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Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Honours Canadian Forces

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE) and three of its teams — Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Marlies — will honour the thousands of men and women who serve our country during the teams’ respective home games February 1 and 2. MLSE has designated this event as Canadian Forces Appreciation Weekend.

The Leafs, Raptors and Marlies will host more than 500 Canadian Forces personnel from CFB Borden, 8 Wing Trenton, HMCS York and Land Force Central Area at one of the three games at Air Canada Centre and Ricoh Coliseum. Many of the Canadian Forces personnel in attendance have recently returned from Afghanistan.

“We’re excited to host and recognize the courageous men and women who serve in the Canadian military,” said Tom Anselmi, MLSE’s executive vice-president and chief operating officer. “Honouring Canadian troops at the Leafs, Raptors and Marlies games is our way of showing our gratitude to the thousands of men and women who put their lives on the line for their country.”

Last March, Anselmi and a group of former Leafs and NHL players travelled to Afghanistan on a seven-day goodwill mission to visit with troops and play ball hockey in the desert. Accompanying the group on the mission was the Stanley Cup.

Leafs, Raptors and Marlies players, coaches and management will sign a banner for the troops. Fans in attendance at this weekend’s games are also encouraged to sign a special banner located at Gate 1 of Air Canada Centre and in Marlies Alley at Ricoh Coliseum. The banners of support will be sent to the Canadian troops in Afghanistan. Other special ceremonies are planned including four Canadian Forces personnel rappelling from Air Canada Centre's rafters to centre ice prior to the start of the Leafs game.

Chief of the Defence, General Rick Hillier, members of the Army, Navy and Air Forces will participate in the ceremonial puck drop at the Leafs and Marlies games, and a game ball delivery at the Raptors game. Second Lieutenant Scott Newlands will sing the National Anthem and will be accompanied by a HMCS York Flag Party and the Central Band of the Canadian Forces.

 Hundreds of Leafs, Raptors and Marlies season seat holders have already donated tickets for Friday and Saturday’s games.

“Our fans have been terrific with their support of the Tickets for Troops program,” Anselmi added. “Leafs fans were very receptive when we celebrated our Canadian troops last season, and we’re thrilled to extend the initiative to the Raptors and Marlies.”

Leafs, Raptors or Marlies fans interested in donating their game tickets for February 1 or 2 can drop off their tickets to Air Canada Centre (Gate 2) or courier it to:

Tickets for Troops

c/o Air Canada Centre

            40 Bay Street, Suite 400

            Toronto, Ontario M5J 2X2


Season Seat Holders also have the option of donating their tickets online. Fans can also donate tickets for other Leafs, Raptors and Marlies games this season through the Tickets for Troops program. Donated tickets will be given to the Canadian Forces for distribution.

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