Ice Den, Total Package Hockey form exciting partnership
It may not be earth-shattering news anymore that hockey is growing in Arizona, but the fact Total Package Hockey (TPH) is coming to the desert to partner with the Ice Den Scottsdale just solidifies the fact that the game is in the desert to stay.
Earlier this month, TPH announced that its eighth Center of Excellence (CoE) will be housed inside the Ice Den Scottsdale, joining forces with Coyotes Ice to bring its academy-style model to town for the 2020-21 school year.
“The Phoenix area is a growing hockey market and we couldn’t be more excited to become a part of the Arizona hockey landscape,” TPH CEO Nathan Bowen said. “The area is flourishing with youth hockey players and the market itself is second to none.
“Being part of the fabric of North Scottsdale and its surrounding communities, as well as having a partner who is as passionate and progressive as Taylor Burke, means we are positioned to continue exceeding expectations of student-athletes, their families and all members of the hockey community.”
The Burke family was responsible for the birth of the Arizona Coyotes, spearheading Winnipeg’s relocation to the desert in 1996. Shortly after the team relocated, the family built the Ice Den Scottsdale which resulted in an immediate impact and changed the youth hockey landscape in the state.
In addition to offering quality programming, investing in the community remains top priority for the family. Since its inception in 1996, the Burke Family Foundation has directed its philanthropic efforts to partnerships and programs committed to providing and enhancing resources in the areas of health, education and athletics.
“Our motivation for partnering with TPH is to provide driven hockey players across all youth associations opportunities to master a sport that teaches so many valuable life lessons,” Burke said. “The CoE model will incentivize families to keep their young hockey players at home, maintain the quality lifestyle the Phoenix metro area offers all of us and provide their sons and daughters access to a hockey academy that is truly cutting-edge.”
Marc Fritsche, the Jr. Coyotes’ Tier I/Elite Hockey program director, is elated with what TPH can offer in a short year’s time.
“A lot of areas have an academy-type training in place and it is helping players get the experience they need to fast-forward their development,” Fritsche said. “It’s great to see the concept available to players in Arizona. This is an opportunity for a player to get a strong education and focus on their individual improvement on the ice as a supplement to their program teams. The process and schedule is built for a player to have great success.”
It is important to note that from an academic perspective, the Center of Excellence is not a “home school,” nor a “virtual school.” The CoE is a blended learning environment that utilizes an online platform to maximize academic development and outcomes customized for each individual student-athlete.
“The CoE model creates a best-of-both-worlds scenario,” Bowen said. “Student-athletes complete their coursework online and have the option to take school home or on the road with them every day, with no fear of days missed due to their travels. At the same time, when student-athletes are on-site, they study under the direction of an academic leader who is focused on fostering a positive culture, maintaining accountability and putting a learning plan in place for each individual based on where, when and how he or she works best.
From a facility standpoint, Coyotes Ice president Mike O’Hearn said preparations are already underway at the Ice Den Scottsdale.
“The collective vision of Coyotes Ice and TPH is to create a one-stop shop on the Ice Den campus for all CoE attendees,” O’Hearn said. “We have identified space that will house a state-of-the-art academic wing and training center, both within steps of the arena’s main doors. We plan to offer on-site lunch plans, athlete-friendly snacks and a space for video sessions. This vision is in line with TPH’s philosophy of creating mini-campus style setups within their CoE locations. Our hope is that the TPH-Phoenix Center of Excellence will set the standard for what a CoE should look like.”
For additional information and to sign up to receive updates, visit www.totalpackagehockey.com.
— Matt Mackinder
(Nov. 26, 2019)