It's that time of year again: Hockey Weekend Across America, the annual celebration of the sport in arenas around the continent. But for more than 50 youngsters who will descend on western New York, it signifies something much more important -- a chance to grow as hockey players and individuals.
The Buffalo Sabres
organization, in cooperation with Hasek's Heroes, will host the 2012 Willie O'Ree
Skills Weekend, bringing youth hockey standouts from organizations throughout North America together to test their skills, make new friends and prove once again that hockey is for everyone.
The players -- who will be recognized for their achievements on the ice, in the classroom and in the community -- include Kaseir Archie, who at 15 has been playing hockey for three years. The Philadelphia resident told NHL.com he "signed up for fun" at the prodding of a coach at local recreation center, but has since grown to love the game.