The information below was gathered, with a lot of hard work, by Bev MacEwen, our Office Manager until 1999, from various sources. If you know more details or can correct any errors, please contact the NMHA webmaster.
In 1965, Nepean wasn't a city yet, and is now (2001) part of the City of Ottawa. The Nepean Hockey Association was formed from basically four existing leagues (Bell's Corners, City View, Greenbelt and Manordale) in the Township of Nepean. Hockey was played on outdoor rinks (like Brooklane and Meadowlands Public Schools), and at the Uplands Arena (if you've been there, you KNOW how old it is!).
Earlier, in 1962, a committee began planning to get indoor arenas built in the area. Registration fees were at an "all time" high of $2-$3 per player in Bell's Corners (max. $6 for a family). City View charged $2.50 per player, which included insurance and practice ice. Greenbelt was the most expensive ($120 PER TEAM) because they played at Uplands...at least until the ice plant "packed it in" in Jan/63.
By 1964, Cityview/Greenbelt were contributing $0.50 per week to help pay for Uplands ice (The ice plant was repaired). Manordale held its banquet, in April 64, at the RA Centre, and the guest speaker was Brian Smith(Smitty from CJOH fame who sadly passed away in 1995). He had just come back from playing a year in Austria. In May 64, the Greenbelt league was about to be disbanded, but it never happened. That same month City View held its final hockey meeting of the year. A guest, John Wilson, attended to introduce a new hockey school being planned for August in Hull. It was called the Eastern Canadian Hockey School, and would be run by Bobby Hull and Ken Warram. Marcel Pronovost and Johnny Wilson would teach defence. Gump Worsley would handle the goaltenders. The N.Y. Ranger coach, Red Sullivan, would also attend.
By June of 1964, fundraising for the new arenas began in earnest. The City View Community Association canvassed for $5.00 per household. The arena fundraising chairman, Gilbert Greenberg, set a goal of $60,000! Donations began (Irving Greenberg - $1500, Orr Unsworth - $1000, William Teron - $1000, Shoppers City IGA - $500). Arena plans were drawn up and tenders called for in January of 1965. Merivale and Bell Centennial Arenas were opened in the fall of 1965. The Sportsplex was built in 1973 and Walter Baker was last, in the 80's.
On October 27, 1965, the new Nepean Hockey Association held its first Hockey Leadership course, with 70 attendees. Larry Larocque was appointed Head Consultant Coach by the new President, Keith Duke. The season began on November 13, 1965 with 900 players. By January 1966, we had 940 children playing on 60 teams in 6 divisions!
By the mid-1970's, there were 2400 players with an average of 20 players per team(more house league and less competitive teams than today). The number of players declined slightly in the 80's and 90's, but , with the new millennium, we again have over 2400 players on 130+ teams (including Initiation, House League and Competitive) in 7 divisions.
President - Keith Duke
VP - Doug Sanders
VP - Norm McLeod
Secretary - Dick Jennings
Treasurer - Harold O´Connor
Registrar - Webb Palmer
Members - John McTavish, Tom Foster
Statistician - Jack MacLean
Referee-in-Chief - Bill Rowe
1965-1973: Keith Duke
1973 - 1975: Lorne Read
1975 - 1985: Ray MacDonald
1985 - 1987: Tom Nimmo
1987 - 1989: Glenn Fleck
1989 - 1990: Brian Ford
1990 - 1992: Steve Dale
1992 - 1994: David Green
1994 - 1996: Bob Hallett
1996 - 2000: Bill Vankeeken
2000 - 2002: Ken Cierpicki
2002 - 2006: Bill Vankeeken
2006 - 2010: John Murray
2010 - 2014: Karen Russell
2014 - Present: Greg Clarke
"Stevie Y" played minor hockey in Nepean, after moving from B.C. His first competitive team was Atom A (not AA) where he was coached by Doug Peckett. From there, he shot through our system, played a year with the Nepean Junior A Raiders and then went to the Peterborough "Petes" Major Juniors. Steve recorded his first Junior A "hat trick" in the arena that now bears his name. He scored a goal in each period of the game, in a unique way (Short-Handed, Power Play and Unassisted). That´s our "Stevie Y".
When the Detroit Red Wings won the 1997 Stanley Cup, a decision was made to rename the Nepean Sportsplex arena to the "Steve Yzerman Arena". Steve brought the Stanley Cup to Nepean for the ceremony. As usual, Steve was a"class act". He ensured that his family, former coaches and friends were personally greeted and had special seating.
In January 1999, after Detroit´s "back-to-back" Stanley Cup wins, the Nepean Raider Junior A Hockey Club retired Steve´s sweater in a special ceremony at the CJHL All-Star game, in the Steve Yzerman Arena. Steve still fondly remembers that year with the Junior A team, when he was 15 years old! He again brought the Stanley Cup, AND his Conn Smyth Trophy, from 1998.
Yes, we´re proud of Steve... he´s a role model for the kids playing today, and he is a part of the NMHA history!