Feb 17, 2013, 12:12 PM EST
Today is Hockey Day in America, an all-day celebration of the sport throughout the United States. NBC will air nine hours of live coverage across its networks; here at PHT, we’re taking a look at stories of hockey’s impact across the country.
One of the events lost to the NHL lockout was the annual Winter Classic, which was to be held in Detroit on New Year’s Day.
While the Red Wings and Maple Leafs will now have to wait until 2014 to lace ‘em up outdoors at Michigan Stadium, the idea of playing outdoors spurred one young hockey fan (and player) to do a great thing for charity — this season.
Eight-year-old Christopher John, a player in a Tier 1 league in New Jersey, was inspired to make sure he and his teammates had a Winter Classic of their own if the NHL wasn’t going to play one.
Only this time, they were going to do it to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy, as John Schiumo of NY1.com reported.
“I was at home talking about hockey with my dad, and I was like, ‘Hey, it would be a great thing to come up with our own Winter Classic because we could raise money for Hurricane Sandy victims,’” John said.
“A lot of people lost things that they really loved, like pictures and toys and all that type of stuff,” John said. “I felt sad for the people because they lost a lot.”
John’s team, the North Jersey Avalanche, set up a game against another team affected by the storm, the Long Island Royals. With both of their home areas in tatters thanks to the hurricane, they set their sights on playing outdoors in Central Park.
The players all worked to raise pledges and gain interest in the game by spreading the word about the event.
Little did they know how far the word would get.
On Dec. 23, 2012, their dream became a reality as the teams squared off right smack in the middle of Manhattan, with a couple of famous fans in attendance to help them raise money.
“When we had the opportunity to see these kids play and say ‘hi’ to them, it was a no-brainer for us,” said Hagelin. “We got to go in the locker room to meet the kids on both the teams.
“Both teams were really excited to play the game, and they seemed happy to meet us.”
That day, the teams combined to raise $12,000 for victims of Hurricane Sandy and since then they’ve helped raise another $13,000.
Avalanche coach Tom Duhamel was moved by what the kids did to raise so much money, as Deborah Francisco of NHL.com reported.
“All the kids were affected by the hurricane in one way or another — whether it be as simple as they didn’t have school for a week or whether they had material losses,” Avalanche head coach Tom Duhamel said. “I live in Hoboken where there was $100 million of damage, the kids were affected, too, so they understand how important it was to do this.”
Hockey for healing. That’s not such a bad idea.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
Dec 5, 2013, 9:55 AM EST
They’re 0-for-5 now.
Dec 5, 2013, 8:58 AM EST
They’ve been shut out three times in five games.
Dec 5, 2013, 8:01 AM EST
Thursday’s collection of links.
Dec 5, 2013, 1:07 AM EST
The Calgary defenseman was sidelined since Oct. 21.
Dec 4, 2013, 11:55 PM EST
He notched a career-high four points Wednesday.
Dec 4, 2013, 11:29 PM EST
Head coach Patrick Roy hasn’t been happy with his work.
Dec 4, 2013, 11:03 PM EST
Detroit sees end of four-game winning streak.
Dec 4, 2013, 10:42 PM EST
Joining his Buffalo teammate Nikita Zadorov.
Dec 4, 2013, 10:16 PM EST
Montreal gets seventh win in eight games.
Dec 4, 2013, 9:24 PM EST
Dec 4, 2013, 9:05 PM EST
A handsome salary.
Dec 4, 2013, 8:30 PM EST
Rare good injury news for the Red Wings.
Dec 4, 2013, 7:12 PM EST
That’s almost $15 million in cap hits on the shelf.
Dec 4, 2013, 6:42 PM EST
Martin Marincin, Corey Potter and Anton Lander get called up.
Dec 4, 2013, 5:20 PM EST
“You’ve got to look at it: Who are your assets?”
Dec 4, 2013, 5:09 PM EST
Hard lines, Team Finland.
Dec 4, 2013, 4:37 PM EST
Tough blow for the reigning Vezina winner.
Dec 4, 2013, 4:14 PM EST
And as a bonus, their names rhyme.
Dec 4, 2013, 3:33 PM EST
Neither he nor Michal Handzus will suit up in Minnesota.
Dec 4, 2013, 3:07 PM EST
He’s missed the last three games.
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ 25
- Columbus puts Bobrovsky (groin) on IR, out 4-5 weeks 2
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Olympic odds, Russia’s defense, King Henrik’s new deal, Fire Cappy? and more 27
- With Lundqvist deal done, Sather faces tough questions 11
- King of New York: Rangers sign Lundqvist to seven-year, $59.5 million extension 41
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks 52
- Report: NHL set to finally pay Gretzky at least $7M 15
- Kadri out as falling Leafs start tough stretch vs. Sharks 9
- Wounded Wings: Zetterberg (back) out, joins Datsyuk on shelf 7
- Burrows out with broken jaw (Update: expected to miss at least four weeks) 22
- Video: Canucks’ Bieksa fights Rangers’ Boyle, then kicks Boyle’s helmet (52)
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks (52)
- King of New York: Rangers sign Lundqvist to seven-year, $59.5 million extension (41)
- Panthers announced attendance Tuesday night lowest since 2008 (37)
- Islanders embarrassed in fifth consecutive loss (33)