The National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) announced today they are joining forces to donate $1 million to the American Red Cross efforts to assist those affected by the Hurricane Katrina disaster. In addition to the financial contribution, the League and the Players' Association will participate in a unique auction of game-worn Opening Night jerseys to further support the fund-raising endeavor.
For the first period of each team's home opener, players will wear a jersey bearing a special patch confirming the Clubs' and players' commitment to the people and communities impacted. The jerseys will be collected and then auctioned by League auction partner Truition Inc., on NHL.com, all NHL member Club websites, and NHLPA.com. Further details will be released as they are finalized.
"The National Hockey League Players' Association members have those affected by Hurricane Katrina in their thoughts during this extremely difficult time," said Ted Saskin, Executive Director of the NHLPA. "It is our hope that this donation and the auction proceeds from the players' opening night jerseys will assist the Red Cross in their massive relief effort, and help to ease the burden on the hurricane victims."
"While the entire NHL family sends its thoughts, hopes and prayers to those devastated by Katrina and her aftermath, a catastrophe of this magnitude requires more than spiritual support," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "Our Clubs, our players and our fans want to take action, and they will do so together through their collections, through their donations, and through the contributions generated by this special auction."
In addition, the NHL has committed the Stanley Cup to a fund-raising tour of ECHL cities. Details of the tour, which will be coordinated with the ECHL to maximize opportunities in such franchise cities as Biloxi, Mississippi (Mississippi Sea Wolves), still are being formalized.