Sticks to Bricks: Turning Hockey Players to Skilled Trades Professionals

The Professional Hockey Players’ Association (PHPA) is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) and Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) to advance its Sticks to Bricks program, an initiative developed to help players for a post hockey career in the building trades.

Open to all current players as well as the PHPA Alumni Network, the program serves as a platform to connect players aspiring for a career in the building trades with local home building associations from across Canada. 

“This is an initiative that has been desired by our Membership for some time,” said PHPA Executive Director, Larry Landon.  “Working together, the Niagara Home Builders’ Association and Ontario Home Builders’ Association have been instrumental in this program coming together so quickly.  This is a huge win for all parties involved with both our current and former Members excitedly looking forward to building tomorrow together.”

“We are thrilled to be working with the PHPA and help serve our home builders with these hard working, coachable and team-oriented professional athletes,” said Chuck McShane, Executive Officer of the Niagara Home Builders’ Association (NHBA).  “Sticks to Bricks was the result of two Niagara-based associations – the PHPA and NHBA – coming together to find solutions to the challenges facing our members.  This is the solutions-based approach that makes Niagara a dynamic place to work and live.”

“Home builders and renovators across Ontario are experiencing a shortage of skilled trades.  This partnership is a great opportunity to connect potential workers with our employer-members across Ontario,” said OHBA CEO Joe Vaccaro.  “There are over 100,000 careers in the trades that need to be filled over the next ten years.  Partnerships like this with the PHPA have the potential to start addressing the skills shortage by connecting people to careers in residential construction.”

Troy Crowder, retired National Hockey League player and PHPA Alumni, has been working in the residential construction industry for over 10 years.  Troy credits the discipline he learned as a hockey player for his successful career transition.

“Hockey has a culture of teamwork and demanding the best out of people.  To be successful in hockey you need to be coachable, disciplined, and a team player, and those are the qualities that you need to build a career in the building trades. The Sticks to Bricks program is exactly what these hockey players need when they start looking for their next career and with the need for new tradespeople in home building and renovation, this is a great partnership.”

The Sticks to Bricks logo and brand elements was developed by M Style Marketing, which works with top brands from the sport and entertainment industry.  Players interested in learning more about the program may contact Steve Carney, Coordinator of the PHPA Career Enhancement Program.

About the PHPA

Since its inception in 1967, the Professional Hockey Players’ Association (PHPA) has continued to serve as an advocate of player interests.  Currently, the PHPA is the certified, U.S. National Labor Relations Board collective bargaining representative for over 1,600 players across 58 teams throughout the American Hockey League and ECHL.  Further, the PHPA continues to serve over 7,600 former PHPA Members through its Alumni Network.  Visit, follow the PHPA on Facebook (, Twitter (@thephpa), and Instagram (@thephpa).