The warm fuzzies

The time of year is upon us to think of others. Regardless of political or religious beliefs and even team affiliations, let’s put our venom aside for the greater good. Times are tough and money is tight, but it is the small gestures that truly matter. Many hockey organizations have charities and fundraisers to benefit their community; from food drives to collections on behalf of Toys for Tots. Support your local hockey club and help out any way you can.

Thank you.

CBC to Air NHLPA Goals & Dreams Special

TORONTO (December 17, 2009) – In time for the holidays, CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada will air a one-hour television special on Saturday, December 19th at 1:00 p.m. ET, documenting the recently completed National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) Goals & Dreams “10 countries in 10 days” charity tour, a tour which celebrated the NHLPA Goals & Dreams’ 10th anniversary by giving a total of 360 complete sets of new hockey equipment – worth over $180,000 – to economically disadvantaged children in local grassroots hockey programs along the way.

CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada sent a camera crew on the road to capture the exciting and meaningful tour, in its entirety, for the television special.

This world tour featured a team of P.J. Stock, CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada studio analyst and former NHL player; Rob Zamuner, former NHL player and NHLPA Goals & Dreams Ambassador; Devin Smith, NHLPA Goals & Dreams Chairman; and Matt Langen, NHLPA Goals & Dreams Program Manager. The “10 countries in 10 days” team began its whirlwind voyage to help many more deserving young children around the world play hockey on November 13th in Sweden, followed by stops in Finland, Russia, Latvia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bosnia, Germany, and the United States, before finishing at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on November 22nd.

On the road, the team was joined by other former NHL players in their home countries for local equipment donation ceremonies.

As part of the one-hour documentary on the NHLPA Goals & Dreams “10 countries in 10 days” tour, interviews are included with several former NHL players who participated on the tour: Pavel Bure, Peter Forsberg, Adam Graves, Arturs Irbe, Jyrki Lumme, Markus Naslund, Martin Rucinsky, Kevin Weekes, and more. Current NHL players Bruno Gervais and Jamal Mayers are also interviewed on the show, along with the inspiring young, Bosnian hockey player, Mici Hordzic, who also was part of a feature on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada and briefly appeared on-air with Ron MacLean and Don Cherry, one day prior to the tour’s finale.

“CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada has long supported grassroots hockey and the NHLPA Goals & Dreams program,” said Sherali Najak, Executive Producer of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. “The 10 countries in 10 days event empowered communities so more kids could play and enjoy hockey and sends a powerful message of how much our game means to the rest of the world.”

A highlight of the trip included a visit to Sarajevo, Bosnia, a city that remains affected by years of war and conflict. NHLPA Goals & Dreams donated equipment in that country to the Bosnia-Herzegovina Sports Foundation, a grassroots organization which began as a free ball hockey program designed to get youth off the streets.

“Partnering with CBC is a perfect way to tell the touching stories that our 10 countries in 10 days team experienced during our travels,” said Devin Smith, NHLPA Goals & Dreams Chairman. “In the past decade, NHLPA Goals & Dreams has donated more than $17 million to grassroots hockey in 22 countries, with more than 40,000 children having benefited from the donations. Visiting 10 countries in 10 days while giving more kids the chance to play hockey was a great way to celebrate the program’s 10th Anniversary and the holiday season.”

The one-hour television documentary will be aired nationwide on CBC during CBC Sports Weekend on Saturday, with narration from Stock and Scott Russell.