Philadelphia, PA, July 9 – Jeff Bukantz, Chairman of Team USA for the 19th Maccabiah Games, along with Ice Hockey Chairs Phil Pulley and Devra Schorr, today announced that former NHL star and U.S. Olympian Mathieu Schneider will serve as the Director of Maccabi USA Ice Hockey for the upcoming Maccabiah Games to be held in Israel, July 2013.  During his 20-year NHL career, Schneider played 1289 games with ten different teams, scoring 233 goals and totaling 743 points. He is the all-time leading Jewish scorer in NHL history and was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in April 2000.  Schneider won the Stanley Cup in 1993 with the Montréal Canadiens and has played internationally as a member of the United States Junior and Senior National Teams, as well as for the U.S. Team at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

“I’m thrilled to be involved with Maccabi USA and working on this exciting project,” Schneider said. “My experiences representing the United States in international competition have been among the highlights of my career and I’m very much looking forward to helping put the best possible teams of Jewish ice hockey players together to represent the United States at next summer’s Maccabiah Games in Israel.”

Schneider retired from the NHL in 2010 and continued his career long involvement with the NHL Players’ Association when he accepted a position as a special assistant to Executive Director Donald Fehr.  He will bring his extensive experience to Maccabi USA where he will assist the hockey chairs in overseeing all aspects of Maccabi USA’s hockey program for the 19th World Maccabiah Games in July, 2013.  The United States will be sending teams to compete in the Juniors (birth years 1995 to 1998 – 97/98 with conditions), Open (19 years old and up), and Masters (40 years old and up) divisions at the Games.

Schneider will have specific responsibility for overseeing the recruitment of coaches, player tryouts and the selection of athletes for the USA Men’s Teams, as well as serving as a spokesperson for Maccabi USA Ice Hockey.  He will be assisted in his role by an advisory board made of current and former professional players and others with strong ties to the game of ice hockey.

“As a Stanley Cup Champion and Olympian who had a distinguished two-decade career in the NHL, Mathieu will bring prestige, knowledge, experience and excitement to the USA 19th World Maccabiah Games Ice Hockey program,” said Jeff Bukantz, General Chairman, USA 19th World Maccabiah Games Organizing Committee. “In his role as Director of Maccabi USA Ice Hockey, Mathieu is a formidable and respected presence who will not only focus on our team’s success, but to make sure the athletes enjoy the overall experience.”

Tryouts for all three divisions of the USA Hockey Teams will take place August 17th – 19th in the Philadelphia area.  All interested Jewish athletes must complete an application available at maccabiusa.com prior to the tryouts.  For specific information regarding eligibility, please contact Maccabi USA Ice Hockey Co-chairs Phil Pulley atphilpulley@philadelphiarevolution.net or Devra Schorr at devraschorr@philadelphiarevolution.net.

About the organization:

Maccabi USA (MUSA) is a federally-recognized not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs.  The organization is the official sponsor of the United States Team to the World Maccabiah Games, the Pan American Maccabi Games and the Maccabi competitions in Europe and Australia, as well as a sponsor of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North America.  As the official Maccabi representative in the U.S., Maccabi USA supports Jewish athletic endeavors, enhanced by cultural and educational activities in the United States, Israel and throughout the Diaspora.

MUSA develops, promotes and supports international, national and regional athletic-based activities and facilities.  It strives to provide Jewish athletes the world over the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings.  MUSA supports programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish Continuity, Zionism and Excellence in Sport.  Maccabi USA Builds Jewish Pride Through Sports.

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