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For those who don't know, Brian Howard is a longtime friend of Nelson Hockey. Many of you are aware that our club has participated in a cross-cultural exchange program with Norway's Moss Hockey club for the past seven years. What you may not know is that the program began when Brian was bringing a group of youth hockey players to the US and a friend suggested that he contact Nelson for help in making it a memorable hockey experience for the kids. That simple email sparked a partnership and friendship that has resulted in three visits to the US for youth hockey players from Moss and two trips for Nelson Hockey players to visit and play hockey in Moss. Brian was recently diagnosed with Leukemia and is documenting his experience via a blog entitled INTO-THE-THICK-OF-IT. Please join us in sending prayers and well wishes to our friend.
Nelson Hockey Association Inc. was created in1997 as a non-profit youth hockey organization to teach the fundamentals of ice hockey, promote character development and physical fitness, and instill the principles of fair play and healthy competition. Founder and Director, Nelson Burton, has spent more than 40 years playing and coaching hockey. He has played the game at every level from neighborhood pond hockey in his native Canada all the way to the NHL and continues to play in a local men’s league. Nelson’s goal is to provide a fun, competitive and inclusive environment for players to grow their skills, develop a love for the game and create life-long friendships.
Please be aware that registration and payment for all Nelson Hockey activities including but not limited to spring clinics, scrimmages, Give it Shot, Fundamentals, etc., MUST be done via SignUpGenius. In light of the COVID-19 situations, we are limiting money handling and direct physical contact to the extent possible.
Nelson Hockey to Rebrand All Youth Teams as Jr. Black Bears starting Spring 2020
All Teams 8U-18U Will Incorporate New Name
ODENTON, MD – After more than 20 years as the Metro Maple Leafs, Nelson Hockey will rebrand its entire youth program and begin a new chapter as the Jr. Black Bears. The rebranding will begin in March. Formerly known as the Maryland Machine, spring tournament teams will bear the new name and logo. Tryout for spring hockey will take place the week of March 9th at the Piney Orchard Ice Arena. More info HERE.
Fall teams will follow suit with opportunities for every age and skills levels from beginners through the most competitive upper A and AA teams. Tryouts for the fall will take place week of April 25th.
"The time is right for this change. We've built a great relationship with the Maryland Black Bears organization and we're looking to expand upon it moving forward. The change in name is just a small piece of that." said Nelson Burton, Director of Nelson Hockey and former Washington Capital’s Winger. Maryland Black Bears players will be integrated into practice plans at all levels. "We want our coaches to take full advantage of the gift of having these talented young men included in some of our practice sessions. Not only are they an inspiration to our youth players but they can demonstrate skills that can help them raise their game," said Burton.
The rebranding has the endorsement of the league. “My son started playing hockey in 2004 as a Metro Maple Leaf. As a hockey mom, former team manager and present CBHL Commissioner, I have personally watched the club grow through their various learn to play hockey programs and rink expansions,” said Debbie Moon, Chesapeake Bay Hockey League Commissioner. “We, at the Chesapeake Bay Hockey League, are excited to have the Metro Maple Leafs rebranded as the Jr. Black Bears and welcome the Jr. Black Bears into the CBHL,” she added.
In addition to the name change, the Jr. Black Bears will have an increased presence at Maryland Black Bears games and events. They will co-sponsor a kickoff fundraiser for the Maryland Black Bears’ Guns & Hoses at the Sky Zone in Bowie on February 19 with the team. "We love sharing our Piney Orchard home with the Maryland Black Bears and are beyond excited to continue growing this relationship," said Burton.
Nelson Hockey will continue to offer team opportunities to players at all levels. They also offer “Learn to Play” and Adult League teams to players in Central Maryland. The introduction of the Jr. Black Bears will complement and expand Nelson’s current programs.