NHL Alumni Association expresses support for Play On! Canada and return of Canada Cup

October 4th, 2023

Attention :The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Sport and Physical Activity

Dear Minister Qualtrough:

We are writing today to offer our unequivocal support of the Play On! Canada organization, including:

i) the prioritizing of Play On! Canada events coast to coast, and

ii) the recommissioning of The Canada Cup and awarding it to the winners of this national street hockey event beginning again in 2024.

Play On! events have operated across Canada since 2004. It is a made-in-Canada project that we all should be so proud of. A truly Canadian sports organization, it has operated 179 events in a total of 41 communities, in every Province, reaching more than two million Canadians. It holds the Guinness World Record as the largest street hockey event. It’s Board and management are well regarded throughout the business community and grassroots sport communities throughout all of Canada. They have the proven ability to deliver a nation building event that we can all be thrilled to associate with.

Street hockey is part of Canada’s sport heritage and culture and, we believe, is important to preserve for the future. I suspect that there is not a single member of our association who has not played street hockey and that each has only fond memories of doing so. It is a form of the game that can be played by all Canadians in every part of Canada including those who are new to Canada. A national event built around street hockey and culminating with the awarding of the Canada Cup will surely result in many more Canadians playing and falling in love with the game. It will also help neighbourhoods reconnect and inspire physical activity amongst youth.

The Canada Cup is an important part of Canadian history, culture, and tradition. It is a symbol of national unity that ought to be preserved for generations to come. Awarding this trophy again will result in corporate Canada also supporting actively. We can think of no better way, no more inclusive way, to celebrate the purity of hockey and Canadian sport, heritage, and culture than by awarding the Canada Cup to the winners of this world-class event, Play On!


Glenn Healy
President & Executive Director, NHL Alumni Association