TORONTO (February 27, 2009) – Players from 25 National Hockey League teams are showing their support for the international humanitarian organization Right To Play by making personal donations based on minutes played in one of their team’s games this weekend.
NHL superstars including Right To Play Athlete Ambassadors Alexander Ovechkin, Zdeno Chara, Joe Thornton and Daniel Alfredsson will be among at least 28 players donating to Right To Play. While players celebrate their ability to play a game they love, they will be making their donations in honor of coaches or role models who instilled in them the positive values of sport and helped them succeed -- not just in hockey, but in life.
“When I visited Right To Play projects in Mozambique last summer, I saw what an incredible impact Right To Play Coaches are having on children’s lives,” said Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. “I was inspired by their commitment and extremely impressed by the ability of just a few Coaches to create such happiness and amazing learning opportunities for literally hundreds of children. My father was a mentor for me and that is why I am honoring him with my donation. I know it is for an outstanding cause.”
Funds raised will support Right To Play’s sport and play programs in 23 countries of operation across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America. By training local community leaders as Coaches to deliver these programs, Right To Play provides similar growth opportunities and positive role models for 600,000 children in Right To Play activities every week.
In addition, players, teams, the NHL and National Hockey League Players’ Association have all contributed to an online auction at www.ebay.com/righttoplay. The auction is highlighted by a 1999 Harley-Davidson motorcycle donated by Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference and a leather jacket from Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada. Andrew’s video promoting the auction can be seen on the eBay site. Other items include a custom Steve Montador signature poker table, game-used sticks from Daniel Alfredsson and Garnet Exelby, an Alex Ovechkin-autographed Right To Play tracksuit, signed jerseys and other merchandise. The auction closes on March 1.
The Garth Brooks Teammates For Kids Foundation is joining in the players’ support of Right To Play by matching donation contributions from Teammates For Kids ‘Hockey Teammates’ up to $20,000.
“On behalf of all the children in our programs and the volunteer Coaches who work with them, I want to thank these NHL players and the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation for their outstanding leadership and support,” said Right To Play President and CEO Johann Koss. “This initiative is a great example of what can be achieved when athletes rally together around the best values of sport and play.”
Participating players are listed below and can also be found on a Coach Tribute Wall at righttoplay.ca or righttoplayusa.org. Fans are encouraged to join these NHL players by making online donations in honor of their own coaches or role models. For donations of $25 or more, donor and coach names will be inserted on the Coach Tribute Wall alongside the NHL players, and the donor will receive a personalized ‘Coach Tribute’ via email as a special thank you.
NHL Team Player Role Model Donation Game About Right To Play
Anaheim Steve Montador Gisele Bourgeois Feb. 28 at Dallas
Chris Pronger Ollie Bon Jovi / Hummer Feb. 28 at Dallas
Atlanta Garnet Exelby Jude Boulianne Feb. 28 vs. Carolina
Boston Zdeno Chara Zdenek Chara Feb. 28 vs. Washington
Andrew Ference Brent Peterson Feb. 28 vs. Washington
Calgary Robyn Regehr All minor hockey coaches Feb. 27 vs. Minnesota
Chicago Jonathan Toews Thom Gross Feb. 27 vs. Pittsburgh
Columbus Manny Malhotra Scott Sones/Rob Honighan March 1 at Vancouver
Dallas Marty Turco Mike Zuke Feb. 28 vs. Anaheim
Edmonton Ethan Moreau Ab Moreau Feb. 28 vs. Minnesota
Florida Jay Bouwmeester Dan Bouwmeester Feb. 28 at New Jersey
Greg Campbell All minor hockey coaches Feb. 28 at New Jersey
Los Angeles Anze Kopitar Matjaz Kopitar Feb. 27 at Detroit
Minnesota Nick Schultz Robert Schultz Feb. 27 at Calgary
Montreal Mike Komisarek Aleksey Nikiforov Feb. 28 vs. San Jose
Nashville David Legwand Dave and Carole Legwand Feb. 28 vs. Detroit
NY Islanders Josh Bailey Mickey Renaud Feb. 28 vs. Buffalo
NY Rangers Wade Redden Pat Redden Feb. 28 vs. Colorado
Ottawa Daniel Alfredsson Hasse Alfredsson Feb. 28 vs. Toronto
Philadelphia Mike Richards Mark Richards/Matt Richards Feb. 27 vs. Montreal
Phoenix Steve Reinprecht All minor hockey coaches Feb 28 vs. St. Louis
Pittsburgh Eric Godard Bill Higgins Feb. 27 at Chicago
San Jose Joe Thornton Brian Muscat Feb. 28 at Montreal
St. Louis Andy McDonald All minor hockey coaches Feb. 28 at Phoenix
Tampa Bay Matt Pettinger Allan Neale Feb. 27 at Vancouver
Toronto Dominic Moore Brad Selwood Feb. 28 at Ottawa
Vancouver Kevin Bieksa Scott Jess Feb. 27 vs. Tampa Bay
Washington Alexander Ovechkin Zinetulla Bilyaletdinov Feb. 28 at Boston
Right To Play is an international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills and foster peace for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world. Working in both the humanitarian and development context, Right To Play trains local community leaders as Coaches to deliver our programs in 23 countries affected by war, poverty and disease across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America. Right To Play is supported by an international team of top athletes from more than 40 countries. As role models, these athletes inspire children, raise awareness and promote opportunities for funding for Right To Play projects.