Follow up Registration
In early July, instructions on how to complete your child’s registration will be e-mailed out. The purpose of this “follow up’ registration is to complete our administrative requirements for travel hockey (USA Hockey registration, waivers, etc.). It should be simple and quick to complete. Any player who is new to NCWC travel hockey will be asked to submit a copy of their child’s birth certificate at tryouts before their child is allowed to step on the ice. We will send out instructions of what paperwork is required prior to tryouts.
IMPORTANT – SHELLS MUST BE ORDERED by MAY 22!!!
For those of you with Squirt, PeeWee and Bantam aged players who need to re-order shells (lost, new size), please order directly from BlueLine sports (203/656-0324) by May 22. These shells are special order so your timely order will insure that they are completed in time for next season. Be prepared to share your child’s age/birth year and size of existing shells as this information will be important for your order. While we will have a limited number of shells for new players to the program for purchase at the completion of tryouts, it is important that you place this order in a timely fashion.
Volunteers Needed! Finally, we need volunteers to get involved. We are a family club and we all must contribute and work together to make it function. Specifically, we are looking for volunteers to act as Team Managers and Schedulers for the upcoming season. Please reach out to us should you have an interest in getting involved.
As always, if you have any questions, suggestions or comments please feel free to contact any of the members of the HPC. Enjoy your summer, stay healthy, and we look forward to seeing you soon.
All the best,
On behalf of the NCWC Hockey Policy Committee
The Winter Club Board is very pleased to share some exciting news. On Friday, the Club purchased 626 Frogtown Road, which is the property directly to the west of the Winter Club (across from the entrance to Country School). Over the winter, the current owner, Frank Granito, who is a long time Club member, mentioned that he was considering selling the property and the Board decided that this was an opportunity that we should seriously evaluate. We engaged in an amicable negotiation, completed due diligence, and then closed on the property last week. We are appreciative to Frank for allowing us to acquire this property and the spirit with which we negotiated the purchase together.We are excited about the options that owning this property provides for our Members as we think about the next fifty years of the Club.
I mentioned in my season opening letter how fortunate we are to have had such a strong history of exceptional Board of Governors at the Winter Club. Because of the responsible stewardship our Club is in a strong financial position, which allows us to be thoughtful about undertaking a significant investment for the Club’s future. After careful consideration of the Club’s financial position, the Board felt that we should finance a portion of the purchase given the historically low interest rate environment that we currently enjoy. While we did not necessarily need to borrow to execute the purchase, the availability of attractively priced capital preserves our Club’s financial flexibility to develop the property further or should unexpected challenges or opportunities arise in the future. I’m sure many of you are wondering whether there will be an assessment for this purchase.At this point, we have no intention of assessing the Club’s Membership given our strong financial position.That having been said, as we consider our options for the future of this property, we may revisit an assessment in order to preserve the Club’s strong financial position for future generations.
The Board feels that there are several reasons for this strategic purchase, but first and foremost we believe that it is important for us to control a property in close proximity to our Club and avoid the possibility of having a neighbor who really did not like living next to a skating rink. In fact, that was the case for a brief period a few decades ago and it was not good for the Club. Obviously, we can all dream about the many possible uses of this property, including improving our Club’s parking situation or adding another ice skating rink, but any development plans will require a careful analysis of zoning, environmental, financial and other issues.That being said, we expect to explore any and all possible options that preserve the Club as we know it and to make every effort to improve the overall experience for our Members.
There is a temptation to rush into brainstorming sessions with all of the things that we can do with the property. Our current intention is to continue to rent out the house (which currently has a tenant), which will more than cover our interest payments in the short term.We also intend on forming a committee to explorevarious options on how best to utilize the property and to work with the Town to explore potential development options. If you have an interest in joining this exploratory committee, please contact me. I will mention right up front to all of the Members of the Men’s House League that they should save their breath because a Men’s Only Clubhouse is not going to happen!
I know I speak for the entire Board when I say that this is a once in a generation opportunity to protect our Club and consider possibilities to improve our Member experience.Our Club is in a strong financial position, with a great Membership and we are excited that we are able to take a very important strategic step to ensure the vibrancy of the Club for the next generation.
If any members have any questions about this purchase, please do not hesitate to contact me.
As a reminder, if your child is playing hockey for another USA Hockey organization this upcoming season (Ice Cats, Mid Fairfield, etc...) besides the Winter Club for the first time, please notify our Registrar via . In this email, please include the following:
1) Name of transferring hockey player
3) Telephone number
4) Date of birth
5) New CHC/USA Hockey Program: Mid Fairfield Peewees, etc... ***Please be specific***
Upon receipt of this email, verification by the Winter Club's Treasurer that your account is PAID in FULL and approval from the Winter Club's President, a release form will be immediately emailed to the appropriate CHC contact by the Winter Club's Registrar. You will receive a confirmation email so that you know that this release form has been sent. You can expect the turnaround time to occur within seven (7) business days or less for all requested releases.
The Winter Club's deadline for requesting a Player Release is Friday, May 8. All requests received before May 8 will be completed and forwarded to CHC during the week of May 11.
All other requests after this date will be processed once the new season begins in early September.
If your child is transferring to the Winter Club to play hockey from another USA Hockey organization this upcoming season (Mid Fairfield, Stamford Sharks, etc...), please notify your previous organization's Registrar via email and request a CHC 2015-16 Player Release. In this email, please include the following:
1) Name of transferring hockey player 2) Address 3) Telephone number 4) Date of birth 5) New CHC/USA Hockey Program: Winter Club Peewees, etc...
Please let our New Canaan Registrar know when you have requested this release for your son/daughter to be transferred to the Winter Club.
If you have any questions, please contact our Registrar at
Please disregard this message if you have alreadys requested a CHC release from our Registrar.