TORONTO – December 2 - The Men’s Team Canada’s goal is to have a program that not only produces elite ball hockey players but also creates a culture that clearly defines what it means to play for Team Canada. We want to ensure that involvement with Men’s Team Canada creates a life experience so these athletes can assist in furthering the development of the game within their home centers. We also want to have these athletes to have the opportunity to continue to compete and represent Canada for years to come. It provides a solid bridge between the provincial, national and international programs to compete at the World Ball Hockey Federation (WBHF) Championships.
The World Ball Hockey Championships for the men’s division are held every two years (odd years) in various regions. The events are hosted in the month of May or June and for 2015 the men’s and women’s divisions will be hosted in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The National Ball Hockey Association of Canada (NBHAC) has recently named, Mr. Michael Futa as the Global Ambassador for the Men’s Team Canada program. Our ambassador has experienced the power of sport, and its ability to build essential life skills such as self-esteem, discipline, fair play, respect and teamwork.
A little about our Ambassador: Michael is a native of Toronto, Ontario and has participated in Ball Hockey from 1985 to the early nineties. He made am impact immediately with the Network Realty Stars winning the scoring title in Junior and leading his team to the championship with a hat trick in the league final. His first appearance in the Provincials was that year where the Downsview program sent all all star team to represent the league and they again came away with a championship. He was also on the Provincial and Nationals Champions with the Maple Precast Eagles (89), Midas Top Guns (91), Fernview Rangers (92). He was inducted into the Ontario Ball Hockey Association Hall of Fame in 2000.
Michael is in his seventh full season with the Kings as Vice President of Hockey Operations and Director of Player Personnel. The Los Angeles Kings have won two Stanley Cups in 2011-12 & 2013-14. Futa came to the Kings after five successful seasons as General Manager of the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), where he was named OHL Executive of the Year in 2005. The Attack advanced to the post-season in all five seasons with Futa at the helm, and high profile players like Trevor Lewis (17th overall, 2006 NHL Entry Draft) and Wayne Simmonds (second round, 61st overall, 2007 NHL Entry Draft) played for Owen Sound during Futa’s tenure there. Futa has also served as Director of Team Ontario’s Under-17 program for three seasons, and his Under-17 team won the gold medal at the Canada Games in 2007.
Prior to his time with the Attack, Futa served as both an Assistant Coach and Assistant General Manager with the Oshawa Generals (OHL) for two seasons (1999-01). The native of Toronto also served first as an Assistant Coach and then as a Head Coach of Toronto St. Michael’s Majors (OHL) from 1997-00. Prior to that, he served as Head Coach and General Manager of the St. Michael’s Buzzers (Provincial Junior “A”).
Before turning to the coaching ranks, Futa played four seasons of professional hockey in Europe (two seasons in Germany and two seasons in Denmark). The former left wing also captained his team at York University, where he was also honored as the student who best combined academics and athletics at the school during his senior season.
For players interested in the MTC Program, players are encouraged to qualify for their provincial team(s) competing at the Nationals, because a player's ability is more effectively measured against the best competition available.
Ball Hockey…..IT IS OUR GAME!!