Coun. Bell seeks Hockeyville help

Coun. Corisa Bell got approval to try to enter Maple Ridge into the annual competition.

Every year, Kraft Hockeyville kicks in $100,000 to help smaller communities across Canada upgrade their ice rinks so people can keep loving the game.

So why not Maple Ridge?

Coun. Corisa Bell raised the idea at council’s workshop Monday and got approval to try to enter Maple Ridge into the annual competition.

“I think the timing is awesome. I think we can make a really strong case based on the number of players who come out of Maple Ridge.”

Maple Ridge natives Andrew Ladd and Patrick Wiercioch are now in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets and Ottawa Senators, respectively. Ladd has won two Stanley Cups and brought them to Maple Ridge. Former Boston Bruin and hall of famer Cam Neely also hails from here, with the main spectator arena in Maple Ridge bearing his name.

Maple Ridge recreation staff will try to seek out hockey people who can be involved with the project.

Bell agreed that the Hockeyville award usually goes to smaller communities, but pointed out Maple Ridge has a chance, given its hockey heritage.

Previous winners of the $100,000 and the opportunity to host a pre-season NHL game include North Saanich, B.C., Sylvan Lake, AB., and Terrace, B.C.

The nomination period is between Jan. 1 and Feb. 7.