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So outlandish it might just work: Hockey in Jamaica

Aug 24, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT


Call it “Cool Icings” if you want, but one former Toronto Maple Leafs skating coach is attempting to grow hockey in Jamaica to the point that they might compete in the Olympics, according to a fascinating story from the Toronto Star.

Graeme Townshend seems like the right man to do it as the first Jamaican-born player. He appeared in 45 NHL games spread over five seasons between the New York Islanders, Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators; he scored 10 points in that span. (His best season came in 1990-91 with Boston when he managed two goals, five assists and seven points … all career-highs.)

Townshend laid out his bold vision 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,” Townshend said.

“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.”

They might want to keep Disney in the loop on this one, just in case.

The NBC Olympics feed helps to kindle imaginations on such a subject:

  1. footballer4ever - Aug 24, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Jamaica today, the world tomorrow (chuckles). Obviously someone has been puffing and/or smoking the “good” stuff out there.

  2. westof1club - Aug 24, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    Talented pool of athletes that have found homes in many sports venues. If the Jamaican govt doesn’t steal investors’ resources in the next few years, there’s no reason to doubt kids on the island can successfully transition to ice hockey. PK being a stud doesn’t hurt, either.

    • anthj99 - Aug 24, 2014 at 6:48 PM

      Why cuz he’s African American? Racist. Afro America and Jamaicastan are two separate continents.

      • Hard to BeLeaf - Aug 25, 2014 at 2:48 AM

        “Why cuz he’s African American?”
        No, because his family moved to Canada from Jamaica. His parents were born there.

        Nope. Jamaican is not a race. It’s a nationality. By the way, you’re the only one who made race an issue.

        “Afro America and Jamaicastan are two separate continents.”
        Afro America is not a place. Neither is Jamaicastan for that matter. Since you don’t know ancestors of ‘African’ Americans and ‘African’ Jamaicans do originally come from the same continent. Take a wild guess which one!

  3. pigpen1013 - Aug 24, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    When I was a kid, I never would have imagined that so many talented hockey players would come from a place like California, but with the success of the franchises there, kids started playing the game and now I can’t imagine a league without those players.

    If hockey can catch on in Tampa Bay or Anaheim or Dallas or Carolina there is no reason it couldn’t catch on in Jamaica or anywhere else in the world. I think this is great.

    • ibieiniid - Aug 25, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      there’s nothing like going to the rink on a hot summer day. a built-in selling point

  4. vancouversportsbro - Aug 24, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Reminds me of Trinidad in that one mighty ducks movie

  5. bostoncarpenter - Aug 24, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    Anthj99, he’s not being a racist, PK suban parents emigrated to Canada from Jamaica.

  6. mcflower29 - Aug 24, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    black ppl and hockey

  7. frankiesweep - Aug 24, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    1st pick in 2016 draft will be from Arizona.

  8. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 24, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    While “off the wall”, do folks remember the Jamacian bobsledding team in the olympics a few years ago. They do very well in track.

    But cracking the Olympics? Perhaps more likely do that in soccer.

  9. Hard to BeLeaf - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:07 AM

    If the NHL is going to help Jamaica, they’ll have to send a team that has built up a tolerance. Colorado… you’re up! The California teams could go too… for medicinal purposes. Canada can send Vancouver.

  10. cliffatola - Aug 27, 2014 at 1:20 AM

    Bettman is already counting the money from their first 13 exhibition games.

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