The Transition Game

Welcome to The Transition Game, the beginning of a sustained effort by the GTHL to kickstart a positive shift in the culture of minor hockey in the Toronto area.

Our game faces many barriers.  Registration is down in the last decade, first generation Canadians have little interest in the game and the competition from other sports, such as basketball, soccer and tennis is intense.

The league held a conference, The Transition Game, on Nov. 16/17 that started the conversation.

Video Summary

Day 2 Vlog



Speakers include Scott Oakman (Executive Director, GTHL), John Doig (Executive Vice President, Retail Distribution, Scotiabank), Don West (President, GTHL), Kyle Dubas (General Manager, Toronto Maple Leafs), and Dr. Stephen Norris (performance consultant and sport scientist).


Tom Farrey (Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program)


Dr. Marco Di Buono (Associate Vice President of Programs & Operations at Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities), Kim Davis (Executive Vice President of Social Impact, Growth Initiatives & Legislative Affairs at the National Hockey League)


 Marlowe Stoudamire (Consultant, NHL)

PANEL 1 – Sport Culture 
Panel featuring Paul Carson (VP Hockey Development, Hockey Canada), Wayne McNeil (Co-Founder of the Respect Group), Dr. Laura Misener (Director, School of Kinesiology, Western University), and Scott McCain (CEO of St. John Sea Dogs, QMJHL)

 PANEL 2- Diversity and Inclusiveness 
Anastasia Bucsis (former Canadian Olympic speed skater, host of CBC Sports “Player’s Own Voice”), Steve Whitaker (Founder, Sport Wellness and Achievement Network, TDSB), Moezine Hasham (Founder, Hockey 4 Youth), Lali Toor (Founder, Apna Hockey, South Asian based hockey network).


Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas lends support to summit designed to change minor hockey in Toronto
-Sean Fitz-Gerland, The Athletic

The Transition Game
-GTHL President Don West, Fall 2019 Issue of Breakout Magazine

Playing Together
-Study by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship

Getting Kids Active in Sports
-Tom Farrey, The Aspen Institute

Why People Participate in Sports
-Government of Canada

A Portrait of Canadian Youth
-Stats Canada

How Much Are Parents Willing to Pay to Put Their Kids in Sports?

Swimming is the Most Popular Extracurricular Sport

Speakers & Panelists


Brenda Irving is considered a pioneer in sports broadcasting. She helped pave the way for the wave of female sportscasters today covering male-dominated sports. Brenda was the first female rinkside reporter on Hockey Night in Canada and has also been the play-by-play voice for CBC at 10 Olympic Games. The 4-time Canadian Screen Award Nominee has been a sportscaster for more than 30 years. Maybe most importantly, Brenda is a hockey mom whose son played in the GTHL.

2018 Headshot - Dubas (00000002)Kyle Dubas was named the 17th General Manager in the Club’s history on May 11, 2018 after originally joining the Leafs as Assistant General Manager in July of 2014.

In his role as Assistant General Manager, Dubas held multiple responsibilities including player personnel, managing the club’s player development department and farm system, managing the organizations Research & Development department, and overseeing the organization’s top prospects as General Manager of the Maple Leafs’ AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. In his four seasons as General Manager of the Marlies, the team compiled a record of 190-90-20-4 and captured the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as AHL regular season champion in 2015-16 and 2017-18. In 2017-18, the Marlies reached 50 wins for the third time in team history (2007-08, 2015-16), set the League record for most road wins in a season (30) and earned the franchise’s first Calder Cup championship.

Before joining the Maple Leafs, Dubas served as General Manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the Ontario Hockey League for three seasons from 2011-12 to 2013-14. During his tenure, his teams finished with an overall record of 109-76-7-12, which included two post-season berths and a West Division title in 2013-14. From 2011 through 2014, the Greyhounds had 14 players drafted to the National Hockey League; second most of all OHL teams over that span.

marolowe3312Marlowe Stoudamire is from Detroit and is highly successful business strategist, which is one of the reasons he was hired by the NHL.  His job is to make connections between the NHL teams and the culture of cities where they operate.  He does way more than that, which you can see if you go to his bio.  He will be at The Transition Game because he’s a guy who might just change the way you think.



Kimberly Davis is a trailblazer and change agent, positively disrupting the financial 2019 NHL Executive Portraitindustry and wide world of sports over her illustrious 30+ year career. Well-regarded as a resilient and visionary leader, Davis brings change to life through sound strategic planning and strong organizational development. She is an inspirational storyteller, an architect of coalitions and a culture builder, with a style that empowers others and a belief that successful business contributes to healthy, vibrant communities.

Currently, as Executive Vice President of Social Impact, Growth Initiatives & Legislative Affairs at the National Hockey League, Davis has set the League on a new course to attract, retain and develop fans, with a specific focus on multi-cultural audiences. Reporting to Commissioner Gary Bettman, she is positively influencing and impacting the decisions of 32 NHL Club owners and executives relating to culture, youth participation and social impact, in an effort to improve access and availability of the sport and grow the League’s business for the long-term.


Dr. Stephen Norris is a leading performance consultant and sport scientist currently working with a select group of international organizations engaged in the performance of sport, business, and military objectives. Specific projects currently (or recently) involve; Hockey Canada, USA Hockey, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), the Coaching Association of Canada, Golf Canada, the Professional Golfers Association of America (The PGA), LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, and several sport development & corporate speaking engagements worldwide.

Tom Farrey is executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program, the mission of which is toTom Farrey mug convene leaders, facilitate dialogue and inspire solutions that help sport serve the public interest. The program’s signature initiative is Project Play, which since 2013 has mobilized hundreds of organizations to build healthy communities through sports.

A pioneering journalist, Tom worked for 21 years with ESPN. His reports helped build the reputation of the Outside the Lines and won two Emmys, a Murrow, and in 2014 a duPont – ESPN’s first. He is author of the influential book, Game On: The All-American Race to Make Champions of Our Children.



siwE9PZB_400x400Dr. Marco Di Buono is the Associate Vice President of Programs & Operations at Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, where he oversees the planning, design and execution of programs intended to help children of all abilities in communities across Canada participate in sport and recreation.

Before joining Jumpstart, Dr. Di Buono spent three years as Vice President, Science, Research & Professional Education at the American Heart Association, where he was responsible for the Association’s $170 million research enterprise and oversaw the development of clinical practice guidelines and professional education resources.

Dr. Di Buono holds a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Toronto and has a history of advocating for the health and well-being of children and youth.

Dr. Di Buono currently sits on the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. He is a very proud father to three kids who keep him active with an abundance of sport and play.

anatasiaTwo-time Canadian Olympic speed-skater.  The only North American athlete to come out as being gay before the 2014 Olympics in Russia.  Host of the CBC Sports podcast “Player’s Own Voice”. Anastasia Bucsis has spent a lifetime in sport and she knows what it feels like to be celebrated and to feel rejected.  Read her story here. She will be a panelist at the Transition Game.






CLICK HERE to see a full agenda for November 16.


Contact Information

Event Information
Andy Shapiera
Coordinator, Sponsorship and Marketing
416.636.6845 x.235

Media Inquiries
Adrienne Middlebrook
Coordinator, Marketing and Communications
416.636.6845 x.234



Thank you to all of our sponsors for their contirbutions to the GTHL Summit.


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