NEW YORK/TORONTO -- The National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) online jersey auction raised $530,472, which was matched by country music legend Garth Brooks' Teammates for Kids Foundation, for a total of $1,060,944 to be distributed through "World Vision" to those affected by Hurricane Katrina.
The jersey of Pittsburgh Penguins rookie Sidney Crosby, worn in Crosby's third NHL game, tops the bidding at $21,010. The jerseys of Washington Capitals rookie Alexander Ovechkin and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Mario Lemieux garnered bids of $7,929 and $6,710, respectively. The jersey of Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur fetched $5,110, while the jersey of Detroit Red Wings favorite Brendan Shanahan raised $4,510.
The Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation was announced as the official children's charity of the NHL and NHLPA at a press conference on Nov. 16 in New York, where Brooks pledged his foundation would match monies raised in the auction as a commitment to the new partnership.
"Other than being a father, Teammates for Kids is the most important organization I've ever been a part of. I'm so proud of their work," Brooks said.
"We thank our fans for responding in such an overwhelmingly generous way to the needs of the victims of Hurricane Katrina," said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. "Together with the players and Garth Brooks Teammates For Kids Foundation, another million-dollar contribution has been made to the relief effort for Katrina victims."
"The players are thrilled with the amount of money raised by their game-worn jerseys in the auction, and with the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation matching the auction total it allows the people of the Gulf Coast to receive over a million dollars in assistance," said Ted Saskin, Executive Director of the NHLPA. "With their generous bids, the fans have greatly helped those affected by Hurricane Katrina."
Auction jerseys were worn during the first period of each team's home opener and were authenticated by a special one-of-a-kind patch that confirms the NHL's and players' commitment to the people and communities impacted by Hurricane Katrina. In total, 600 NHL game-worn jerseys were available for bidding, the largest game-worn jersey auction ever conducted by the NHLPA and NHL.
To date, the NHLPA's and the NHL's efforts have raised more than $2 million for hurricane relief. In September, the NHL and NHLPA jointly donated $1 million to the American Red Cross. This jersey auction was a continuation of the League and the Players' Association's efforts to assist those affected by Hurricane Katrina.