NHL players helping kids get in the game

NHL Players Association makes donation to KidSport, allowing more Saanich youngsters to take part in the sport they love

  • Jul. 4, 2016 12:00 p.m.

Retired NHL player Ryan O’Byrne of Saanich makes a save during a road hockey game Thursday at Kirby’s Source for Sports. The NHLPA and KidSport teamed up to give away 25 sets of kids hockey gear and enrolment fees for the 2016-17 season.

As a pair of oversized adolescent teen boys proved they belonged on the same road hockey court as NHLers Tyson Barrie and Jordie Benn, it was up to Ryan O’Byrne, the six-year NHL veteran of the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs, to stand in net.

Without any pads, O’Byrne may have made a mistake. Luckily, some of the shots hit the post, as well as hitting O’Byrne.

“Ouch. Hey. This is for fun right guys?” O’Byrne yelped.

Looking a lot slimmer after an off-season backpacking trip through Asia, O’Byrne led the NHL Players Association’s donation for its Goals and Dreams Foundation of hockey gear to 25 local youth.

For Shane Coppinger, it was a pleasure to have his children Aiden and Lauren, who he can barely keep off the ice, each receive hockey gear from Barrie, Benn and O’Byrne.

“It’s awesome to have them meeting players from the minor associations who’ve made it, and have them give their time back. It gives [the kids] a chance to see [a pro] attitude,” Coppinger said.

O’Byrne, a St. Michaels University School grad, is headed back to Cornell this year after 12 years playing pro, including the past three years in Europe.

Manulife, RBC, Kirby’s Source for Sports and private donors also raised an additional $13,000 towards KidSport Victoria, which provides grants for youth athletic registration fees.

Over the past five years the combination has given out 125 sets of hockey gear and raised over $183,150 to support youth in sports.

KidSport will fund 1,400 children this year, and in the past has funded 8,714 kids with $1,871,177 donated by the community.  That includes 1,092 kids in hockey at a cost of $310,476.

 

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Hundreds rally in support of horse carriages outside Victoria City Hall

Crowd angry with Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion to ban local horse carriage industry

New virgin queen headlines ‘Bee Day’ at Saanich sanctuary

Taste bee spit and check out the hive at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary this Sunday

Rifflandia Festival cancelled for 2019

Early Bird tickets can be refunded at point of purchase, or held and redeemed for 2020

Five-month bridge closure poses early impacts on drivers during rush hour

Construction began Tuesday on the crossing commonly known as the Bay Street bridge

Several hundred SD 62 students team up to clean the shoreline

Effort aimed at keeping Esquimalt and Albert Head Lagoon trash-free

VIDEO: Canadian, U.S. Coast guards run oil spill response drills

20 vessels were on the water to practice international response methods

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Young Victoria distillery earns prestigious Scotch awards

Scottish influences range from techniques to ‘kilted tours’ at award-winning business

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Brewpub offers ‘boat valet’ for paddlers during Surfrider celebration tonight

Free ‘Surf Formal’ evening features a local art auction, door prizes, live music

Most Read