December Newsletter 2016

Sun, Jan 1st 2017, 20:17

Borderless Hockey News December 2016

Hello HIPA members,
Another year has come and gone.  I sincerely hope it was a good trip around the sun for you and yours.
Per tradition, in this, our final newsletter of the year, we share a recap of the year’s tours, a summary of club milestones, and a few other highlights.
Grab your nog, brew or java and enjoy the final 2016 edition of Borderless Hockey News.
Don’t forget to “LIKE” us at to stay informed on a daily/weekly basis.
Until 2017, reflect upon the encouraging words of legendary Philadelphia Flyer Coach Fred Shero, “Win today and we walk together forever”
All the best,

Paul de Verteuil
HIPA President

2016 Tours Summary:


Collingwood, Ontario, Canada - Fours Hockey

2016 began quickly with a return tour to Collingwood, Ontario, Canada.  Just a two-hour drive from Toronto (Canada’s largest city), this picturesque community is recognized as a downhill skiing destination in winter and a fabulous golf getaway in the summer.  HIPA tour members will, however, remember Collingwood as host of the greatest hockey tournament format ever . . . Fours Hockey!
Playing eight games of Fours Hockey ( over two days is a challenge and an achievement not to be understated.  Mix into this tournament a bottomless mug of beer, and you have the recipe for an epic hockey adventure.
Four HIPA members earned their primary tour cap in Collingwood in 2016. We are now less than one month away from kicking off the 2017 tour calendar with “Collingwood three-point-oh!”

Lafayette, Louisiana, U.S.A. - Mardi Gras Mayhem

February is a busy month!  With Groundhog Day, Valentines Day and the occasional Leap Day, it’s hard for some of us to think that anything else can fit into the shortest month of the year.  In Louisiana, they seem to prioritize Mardi Gras.  Walk the streets of New Orleans or Lafayette before Fat Tuesday, and you will understand, nothing is getting in the way of this celebration!
Seven of our twelve touring HIPA members earned their first tour cap in Lafayette 2016 as they skated, danced, drank and partied like they weren’t going to indulge for the next 40 days!
Taking home the championship for a second year in a row was not an easy task.  Games were close, and a shootout was required before our HIPA gang earned the right to advance into the final game!
There is always so much fun to be had in Lafayette at the Mardi-Gras Mayhem tournament, and registration for 2017 is already well underway.  As one of our tour members said, “You owe it to yourself to go on tour with HIPA!”

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Spring in Canada typically means NHL Playoffs, especially in Montreal . . . but in 2016, not one of the seven Canadian NHL Franchises was participating in the annual race for Lord Stanley’s cup, which meant HIPA was the team to watch in May 2016 when we toured Montreal for the fourth consecutive year. 
Being HIPA’s original destination, this tour often fills with veteran HIPA tour members.  In 2016, just four of fourteen tour members were earning their first cap!  With strong veteran representation, this team looked poised to make some noise on and off the ice.
As always, many laughs cemented lasting friendships, and no arrests were reported!  Epic hockey adventures take many shapes and forms, and Montreal offers the opportunity to experience all of them.  Registration for 2017 is open already!  Join this tour now!

Las Vegas Nevada U.S.A.

In October, ten HIPA members toured Las Vegas.  This marked our fourth trip to Vegas in four years of operation.  Six veteran members meant four members earned their first tour cap.  In addition to all the hockey action, members enjoyed nights out on Las Vegas’ famed “Strip” and “Fremont Street”.
Perhaps we are maturing (probably not), but the collective alcohol stream maintained a general healthy percentage of blood throughout the tour.  An open-air concert on Fremont Street offered a fun backdrop to an evening of people watching before a late night sitting at Pizza Rock!
A 2016 HIPA tour summary cannot be complete without talking about the incredible tradition that evolved organically from February’s Lafayette tour.  It is not surprising that this group of amazing people initiated such a cool movement…we now call it “The Forward Pass”.  In order to share good wishes from one tour team to the next, the Lafayette team offered a gift of authentic Mardi-Gras beads to the next tour team, and a tradition was born.
The Montreal team accepted the beads and passed along a goalie stick to the next tour team.  The Las Vegas team accepted the goalie stick and passed along their own gift, which will remain a surprise until it is presented to the next tour team (heads up, Collingwood!).
“The Forward Pass” has become one of HIPA’s most treasured tour traditions, as it was seeded and nurtured exclusively by club members.

2016 Club Summary: HIPA’s fourth year in operation.

As this is a year-end newsletter, let’s now take a quick look at some of the milestones we recognized through 2016.
  • Each tour, we award caps to our touring members.  The cap is a symbol, tracking the number of tours on which members represented our club. In 2016, HIPA awarded 45 tour caps in total. 
  • Primary caps are particularly special, as each one represents the first time a member represented HIPA on tour.  In 2016, 19 members earned their primary cap.
  • As an international club, global communications are essential to keep members informed.  Though many of us may struggle with finding the right balance of technology in our lives, there is no doubt social media helps HIPA expand our network and reach out to hockey players and enthusiasts the world over.   In 2016, our Facebook page ( surpassed the 15K likes milestone.

Connecting with Others…

Many of our club members or affiliations are doing great work to help others.  Recognizing that help comes in many disguises, HIPA believes that you can help others by setting a good example, creating opportunity, lending a helping hand, making a donation . . .  in general, just being part of something makes life better for others.
Through 2016, we are pleased to be associated with many people who are using hockey or sport in general to give to others.  Through the year, we try to help raise awareness for these people and for their causes. 
We are pleased to be closely associated with the Collingwood Fours Hockey tournament, run by the International Fours Hockey Association ( on behalf of and in support of the Rotary Club of Collingwood South Georgian Bay ( ).
The money raised through this tournament also supports the activities of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Collingwood (
The Hockey Foundation ( has been featured in a number of our newsletters this year and regularly on our Facebook page.  The work they are doing in India and around the world in needy communities is important.  Through hockey, they are making lives better.  HIPA members in the Ottawa, Ontario, Canada region generously contributed to The Hockey Foundation’s equipment drive.  We thank our Ottawa members for your generosity.
Hockey tours are principally about two things: hockey and travel.  The travel part of touring yields an appreciation for different places, cultures and people.  Learning about others exposes you to all the beauty they have to offer and the struggles they endure.  While we have certainly enjoyed wonderful hospitality from the people of Lafayette, Louisiana, in 2016, we also felt deeply for them as the city -- in fact the state and beyond -- suffered through devastating floods.  Many club members expressed their love and support for the flood victims.  We are so relieved to see that the strength of the human spirit prevails, and we can’t wait to dance with our Cajun friends once again.
If hockey tours are specifically about hockey and travel, then HIPA is about more than just hockey tours.  The spirit of HIPA is about using hockey tours to customize your life, to get out of routine, to grab hold and experience all that life offers.  This year, Borderless Hockey News featured two members who epitomize this spirit.
Ryan Bahl is developing a tour to Antarctica to play an outdoor game, the first recorded ice hockey on the continent.  When this happens, it is expected that Ryan will himself be recognized by Guinness as the first person to have documented record of playing hockey on all seven continents!
Mike Jackson is just over 100 days into a two-year drive around the world with his wife and children.  It’s been a dream of his to experience the world with his family in this way, and in 2016, he and Cathy made it happen-- a great example that when you want to do something, you can make it happen!  Mike continues to operate his businesses with the help of WiFi/internet, and though it is not always reliable, Mike says his mobile office gives him the opportunity to meet clients face-to-face.

2017 Tour Calendar

HIPA’s 2017 Tour Calendar is going to be bigger and better than ever!  As we continue to add tours, please visit and let us know which tour will be your next epic hockey adventure!
Google Plus
Copyright © 2016 Hockey International Players Association (HIPA), All rights reserved.
If you want to post comments, you need to login first.

Hockey Live News

Are you a HIPA Member already?