RCK Hockey Development spring league a learning opportunity

By Jake Davies - West Carleton Online

ARNPRIOR – Renfrew County Kings (RCK) Hockey Development is hosting a spring league in Arnprior designed to maximize ice time and keep your young player on the ice.

RCK is hosting a six-week spring league from April 2 to May 12 at the Nick Smith Centre for players from U7 to U18, focusing on getting your child on the ice and keeping them there.

The goal is to maximize ice time in a safe environment focusing on skill development.

“Basic rules of hockey apply with respect to player safety and conduct, but we are modifying game play rules to maximize individual playing time, and puck touches by reducing whistles and transitions,” RCK owner Scott Buffam told West Carleton Online.

Buffam has a long history coaching hockey in the Ottawa Valley. Buffam is a teacher with the Renfrew County School Board where he also ran the school’s ICE Program – an innovative program focusing on ice sports such as hockey, curling, figure skating and ringette, focusing not only on the sport, but coaching, and refereeing.

Buffam has also spent years behind the bench including time coaching the U14 Ottawa Valley Titans (West Carleton’s AAA affiliate) and helped the team bring home the silver medal at the 2023 Ontario Winter Games.

Buffam has 27 years of experience teaching and coaching in Renfrew County coaching Rep B, AA and AAA.

The RCK Spring League is not a hockey camp, with the focus on games and playing hockey.

U7 participants will play half-ice development and scrimmage games with coaches on the bench. Scores are kept, but not posted and the league will use a no-stoppage format to increase ice time.

U9 will be a half-ice four-on-four format. Adults will be on the bench, but there will be no coaching.

U11 will be full ice, five versus five. U13 and U15 will be full ice four-on-four format.

For all divisions, there is zero tolerance for physical or verbal aggression from players or parents. There will only be one goalie per team. Four-versus-four teams have a maximum of nine players. Five-versus-five teams have a maximum of 11 players. RCK will use registration information from 2023-2024 to balance teams and teams may be switched after week one if necessary. Body checking is not permitted at any level. RCK will do its best to honour one friend request per player, but there are no guarantees.

“Play for fun is our league motto so while benches are supervised, there is no formal coaching and no body checking allowed at any level,” Buffam said.

The RCK team features many of the game’s best in the Ottawa Valley and players will get a chance to see them around the rink including lead skating coach Stephanie McCullough (a former competitive figure skater and coach with a degree in human kinetics); Cole Burton (head coach of the Carleton Place Canadians Jr. B team); Devin Cambell (former Division 1 NCAA player and Jr. A coach); associate instructor Liam Hawel (a Dallas Stars draft pick and uSports Atlantic MVP); and associate instructor Ryland Mosley (NCAA Division 1 player).

For more information, or to register, for RCK Hockey Development and the Spring Hockey League, click here.

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