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From the Blue to the Red

President's Message

Today marks the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for Greenwich hockey families. 

This week, the Board of Trustees for the Greenwich Blues (a non-profit youth hockey organization), voted unanimously to pursue a course of action that will positively impact local hockey development for years to come for our U8 (mites) through U16 (midgets) players.

Over the past 45 years, the Greenwich Blues has developed thousands of hockey players, lovers of the game, and made memories and friendships to last a lifetime.  The Board acknowledges, appreciates and is grateful for the thousands of volunteers, dedicated players, hundreds of thousands of miles driven to get to this turning point in Greenwich youth hockey development.  For the past several months the Board has been working on a plan to chart a new path for the Greenwich Blues and on Wednesday, February 6, 2019, voted unanimously to establish a relationship with Greenwich High School Hockey program and change the name of the organization to the “Greenwich Cardinal Youth Hockey Association, Inc.”  

The philosophy for the Cardinals remains the same as it was for the Blues, to provide a home for boys and girls to (1) learn and develop hockey skills and knowledge under experienced coaches, and (2) to foster a lifelong affection for hockey.  Youth hockey players thrive in the sport and enjoy a high level of development when the program is optimally structured.  There is not a trade-off between playing competitive hockey, maintaining academic performance and participating in other sports when the team is organized and administered with these complementary activities in mind.  While it is our goal to be highly competitive on the ice, success is not measured solely on the number of wins and losses throughout the season.  Instead, we evaluate the success of the program based on the year-long skill development, consistency of play, sportsmanship, strong work ethic, respect for the game and other players, and understanding of the values of teamwork and commitment to achieving goals.  The Board is currently weighing many of the details of the transition from the “blue” to the “red” and those details will be shared in the coming months, including tryouts this spring.

The genesis of this change is supported and aligned with the vision of Chris Rurak, Head Coach, Greenwich High School Varsity Hockey.  Coach Rurak will be a vital component to the Cardinal program, and we are excited to forge this collaboration.

“Over my nine years of coaching in Greenwich, I have missed having a midget program from which we can continue to keep talented players together while they build consistency and familiarity with each other,” remarked Coach Rurak. “I approached the Blues leadership because I was aware of its long-standing value to the Greenwich hockey community. The President, Keith Orrico, was receptive to the idea and after a few friendly and collaborative meetings, we had a strong case for adding a midget program that would assist the High School in our long-term goal of creating elite hockey players from within Greenwich, compete on even higher levels, and get them ready for college careers if they so choose.”

The Board deliberated on the proposal from Coach Rurak and determined it is in the best interest of the local hockey community to extend the conversion from the Blues to the Cardinals to all age groups. In the same way Coach Rurak is seeking a Greenwich home for the midgets, the Board wants to foster a singularity of purpose among the younger age groups.  The Board concluded that a unified team and program identity under the new Cardinal banner is critical to realize this goal.  A goal that includes preparing our players for the rigors of Varsity Hockey at Greenwich High School or other local high schools. 

The Board is open to receive feedback on this monumental and exciting path that will continue to create more lovers of the game for existing and new generations.

Keith Orrico, President, Greenwich Blues Youth Hockey Association / Greenwich Cardinal Youth Hockey Association

(originally published February 7, 2019)


by posted 02/18/2019
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