In the midst of the current economic crisis the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce is hoping teamwork is the answer. That’s the focus of Thursday’s Economic Summit being held at the High Country Inn in Whitehorse.
And who better to discuss teamwork and team building than Canada’s Coach, Pat Quinn, the summit’s guest speaker.
“Pat Quinn is an icon and we want to hear what he has to say about working together,” said Rick Karp, president of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce. “We’ve got the program Partnering for Success, and the byline for it is ‘Working together works.’ And that’s what we want to hear from him – how did he do it?”
Quinn’s achievements in the sport of hockey are a legion. Besides playing in the NHL in his younger days, Quinn is most famous for his work behind the bench, coaching NHL teams in Philadelphia, LA, Vancouver and most recently in Toronto.
However, Quinn earned his “Canada’s Coach” nickname for his work in international competitions. After 50 goldless years, Quinn was at the helm for Team Canada’s gold medal run in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Most recently, Quinn steered Canada’s junior team to gold in the World Junior Hockey Championships in early January.
“With all the accomplishments he’s had in coaching, and especially the most recent one with the Canadian junior… gold-medal win, the challenges he experienced getting these young people to work as a team is what we want to hear from him,” said Karp.
“As soon as we heard his name we said that’s the one we want. We spoke to him… and that just reinforced our desire to have him up here.
“He’s just a great guy, willing to share, willing to mentor, willing to share his experiences, his successes, the challenges he faced and how he overcame those challenges – even with the Toronto Maple Leafs.”
Shortly before the summit, Quinn will be meeting with the Yukon Amateur Hockey Association to discuss the possibility of bringing a major junior team to Whitehorse for a training camp in the summer.
“Probably not this year, but the concept of doing that and whether it’s feasible or not,” said Jim Stephens, secretary treasurer of the Yukon Amateur Hockey Association.
Also on the agenda is a discussion of what it might take to get an NHL team to hold part of its training camp in the territory.
“Yellowknife did it with the Edmonton Oilers,” said Stephens. “But probably there’s lots of things that have to happen to make that take place.
“But the one thing that we have up here that really impresses people from down south is our Canada Games Centre.”
Besides raising interest in hockey, another bonus to an NHL training camp in Whitehorse would be the maintenance of a hockey rink throughout the summer months.
“It’s just a discussion at this point,” said Stephens. “But we thought it would be interesting talking to Pat Quinn because he’s been involved both at the NHL level and the major junior level.”
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