Arizona Coyotes players assembled on Thursday afternoon to benefit the Arizona Coyotes Foundation at Topgolf in Scottsdale, spending time in near-perfect late February weather taking a few swings, partaking in good conversation, and spending some quality time with fans and corporate partners.
"It's a great day, everybody getting outside with great weather here in Arizona in late February, it's a really fun thing for everybody to be involved with this to help out our Coyotes Foundation and have a little fun," said President and CEO Ahron Cohen.
It was the first time the team has held an event at Topgolf, allowing for a more intimate setting than the typical expanded, 18-hole regulation golf course.
"Cruising around, hitting some golf balls, and talking to the fans, they're the reason why we're here," said Oliver Ekman-Larsson . "They've supported us a lot over the years, so it's nice to walk around and talk, get away from hockey for a little bit and have a good time."
Brad Richardson , known to be one of the better golfers on the roster, said that taking the afternoon to be with those giving back was the least the players could do.
"It's great, the Coyotes foundation does so much, we're just a small part of it," Richardson said. "I know there are a lot of people behind the scenes that do a ton of work, and for us to give a few hours, it's pretty easy for us."
Events such as Thursday's are a good refresher for players' perspectives, said Ekman-Larsson.
"I think that's more important than the hockey side of the things, just to go out in the community and help out," said the Coyotes' captain. "That's how you grow the game at the same time, so it's a win-win."
Community involvement stands out as one of the organization's core pillars, a pillar that was further strengthened on Thursday.
"It's wonderful to see everyone coming together to help our Coyotes Foundation," added Cohen. "Our players are excited to do this and have a day outside the rink, they get to interact with the fans and everybody's having a great time. We're so fortunate to have so many wonderful fans in this community that want to get out, support our team and support the foundation. It's a great opportunity to raise a lot of money for a great cause."
Photo Credit [All]: Janelle Etzel - Arizona Coyotes