Pond hockey tournament in the works
September 15, 2015
By Chad Ingram
Pond hockey will be returning to Haliburton County.
Or at least that’s the plan.
“It’s still a work in progress,” says Minden Hills resident John Teljeur. “We’re just finalizing with sponsors. Obviously, the seed money is needed to get started.”
Teljeur was one of the organizers of the Canadian Pond Hockey Championships when they were held in Haliburton County during the winters of 2013 and 2014.
After Haliburton County council turned down a request from J-Core Marketing, the company behind the tournament, to contribute $25,000 a year for three years toward the event, the tournament was moved to Huntsville, where it will be held again this upcoming year.
Teljeur, now general manager of the Pinestone Resort and Conference Centre, is working on a similar tournament that would be separate from the Canadian Pond Hockey Championships.
His plan is draw 100 teams – “which is equal to or greater than what we had in the past” – and host games on the pond at the Pinestone, and potentially Head Lake as well.
“I have no intention of making this a small event,” Teljeur said.
The tournament would likely be scheduled for Jan. 21 through 23.
With six players per team, that would be 600 players alone, plus entourages, if everything goes according to plan.
It would mean economic spinoff for the community, according to Teljeur.
“We can’t possibly sleep that many people here [at Pinestone],” he said.
Teljeur said the event would be charitable, raising funds, likely for kids’ food and recreation programming.
His hope is the event can be funded privately and eventually become self-sustaining and at this point, does not plan to request municipal funding.
“My preference is to not have that happen,” he said.
Teljeur said he’s also working with some former NHL players, trying to secure their involvement.
While he didn’t want to name players, “they’re fairly recognizable, household names,” he said.
The Canadian Pond Hockey Championships brought about 1,500 people to play hockey on Haliburton Village’s Head Lake over two weekends in each of the winters of 2013 and 2014, drawing support from more than 100 volunteers.
Teljeur said he hoped to know with certainty within the next couple of weeks whether the event would proceed.