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Islanders forwards scoring goals for more than the team

by David Hochman / New York Islanders

Scoring goals in hockey helps a team win games. That’s how records break and teams win titles. For three New York Islanders players, there’s an added bonus that comes from scoring goals.

Okposo, Moulson and Grabner are doing all they can with the goals they score.
Matt Moulson, Kyle Okposo and Michael Grabner all make their livings by filling the net with pucks, but what most people don’t know are all of the smiles they’re putting on Isles fans’ faces in the process. This season, those smiles spread to children around Long Island – both fans of the team and kids who may not know a lot about hockey. All three players decided on their own that they would make a special contribution to the Islanders Children’s Foundation based on their goal-scoring totals.

Before the season started, Okposo and Grabner decided together that for every goal one of them scored, each would donate $300 to the ICF; that’s $600 per goal. With a few games left this season and 37 goals between the two wingers, that donation heading into the matinee matchup with Boston stood at $22,200. Before Saturday’s game against the Bruins, the pair presented a check to Islanders General Manager and ICF President, Garth Snow. They’ll gladly add to the donation with any goals they score in the final four games.

“I had seen Matt Moulson and some of the guys do it last year and it seemed to have a real positive impact at the games, especially when people stood up and cheered the announcements,” Okposo said. “I thought it was time I did a little something more right here on Long Island and that’s what we came up with. The ICF is a great charity and does great work, so hopefully we can finish this year strong and help them out a bit and we’ll do it again next year.”

 “It’s a really good cause to help, the ICF, and I want to do what I can for them,” Grabner said. “Hopefully next year we get a lot more goals and donate a lot more money, but this year was a good start. We wanted to ease into it a little bit, but maybe next year we’ll even have a good nickname for our donations, too.”

As Okposo mentioned, this season was Moulson’s second where he donated dollars per goals. He did take a slightly different donation strategy though. Before the season, Moulson and brother-in-law Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings created the 326 Foundation to help children on both coasts. For every goal Moulson scores this year, he’s donating $500 to 326. For every win Quick picks up on the season, he’ll donate $500, too. At the end of the season, they’ll split that total donation from the 326, distributing half to the ICF and half to Kings Care. Entering Saturday’s game with a career-high 34 goals, the foundation is looking forward to at least $17,000 from Moulson.

“I’m glad we decided to start this donation program last season,” Moulson said. “And now, teaming up with Jonathan, it’s good because we help kids here on Long Island with the ICF and out in LA with Kings care. I’m just lucky to play with talented guys like Johnny, PA and Kyle to get all those goals.”

Thanks to the career highs of Moulson and Okposo, combined with another solid year from Grabner, the ICF will collect nearly $30,000 via goals scored. Next time fans stand up and cheer one of their goals, realize there’s even more behind it than winning a game or setting a record – there’s a child with a smile.
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