THUNDER BAY – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) is pleased to announce that the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund will be donating 120 complete sets of brand new hockey equipment to 11 minor hockey organizations in the Thunder Bay area as part of the Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada celebration. With support from local NHL Players of Thunder Bay, ON (Alex Auld, Robert Bortuzzo, Chris Porter, Taylor and Tom Pyatt, Patrick Sharp, and Eric, Marc and Jordan Staal), this NHLPA Goals & Dreams donation will provide 120 children in the receiving minor hockey associations (listed below) with the opportunity to play the game that would have otherwise not been possible.
The Players’ equipment donation, valued at more than $60,000, will be featured during Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada on CBC on Saturday, February 11th in a live satellite interview between Ron MacLean (in PEI) with brothers Eric Staal (in Montreal) and Jordan Staal (in Pittsburgh). NHLPA Goals & Dreams representatives will join Henry Staal in Thunder Bay, ON to celebrate the donation and participate at a remote location for Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada on CBC.
“All NHL players are proud of where they come from and the guys from Thunder Bay are no different,” said Eric Staal, NHLPA member and captain of the Carolina Hurricanes. “It really is fantastic that the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund is helping out grassroots hockey in the Thunder Bay community with this generous equipment donation. Being able to highlight both this donation, and my hometown, during Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada makes it extra special.”
“Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada is a celebration of the great game of hockey and we know that this equipment donation will make a difference in the lives of the children receiving it,” added Devin Smith, Chairman of NHLPA Goals & Dreams. “We are excited to be helping families in Thunder Bay and we are very pleased with the reaction of the community, and the players. This is another great example of how NHL Players, through their Association, are giving back to hockey at the grassroots level.”
As proud a sponsor of Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada on CBC, Scotiabank will host a private banquet on Friday, February 10th at Murillo Hall to thank the minor hockey associations in Thunder Bay for their continued efforts in providing local children with the opportunity to play the great game of hockey. Scotiabank will also make a generous donation of $5,000 to the Norwest Minor Hockey Association in honour of the Staal family and their continued support of the minor hockey program.
Also helping to make this donation possible is Source For Sports, which will facilitate the distribution of the 120 sets of equipment to the 11 minor hockey associations through the local Thunder Bay sports retailer, Dave Wilson Sporting Goods.
Thunder Bay Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada weekend festivities will also include indoor and outdoor hockey games, barbecue and bonfire at the Norwest Hockey Arena on Friday evening (5:00 – 6:30pm) followed by a 3-on-3 tournament at the Thunder Bay Christian School on the “Staal rink” on Saturday afternoon (3:30 – 6:30 PM). A portion of CBC’s television broadcast will air live from the “Staal rink” during this time.
In 1999, the NHLPA launched the Goals & Dreams fund as a way for the players to give something back to the game they love. Over the past 12 years, more than 60,000 deserving children in 25 countries have benefited from the players’ donations of hockey equipment. NHLPA Goals & Dreams has donated more than $20-million to grassroots hockey programs, making it the largest program of its kind. For more information on the NHLPA, please visit www.nhlpa.com.
Recipient hockey organizations in Thunder Bay of NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund equipment donations:
* 10 sets – Current River Recreation Hockey Association
* 10 sets – Grandview Recreational Hockey Association
* 10 sets – Knights of Columbus Minor Hockey Association
* 5 sets – Neebing Minor Hockey Association
* 5 sets – Northwood Hockey League
* 15 sets – NorWest Minor Hockey Association
* 15 sets – Port Arthur Minor Hockey Association
* 15 sets – Thunder Bay Elks Hockey Association
* 20 sets – Thunder Bay Minor Hockey Association
* 15 sets – Thunder Bay Womens Hockey Association
* 10 sets – Westfort Hockey Association