In November 2005, the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players’ Association jointly selected the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation as the official children’s charity of the NHL and NHLPA. The partnership focuses on the Top Shelf Teammates program, a division of the Garth Brooks Teammates For Kids Foundation, which contributes financial resources to non-profit organizations that benefit children's health, education and inner-city services. As part of the program, NHL players contribute a pre-determined sum based on selected on-ice performance categories such as goals scored or team wins. Every dollar contributed by players is matched through an affiliation with Teammates for Kids donors, with 100% of the donations distributed to children's charities.
This League-wide alliance includes players from all 30 NHL Member Clubs and utilizes the League and Players’ Association’s full platform of marketing resources. During the 2006-07 season, more than 200 NHL players contributed to the Garth Brooks Teammates For Kids Foundation. Since its inception, more than $2.5 million has been donated by NHL players.
In January 2007, the NHL and NHLPA announced a League-wide jersey auction to benefit the Garth Brooks Team For Kids Foundation. The auction featured more than 600 authentic game-worn jerseys and raised $385,730 for the Garth Brooks Teammates For Kids Foundation and NHL Club Charities. Each NHL player, on each of the 30 NHL team rosters wore the special jersey during one select home game in January. As a result of every player’s involvement, the NHL became the first professional sports league to achieve 100% athlete participation in the Garth Brooks Teammates For Kids Foundation.
At the 2007 NHL All-Star Celebration in Dallas, the NHL, NHLPA and Garth Brooks Teammates For Kids Foundation unveiled plans for the donation of a “Zone” playroom to Cook Children’s Medical Center of Fort Worth. The hockey-themed “Zone,” designed and refurbished by HKS Architects, Inc., will be a state-of-the art therapeutic play environment for pediatric patients and their families.
During the Dallas Stars-Colorado Avalanche game on February 11, 2007 more than $10,000 was raised for the charity when for the first time in League history two teams competed with full-team participation of players, coaches and general managers. Every Stars and Avalanche player donated a pre-determined amount for goals scored, assists made, shots blocked or a team win. At game’s end, Teammates for Kids Foundation matched the total earned, raising the donation to over $10,000.