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Crowsnest NJHL team preparing for inaugural season

Crowsnest Crush owner Colin Grindle and Mayor Blair Painter at the NJHL game on Nov 4, 2023 to unveil the team's jersey for the next year's season.

Nicholas L. M. Allen

Jan 17, 2024

Crowsnest Crush owner shared his excitement ahead of the next upcoming NJHL showcase game on January 20.

The owner of the Crowsnest Crush Junior A Hockey team, Colin Grindle, shared his excitement with the Pass Herald ahead of the next upcoming NJHL showcase game on January 20.

“These showcase games are an important piece; develop that fan base and the first showcase game proved that Crowsnest Pass has been aching for some junior hockey,” said Grindle.

He also expressed hope there will be a “full barn” like the first NJHL game held in the Pass the past fall.

Looking ahead to next season, his hope for the inaugural season is a lofty one, bringing a championship home to Crowsnest Pass.

“I have had a couple franchises over the years and the one in our inaugural season we ended up winning the championship. It’s something that can certainly be done. It’s about recruiting early and getting the right coaching staff and getting a community behind you,” said Grindle.

In terms of coaching staff, Grindle has interviewed some candidates and is particularly impressed by one individual. However, he is also actively seeking local talent to join the team behind the bench, emphasizing the significance of community involvement in the success of the franchise.

The Crowsnest Crush plans to hold its camp for prospective players in September for the upcoming season, welcoming individuals aged 16 to 21. Notably, the NJHL allows 21-year-olds to play, providing an extended opportunity for players to pursue their hockey dreams beyond the age limit set by other junior hockey leagues.

Grindle also spoke about the team’s commitment to player development, sharing, “We’ve got guys to the NCAA and college level down in the US as well as some schools in Canada. And then on the pro level, we’re strongly tied to the FHL, the SPHL, and the ECHL. There’s not a lot of guys that would go from junior right to an ECHL level, but you never know. “

Community involvement is a key focus for the Crowsnest Crush. As part of their community-driven approach, the team plans to actively engage with local events and support minor hockey. Grindle announced a special promotion for minor hockey players, saying, “Any minor hockey player that comes to the rink wearing your jersey gets into the game for free.”

The Crowsnest Crush is also set to introduce unique initiatives during the season, including special events, promotional nights, and involvement in community activities. Merchandise featuring the Crush’s logo will be available at the upcoming showcase games, with a wider selection expected as the season approaches. The beer garden will be open from 6:30 p.m. until the end of the game.

Grindle mentioned the team’s active search for corporate sponsorship, billet families, and volunteers. Interested individuals can contact the team at for more information. He announced ongoing sponsorship commitments from local businesses, including Northback and Home Hardware.

There are two remaining showcase games this season with the first taking place on January 20. Grindle said the games promise high-quality, fast-paced, and hard-hitting Junior A hockey, providing fans with a taste of the thrilling season to come. 

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