About the 2010 Conference

The 2010 conference was held at the Adams Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo, New York and included keynote and concurrent sessions, paper presentations, readings, and a fun shinny game with closing social reception at the Pearl Street Bar and Grill.

Who Were Our Keynote Speakers?

Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly is the Executive Director of College Hockey, Inc., whose mission it is to raise the profile of U.S. college hockey among prospective student athletes. He is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Toledo College of Law. Prior to taking on his current role, Paul was Executive Director of the NHL Players’ Association, representing the 740 NHL players. He was the prosecutor from the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for bringing Alan Eagleson to justice for committing fraud and embezzlement against the NHLPA members. A trial lawyer, he has represented past and present NHL players, including Bobby Orr and Marty McSorley. He resides in Needham, MA with his wife Lee and has four children. An avid amateur hockey player, he still plays in a weekly men’s league. He has also coached at various levels since the early 1980s, including 7 years as head coach at Needham HS.

Margot Page

In her first season as the head coach of the girls’ hockey program at Appleby College in Oakville, ON, Margot led Appleby to the championship game of the North American Prep Hockey Association tournament. She was the head coach of the women’s hockey team at Niagara University for 12 seasons (1997-2009), leading the team to the NCAA Frozen Four in 2002. She led Niagara to the CHA championship game on 4 occasions (2004, 2005, 2006, 2009) and was named CHA coach of the year in 2007. Margot has been a member of Canada’s National Women’s Team at 3 IIHF World Women’s Championships (1990, 1992, 1994), winning 3 gold medals. Most recently, she was head coach of the gold-medal-winning Canadian National Women’s Under-22 Team at the 2010 MLP Cup in Ravensburg, Germany. She also won an Olympic gold medal as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy. Margot and her husband Don live on a farm in Stevensville, ON, where they have six cats, four ducks, two horses and a turkey.

Larry Playfair

Larry Playfair played his junior hockey for the Portland Winter Hawks of the WCJHL from 1976 to 1978, where he established himself as a gritty, stay-at-home defender. In the 1978 Amateur Draft, the Buffalo Sabres had Playfair at the top of their list, selecting him 13th overall. After a stint with the Hershey Bears of the AHL, he settled into a role as the Sabres’ enforcer. Playfair was a hard-working player who scored occasionally, but always played a defensively sound game. He remained at the centre of the Sabres’ defense until midway through the 1985-86 season, when he was traded to the LA Kings. Playfair put in parts of 3 seasons on the west coast before returning to Buffalo where, because of a ruptured disk in his back, he was forced to retire in 1989. Since leaving the ice, Larry has worked as a color analyst for Sabres’ broadcasts. He is currently the President of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association, an organization that gives back to the community that supported Sabres players so well during their playing days. The BSAA sponsors a scholarship program for worthy students in the Niagara region and a wide variety of charitable causes. In addition to this work, Playfair has been active as a youth hockey coach and promoter of the game, on both sides of the Canadian-American border.

Who were our Readers?

Randall Maggs

Randall Maggs is the author of Timely Departures (poetry, 1994), and co-editor of two anthologies pairing Newfoundland and Canadian poems with those of Ireland. He is artistic director of Newfoundland’s March Hare festival of music and literature, and taught literature at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University, Corner Brook, Newfoundland.  Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems, his second poetry collection, won the Winterset Award, the E. J. Pratt Poetry Prize, and the Kobzar Literary Award. The book was launched at the Hockey Hall of Fame. One of his primary sources for this work was his brother Darryl, who had an eleven-year career in the NHL and WHA.

Brian Kennedy

Brian Kennedy, PhD, teaches literature and writing classes at Pasadena City College in California.  A transplanted Canadian, he has found his true voice writing about hockey.  His stories appear in two recent books, Growing Up Hockey and Living the Hockey Dream.  The former tells the story of a third-line right winger’s journey from worshipping the Montreal Canadiens as a kid to covering the NHL. The latter uses Kennedy’s voice to profile people from around the hockey world, both superstars and those who exist on the fringes of the game.  Hull, Dionne, Gretzky, and others appear alongside minor-leaguers, broadcasters living out their hockey dreams, and others for whom hockey dreams have come true in ironic ways.

Who Organized the Conference?

The following players comprised the team who put together the fifth iteration of this showcase of fine hockey writing and talk. We’re pleased to say that most of them would miss the birth of their first child to play in the conference shinny game!

Conference Co-Chairs

  • Andrew Holman, Department of History & Program in Canadian Studies, Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, MA, USA
  • Julie Stevens, Department of Sport Management, Brock University, St Catharines, ON, Canada

Conference Organizing Committee

  • Carly Adams, Department of Kinesiology & Physical Education, University of Lethbridge, AB, Canada
  • Jamie Dopp, Department of English, University of Victoria, BC, Canada
  • Colin Howell, Centre for the Study of Sport & Health, Gorsebrook Research Institute, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, NS, Canada
  • Don Morrow, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
  • Lorraine Oak, College of Arts & Science (Canadian-American Studies), University at Buffalo, The State University of New York (SUNY), USA
  • Shawn O’Rourke, Department of Sport Administration, Canisius College, Buffalo, NY, USA
  • Maura Rosenthal, Department of Movement Arts, Health Promotion & Leisure Studies, Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, MA, USA

Funding Partners

Click here for 2010 Hockey Conference Program.