Logan Couture was a hometown hero last weekend. Last Saturday, Couture hosted a charity hockey game for his former youth hockey club, Lucan Minor. The event has morphed over the years, as it originally started as a fundraiser for nearby St. Mary’s Hockey.
Last summer St. Mary’s asked Couture to take over the event and make it his own, which had previously been run by Mark Bell. Most of the proceeds from last year’s event went to St. Mary’s with a small portion going to Lucan Minor.
This year Couture decided to move the game to Lucan and donate most of the money to his hometown club.The club even surprised him before the game by retiring his #77 youth jersey.
“For me to give back to them, it means a lot to me. For them to step up and retire my jersey was pretty cool,” Couture said. “I had no idea it was coming until I saw them bring it on the ice.”
Before the game, Couture and a handful of current NHL and AHL stars signed autographs for fans. Some of the players included Sharks forward Andrew Desjardins and 2011 draft pick Dylan Demelo along with Jamie McGinn and Ryan O’Reily (Colorado Avalanche), Drew Doughty (LA Kings), and Matt Hackett (Minnesota Wild).
“It was fun to bring everyone together. I’m happy that those guys were able to volunteer their time to drive down and play in the game,” Couture said. “We signed autographs for an hour and a half before the game so it took a lot of their time and I’m happy they were able to do it.”
Couture noted that it seemed as if the entire town of Lucan was there for the event. “It was good to see a full crowd. There were a lot of kids there with big smiles on their faces,” Couture said.
In total, the event raised more than $40,000, $10,000 of which was donated by the NHL Foundation for when Couture was picked last in the 2012 NHL All-Star draft back in February. Tthe NHLPA Goals & Dreams Foundation kicked in about $13,000 worth of jerseys and equipment and ticket sales and concessions raised close to $18,000.
The game turned out to be quite competitive and ended in a 6-5 shootout win for the hometown hero’s team. “A majority of the game, guys had big smiles on their faces, I know they had a blast,” Couture said.
Since he has turned pro this was only the second time Couture has skated in the Lucan Minor Arena. “I still have a lot of good memories growing up there as I played seven years at Lucan,” Couture said. “It was pretty cool going back and skating on my home ice. I think I’m the first player to go on to the NHL after playing there.”
Lucan Minor Hockey’s Past President Cathy Burghardt Jesson was very excited about the event. “We [Lucan-Biddulph] are a very small community and it means a lot to have Logan come back ‘home’ and contribute as he is,” Jesson said. “I think this speaks so much to his character. San Jose is so far away from here, this brings him a little closer.”
Click here to see photos from the event.
In the Community
The Sharks recognize the value in helping the community. Whether it’s through the leadership of player’s hosting various charity events, the Sharks Foundation or through fan development initiatives, the Sharks are committed to making a positive impact in the community. Click here to check out some of the Sharks community initiatives and how you can help.