As we are all well aware the NHLPA did not agree to the terms set out by the NHL and last Thursday’s deadline came and went. Which means more cancelled games, and the realization that there really might not be an NHL season. In the wake of this disappointing weekend, quite a few state side NHLers decided to play for charity. Yesterday evening at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota 30 players played in honor of Defending the Blue Line, in front of 3,000 hockey hungry fans! Defending the Blue Line is a great charity that assists military families pay associations fees, provide equipment and put on fundraiser to ensure that the children of those families can suit up and play.
There was one Los Angeles King in the lineup, defensemen Davis Drewiske. Among the non-Kings in the lineup on Sunday; Zach Parise Minnesota Wild, Keith Ballard Vancouver Canucks, Jack Hillen Washington Capitals, Stu Bickel New York Rangers, James van Riemsdyk Toronto Maple Leafs, Erik Johnson Colorado Avalanche, Blake Wheeler Winnipeg Jets, Kyle Okposo New York Islanders, Paul Martin Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan Carter New Jersey Devils, Ryan Suter Minnesota Wild, Dustin Byfuglien Winnipeg Jets, and quite a few more.
Charity games such as these are fun for both the players and the fans, and everyone is than involved in raising money for a great cause. These are the moments that show all of us the NHL and NHLPA included, that this is more than just a game! It’s also great because you get to see the families that benefit from this cause have a blast as well as the players, that are itching to play in front of a crowd. It’s important to remember what really matters and that is the kids playing this great game that look up to those playing in the NHL. Right now the league is not setting a great example, but hopefully soon everything will be figure out, and we can see these guys back on their home ice!