Rangers Assist Celebrates The John T. Wright Arena Project Completion!
Hundreds of Englewood, NJ residents came out to show their Blueshirts pride and support youth hockey on February 5th at the John T. Wright Arena. The rink, which was chosen as a 2014-15 New York Rangers Assist recipient, recently reopened after it closed its doors due to damage from Hurricane Sandy.
The celebration featured NY Rangers players Jesper Fast and Matt Hunwick, as well as Rangers alumni Ron Greschner, Chris Kotsopoulos, Ron Duguay, & Brian Mullen. The event kicked off with a Try Hockey For Free lesson and a youth hockey clinic for Englewood residents. The event concluded with a charity alumni exhibition game featuring Englewood community leaders and featured a ceremonial puck from from Englewood Mayor Frank Huddle.
The donation to the John T. Wright Arena included cross ice boards, new team jerseys, coaches teaching aids & mini nets, as well as full sets of new hockey equipment. In addition, rink manager Ken Katz, will be sent to the Ice Skating Institute Conference in Boston which will provide additional training on ice rink and hockey program operations.
The total donation is meant to give the John T. Wright Arena all the tools they need to form a new recreational youth hockey program which will kick off with a six week learn to play class starting February 21st with a Try Hockey For Free Clinic that coincides with USA Hockey’s “Hockey Weekend Across America” campaign. Englewood residents will be able to sign up their children for the low cost of $40 and the goal is to advance the participants into the newly formed house league. "It's a great team sport," said Rangers Defenseman Matt Hunwick. "You learn about teamwork, you learn about family...sports in general, for young kids, is a good thing."
Despite the cold weather, the event brought out over 100 young kids who participated in the clinics. Lisa Wisotsky, President of the Friends of the John T. Wright Arena non- profit said, "We wanted the arena to be something that would unify the community, and I really felt like we accomplished that."