Commissioner named for junior hockey league | AspenTimes.com

Commissioner named for junior hockey league

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

The fledgling Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League has a commissioner.

Mike Gempeler, who spent time with Aspen Junior Hockey in the past, was named the commissioner of the new league this week. The Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League was granted formal approval from USA Hockey in December. The Junior A league will include the Aspen Leafs.

“Mike is a home-run hire,” said Shaun Hathaway, president of the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League and director of Aspen Junior Hockey. “His experience and commitment to advancing players align with the RMJHL mission, and his leadership and passion strengthen our ability to achieve our established goals.”

Gempeler is the founder and president of the US. Junior Development Program and the CCM Hockey Showcase.

The U.S. Junior Development Program is one of the top junior development programs in the United States for Bantam, Midget and Junior players.

The CCM Hockey Showcase annually features more than 400 players from 10 or more countries. The event is scouted by some 125 college and junior coaches.

“Having spent 15 years helping place players across the country in the various junior leagues via the USJDP Junior Prep Camp and CCM Hockey Showcase, I know there are a lot of talented players in Colorado,” Gempeler said. “It only seems fitting that we create a well-run, well-coached Junior A league right in their backyard.”

Hathaway said Gempeler has extensive entrepreneurial experience creating and growing sport-based companies.

“He … has a solid understanding of the game at the grass-roots level,” Hathaway said.

Gempeler helped coach professional and junior hockey in Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and Finland.

He founded Rocky Mountain Hockey Schools in 1996. From 1999-2002, Gempeler served as video coach for the University of Denver hockey team.

He played four years of college hockey at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota.

Hathaway said that as commissioner, Gempeler will mange the daily RMJHL business including all scheduling, marketing and disciplinary action.

“Mike brings a ton of experience and knowledge,” said RMJHL Vice President Angelo Ricci. “He has the expertise not only on the hockey side but on the business side of things.”

For more on the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League information, go to RMJHL.com.

dstrode@aspentimes.com


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