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A letter of thanks

Dear former players, Coaches, Managers, and Board Members,

It is with mixed feelings that I write this message to bid a farewell to the Winnipeg East Railcats AA Hockey program.  As we are closing this chapter in our hockey journey, I assure you that your influence will continue to echo throughout the game of hockey for years to come.

The years you have devoted to the Railcats organization have left a permanent mark on all of us.  You were the backbone of our success and the pillar of strength in times of adversity.  Your commitment to our shared mission and your tireless efforts towards the development and betterment of our players were instrumental in shaping the path forward for our program.

To our former players, through grit and determination, you not only honed your skills but showcased the true spirit of sportsmanship.  Your passion has made us cheer, and your teamwork has taught us the importance of unity, both on and off the ice.  Cherish the time you spent with your teammates and hold on to the lifelong friendships you have forged.

To our dedicated coaches, you went beyond teaching our players the technical aspects of the game.  You were mentors in the truest sense, instilling invaluable lessons about perseverance, respect, and the pursuit of excellence. Your time, dedication, and commitment to the program will live forever with each player you have encountered.

Our managers, with your adept handling and organizational proficiency, you breathed life into the gears that made the Winnipeg East Railcats AA Hockey program function seamlessly.  

Our Board Members, you made tough choices and important decisions, always putting the Railcats organization, the players, and the love for the game of hockey first.  Your tireless commitment and selfless efforts are the standard set out for each of us moving forward.

The wonderful memories we have forged together and the challenges we have overcome will remain and integral part of the Winnipeg East Railcats AA Hockey program's history.  As we embark on a new journey, we hope that you carry these little bits of history with you and cherish them.

Remember, every end signifies a new beginning. This may be farewell but remember the Railcats organization will always be home to you.  We are optimistic that as we bid you goodbye, our paths will cross again.

Thank you for all you have contributed during your time with us, it truly has been a team effort, and we couldn't be more appreciative. 

We wish you well in whatever the future holds. May you always keep the spirit of hockey alive and continue to make an unforgettable impact in whatever you do.

Yours in Hockey,

Darren Chambers
Chairman, Winnipeg East Railcats AA Hockey 


Hockey Winnipeg Announces restructure of AA Hockey Programs Winnipeg, MB. 

It is with great pleasure to announce that Hockey Winnipeg, in conjunction with the Executive Members, have agreed in principle to restructure the current AA hockey programs for the 2024-25 hockey season. The creation of a new AA/AAA Council, co-chaired by Mike Segal and Russ Cassidy, will drive the development of this new AA/AAA hockey program. 

See attachment below for further details.

Program Outline for 2023-2024 Season

As a board, we strive to offer one of the premier AA hockey programs in Canada.  Our commitment to a philosophy of individual and team skill development is paramount to our program’s success.  This year, the Winnipeg East Railcats will continue to enhance this philosophy by implementing further development strategies that will see the teams at each age group collaborate to deliver high level position-specific instruction, along with the small area drills and conditioning required to compete at the AA level. The focus is not on winning, but rather on athletic growth, and preparing our young players for advancement in their hockey careers.

The seasonal training plan will include:

  • Skill development sessions for all players
  • Position-specific sessions
  • Checking/angling clinics
  • Preparation for body checking
  • Team concepts
  • Special teams play
  • Goaltender coach 

As an organization, we are focused on continually adjusting to the changes of how the game of hockey is delivered in Manitoba and believe that a well-adjusted approach to team composition and added innovation in the way skill development is achieved. This year we are focusing on position specific development and player advancement that will see the defensemen from both teams will be on the ice together with two of the goalies, and the next hour will see all of the forwards on the ice together with the other two goalies. These practices are designed to help each player learn the finer details of their position and provide the appropriate time needed to refine their craft.

Of course, this model isn’t possible without a committed group of coaches who are willing to work together with a primary focus being development for all players on and off the ice.  We are excited for the start of this season and look forward to seeing you around the rink.
        - Winnipeg East Railcats Board

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The Winnipeg East Railcats AA Hockey Program is a joint venture between 

St. Boniface Minor Hockey Association (SBMHA) and the Transcona Minor Hockey Association (TMHA). 

AA Hockey within the Hockey Winnipeg system consists of three levels of hockey:
U13- 11 and 12 year olds
U15 - 13 and 14 year olds
U18 - 15, 16 & 17 year olds 


Coaches are usually selected in the late spring/early summer and the organization will seek the best qualified coaches for each age category. Coaches will select the players for their team during the tryout process in the fall with players not making AA usually returning to the A level of hockey in either the SBMHA or the TMHA hockey areas.