Team Jamaica made hockey history as the first Caribbean nation to become associate members of the IIHF. Sportsnet was there to cover their on-ice debut led by their Head Coach Graeme Townshend, who was the first Jamaican-born player in the NHL.
Jamaica’s goal is to field a men’s hockey team at the Winter Olympics in the next 20 years, according to the Toronto Star.
“If we can pull this off, you’re looking at an inspiring story and the idea that anything is accomplishable if you put your mind to it,” Graeme Townshend, the head coach and first Jamaican-born player in the NHL for the Bruins, Islanders and Senators in the 1990s, told the newspaper. “If Jamaica can get a team in the World Championships or the Olympics, that’s like a miracle. It’s something that’s so outlandish that I think it actually might work.”
Jamaica, known for competing in bobsled in the Winter Olympics, has a long way to go. The nation does not have an indoor ice rink, according to the newspaper.
Several current NHL players have Jamaican ties, including Montreal Canadiens star defenseman P.K. Subban, whose father moved from Jamaica to Canada at age 11. Subban represents Canada internationally.
Via www.sportsnet.ca and olympictalk.nbcsports.com