Leon Draisaitl's hat trick Sunday did more than just help the Edmonton Oilers.
After Draisaitl scored three goals in the Oilers' 7-1 win in Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round at Rogers Place, the Oilers took the hats thrown on the ice, sorted them into piles and donated them to Edmonton-area shelters Bissell Centre, Hope Mission and Operation Friendship.
"It's a win-win," Oilers vice president Tim Shipton told CHED 630 on Monday. "There were some amazing hats in that bag. There were in fact a few signed Leon Draisaitl hats that our fans threw on the ice."
More than 1,000 hats were tossed on the ice after Draisaitl scored his third goal of the game, at 15:27 of the second period Sunday. After the game, Bissell Centre, a shelter striving to empower people from poverty to prosperity, created a Twitter campaign to voice their interest in the hats.
After a hat trick, the Oilers typically keep some hats for memory and donate the rest to charity. The Oilers Foundation announced Monday it would send the hats to Bissell Centre, as well as Hope Mission and Operation Friendship. Hope Mission serves as a shelter for children of adults with addiction. Operation Friendship seeks to improve quality of life for seniors in Edmonton.
"It's quite amazing how our supporters and Edmontonians alike helped to push these hats to the inner city for people who need them most," Darren Brennan of Bissell Centre told Globalnews.ca on Monday. "It's more than just a hat. It's about providing protection from the sun. Summer is right around the corner. We definitely use them to hand out to our participants."
The fans who received the hats Monday were ecstatic.
"Putting an Oilers hat on today just makes me feel good about myself and about the city," Phil Belliveau, a hat recipient who resides at Bissell Centre, told Globalnews.ca. "It's my way of saying I sponsor my team. I love my team and I support my team."