With no end in sight for the NHL lockout, some of the league’s players are using their free time and talents for good.
Members of the Chicago Blackhawks 2010 Stanley Cup championship team will be hosting a charity game Friday night benefiting the Ronald McDonald House. They hope to draw 10,000 fans at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., and raise $250,000, USA Today reports.
"For the players, we're all excited," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews told the Chicago Tribune. "There's a lot of buzz that we're going to actually feel like we're playing a real game in front of the fans here in Chicago."
The idea for the game came from Bill Zito, an agent for San Jose Shark Adam Burish. Burish, a former Blackhawks player, and Zito organized the match in 14 days, he told USA Today.
Players are coming from all over for the charity game. Andrew Ladd is traveling from Winnipeg, Kris Versteeg from Florida, and Patrick Kane even delayed a trip to Switzerland where he will be joining a team there during the lockout, according to the Chicago Tribune.
And it's not only the players that want to fill the lockout void by doing good. Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien will be coaching a Squirt B team's game for charity benefitting the Boston Bruins Foundation and Massachusetts Hockey, according to nhl.com. But the NHL isn’t the only league to see a lockout as a fundraising opportunity. NBA players hosted a series of charity games during their lockout last year, according to the Huffington Post.
As for the Blackhawks game, the players will not hold back. "This is going to be a real hockey game. Guys are going to try to score, and back-check,” Burish told USA Today. "I can't imagine Friday there will be a better hockey game going on anywhere," he told the news outlet.