Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/6/2016 (1494 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A bunch of kids were playing the good ol' hockey game not on a rink but in the unlikeliest of places: the third floor of the RBC Convention Centre.
And instead of a wooden stick slamming into a puck, these boys and girls were holding a plastic stick and slapping away at a ball on the 30-foot by 60-foot surface.
Welcome to floorball, a new type of floor hockey. There's been a league in Brandon for some time, but right now it's only a demonstration rink in Winnipeg.
And that demonstration was at the inaugural Canadian Hockey Expo being held at the convention centre this weekend.
Jarret Hannah and Chad Balmer, the founders of the expo, said the floorball demonstration is just one of many hockey-themed features at the event, which dropped the puck Saturday for the first time.
"Hockey is more than a game to a lot of people — it is a lifestyle," Hannah said Saturday.
"It's more than a four-month sport. And a lot of times, people are afraid to ask questions about hockey. This is a safe place to come to and ask questions about the game.
"You can find out the answer to 'What am I getting into if my child wants to play hockey?'"
Balmer said the pair "plan is to have a larger show in Winnipeg next year and take it to other cities in Canada.
"We've already had interest in Vancouver and Ontario."
There is a Manitoba hockey exhibit at the expo and in a display case is the Avco Cup — the Stanley Cup of the former World Hockey Association. Nearby, in an aisle, is the uniform of former Montreal Canadiens hockey great Ken Dryden. You can pick up a stick and take a slap shot against targets in a net.
Holding a Floorball stick and chugging down a carton of chocolate milk, 11-year-old Tyson Vouriot was chomping at the bit to get back in the rink.
"I like the competition in hockey," Vouriot said. "I'd love to play in the NHL some day."
Vouriot's dad, Rob, said his son has been playing organized hockey since he was five.
"I like hockey," he said. "Hockey is great because as you get older, you can find your path in hockey. It could be the NHL, it could be university, and it could be getting together with the guys to play. It's all good."
Ryan Hrankowski didn't think his 11-year-old daughter, Raya, would step into the floorball rink, but she was interested.
"We wanted to check it out," he said. "She has been playing hockey for a few years.
"I playing hockey growing up. I'm a typical Canadian — I love hockey."
Kim Davis, commissioner of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, said June is one of the best times of the year to hold a hockey-type trade show.
"During the season we would be too busy," he said. "The off-season is the best time to have it."
Sunday is the final day of the Expo, and it is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are available at the door at the convention centre and are $9 with children under 18 free. A family pack of two adult tickets is $15.
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.
The Winnipeg Free Press invites you to share your opinion on this story in a letter to the editor. A selection of letters to the editor are published daily.
Letters must include the writer’s full name, address, and a daytime phone number. Letters are edited for length and clarity.