SAN JOSE - On April 4, National Hockey League (@nhl) Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the San Jose Sharks (@sanjosesharks) have been selected to participate in Kraft Hockeyville 2015. During a live spot on Hockey Night in Canada, Commissioner Bettman revealed that the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks will play an NHL preseason game in North Saanich on Victoria Island in British Columbia.
The city of North Saanich will also receive $100,000 to build a dedicated home team locker room in their local arena.
The date and location of the game in North Saanich will be released soon.
"We are thrilled to have been invited to participate in Kraft Hockeyville 2015," said Sharks Chief Operating Officer John Tortora. "Kraft Hockeyville is a wonderful program, bringing exciting National Hockey League action and needed hockey resources to deserving communities all over North America, and the Sharks organization is looking forward to visiting North Saanich this fall."
Kraft Hockeyville 2015, in partnership with the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association® (NHLPA), is awarding:
- One grand prize of hosting an NHL preseason game broadcast nationally on Sportsnet, $100,000 for arena upgrades and the title of Kraft Hockeyville;
- $100,000 in arena upgrades for the second place community; and
- $25,000 for each of the remaining eight prize winners.
"Kraft Hockeyville generates memories that will last a lifetime for the people who showed such incredible passion for their community as well as their love for hockey," Bettman said. "The National Hockey League is proud to honor that enthusiastic support by providing a preseason game to the winner and by working to ensure that future generations of players have well-maintained rinks at which to skate."
For the past nine years, Kraft Hockeyville has been inspiring communities across Canada to share their passion for the game. This year, for the first time, the program has extended into the U.S. and communities south of the border now have a chance to be the first Kraft Hockeyville USA. Nominations closed on March 18, and Americans can vote for their favorite top ten community beginning April 14. Kraft Hockeyville Canada will continue to support Canadian communities only.
In addition to North Saanich, these nine communities will receive funds to improve their local arenas: Dawson Creek, BC; Bonnyville, AB; Morinville, AB; Morden, MB; Chatham-Kent, ON; Haliburton, ON; Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce, QC; Middleton, NS; and Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL. From change room repairs to access to better ice surfaces, each community shared a different, heart-warming story about the upgrades needed to keep hockey thriving in their hometown.
This year, a total of 1,037 community stories were submitted - 10 of which moved on to the voting rounds. Across two voting rounds, Canadians cast an impressive 4,918,773 total votes, finally narrowing the field to one winner.
Learn more at Facebook.com/KraftHockeyville, and join the conversation with @hockeyville using the hashtags #KHV2015 and #KraftHockeyville.