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Ken Daneyko to participate in charity hockey game

Former Devils defenseman, NHL alumni will help raise money for spinal cord injury research

by Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / Staff Writer

Former New Jersey Devils great Ken Daneyko will join his former teammate Patrik Elias along with NHL alumni Rick DiPietro, Brad Richards, Tie Domi, Tom Laidlaw and others at the third-annual Mike Nichols Charity Hockey Game at Prudential Center on April 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The game will benefit Mike Nichols, a former New Jersey high school hockey player who sustained a spinal cord injury playing for Monroe High School in January 2014. Proceeds will go to the Nichols Family Trust, which provides for his medical costs, and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for individuals living with paralysis.

"We love to play, and we as former players don't get the opportunity to do so much anymore," Daneyko told "It's the right thing to do, and it's fun to be around the game and certainly to give back and more importantly help a great cause."

Daneyko participated in the original Legends Classic at Prudential Center in 2014, featuring members of the NHL Alumni against a contingent of former Russian hockey stars. Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, of the Boomer and Carton show on WFAN Radio in New York, got involved in 2015 to help sell out the event two straight years at the 1,800-seat Middletown Sports Complex in Middletown, New Jersey.

"This is one of the most inspiring events that we participate in," Carton and Esiason said in a statement. "We know all who attend come away with the exact same feeling."

The Devils donated the Prudential Center to the cause this year, with the goal of selling 6,000 seats for the game. The event has raised more than $117,000 the past two years for the Nichols Family Trust and Reeve Foundation.

Fans can purchase tickets for $20 or corporate sponsorships and VIP packages. All ticket purchasers will receive a ticket voucher from the Devils, and the first 5,000 attendees will receive a voucher from the New York Yankees for two complimentary tickets to select games during the 2017 season.

Final rosters will be released at a later date. Daneyko, who is known as "Mr. Devil," was eager to point out that although Esiason is a diehard New York Rangers fan, he will put any rivalry on the backburner to do a positive thing for Nichols.

"I know how much Boomer loves hockey, even if it is for my enemy," Daneyko said. "All kidding aside, we can put all the rivalry aside for events like that."

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