Thought-provoking article by Swedish NHL hockey player on how different youth hockey can be.How We Play Hockey in Sweden | By Victor Hedman
If the fall and even winter season don't happen, which looks probable, what do we do with our time on the ice?
Fine tune skating skills. Find a figure skating coach and start working on footwork, USFSA moves in the field tests. Skating strength, flexibility, finesse, not just power.
Allowing creativity. Encouraging it.
Small-side scrimmages. 3x3 and 4x4. Encourage passing because social distancing. Make kids skate.
Play bandy. (Look it up.)
In team scrimmages, make contact penalties a double negative. Give players one-on-one against goalie for more kinds of penalties. Change it up each scrimmage. Make kids really think about what they are doing on the ice.
Give kids chance to play all positions in scrimmages (extra caution with older kids playing goalie, or don't allow). Play with old rules (as long as safe) like the two-line pass rule. Other old rules like switch sides or even players between teams when a goal is scored, or goalies can't drop to ice to make saves. For younger kids, let them ice the puck during penalty kills, see what that feels like in a game.
If school is not in building, have some early morning skates.
More practice, more creativity, fewer games has always been the wisdom for development of youth players. Now we get the chance to try it, to test it. Let's start focusing on the possibilities and see what happens.