Ed Leippi and Bruce Morrison assess a group of Peninsula Minor Hockey players during scrimmage at Panorama.

Ed Leippi and Bruce Morrison assess a group of Peninsula Minor Hockey players during scrimmage at Panorama.

Retreads share their experience

A few hours in the fall relates to thousands of dollars saved in minor hockey registration.

A few hours in the fall relates to thousands of dollars saved in minor hockey registration.

The Sidney Retreads Hockey Club took over player assessments for the Peninsula Minor Hockey Association this year, saving the club thousands of dollars, and rediscovering the joy of youth hockey.

“We save upwards of $20,000,” said Dale Gordon, first vice president for PMHA. “They’re retired, they’ve got hockey knowledge and all still play the game. They’re not biased, that’s the key.”

In the past, the minor hockey association had to hire a company to provide assessors for the 480 kids to divvy up onto 29 teams.

“We are able to keep our fees down and keep kids playing hockey,” Gordon said.

“I love it. It’s fun to watch these little guys,” said Sidney Retread player Ed Leippi, his eyes skimming the ice as game-play shifted. “I should watch more of these games.”

Gaining spectators is a side effect Gordon says he’s seen among other assessors, who are now asking for schedules to catch a game or two this season.

“It works good for both sides,” said Patrick Hiebert, a hockey parent who brought the two groups together. “Minor hockey gets good people who know what they’re doing, and the old timers get to help out.”