Good times with the boys
Becoming a billet is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring a young man into your home and create an everlasting relationship amongst your family. The Nighthawks believe in two primary attributes when it comes to building our first roster: character and compete. We believe character never compromises, and the truly special people with whom we’re surrounding ourselves on and off the ice will have the internal drive to compete each and every day.
If you have further questions about billeting or you're interested in learning more, please contact our Billet Coordinator Gail Chornoboy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Billeting a junior hockey player is rewarding but demanding at the same time. These players are encouraged to take responsibility for their personal development, but they’re still young and excited to be away from home. They’ll be hungry for guidance (and food) and an understanding voice that’s not their coach. They’ll be trusting and they’ll work to earn your trust and respect as well. At the end of the day, most billet families exit the experience with a new member of the family for years to come.
What if I go on vacation?
This is a common situation. Junior hockey players are not pets, they’re capable of feeding themselves (most of the time). If you’re going on holidays during the season then it comes down to your comfort and trust as well as the understanding of hockey ops. Older players are usually fine on their own as a lot of them have billeted with other teams before. Regardless of your concern, we’ll work with you to find a solution.
What do I get out of this?
The team will provide you with a monthly stipend to assist with the cost of food, which doubles if you bring two players into your home. Junior hockey players are hungry, and this might not cover all of your grocery expenses, which is an important reality to be aware of before you commit to billeting. The team will also provide home game VIP passes for homes with one player and three for homes with two players. These will be good for every regular season and playoff game during the time your billet child is with you.
What if my billet child gets traded?
This is a reality of junior hockey across the country. The players are made aware of this possibility early in their junior tenure, but it’s still a shock when it happens. Trades are made solely for the betterment of the team. It’s important to understand that the Nighthawks are loyal to the team and the town of Niverville. Often players get traded because they’re unhappy with their situation and there’s potential to play more on a different team. It’s difficult because families get very attached to their billet brothers. Some players are here for a good time, not a long time, and these situations are out of their control and out of your control as a potential billet family.
Who sets the rules for the players?
The rules of the house always overrule the rules of the team. Our culture allows for some freedom for the players to enjoy the company of their teammates as long as intentions are communicated to the coaches and management. Junior hockey in a small town on the prairies is a positive, life-altering experience for these players, and we want them to create lasting memories, but we’re also bringing in a team of players focused on getting better every day and, ultimately, winning. A healthy process will yield healthy results, and there’s nothing healthier than a group of teammates who works and plays for each other.
What does a normal schedule look like?
Sample schedule, non-game days
- 9-10am: arrival at rink
- 11am - 1pm: practice
- 1 - 3pm: workout/meetings
- Evenings: minor hockey practices, volunteer hours, school visits, rest
- 10am: arrival at rink for meetings and stretch
- 11:00am - noon: practice
- Home for pregame meal/nap
- 3pm - 5pm: arrival at rink or bus for game
- 7:00pm: puck drop
- 11pm - 12pm: arrive home after home games (road games will be later)
When are the players here?
Players begin arriving in late August. Players who make the team out of training camp will require homes beginning in the middle of September. The national Junior A championship occurs in mid-May each season, so that’s the latest a player would stay in your home. That’s the ultimate goal, so if they’re still in your basement in May then we’re doing something right!
What am I responsible for?
Feeding the player, supporting, and being a fan. You are never responsible for approaching hockey ops about anything. It is the player’s responsibility to do their job. You don’t need to hold their hands or babysit. This is called the privilege of personal responsibility. Some players will have cars, some will want to live with a teammate, some will want to live alone. It’s important for us to match players with the right families. Young families who bring in a billet brother bond very quickly (which makes the aforementioned reality of trades even more difficult), but this is also a person who can help with baby-sitting, homework, and tasks around the house. You are also encouraged, but not responsible for, helping your billet son learn the value of communication. If they’re not going to be home for dinner, they need to tell you. Communication can slip through the cracks, but it’s up to the player to build a relationship with his billet family.