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Players From 22 NHL Teams Step Up To Support 'Right To Play'

02/24/2009 3:36 PM

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Players from 22 National Hockey League teams are showing their support for the international humanitarian organization Right To Play by making personal donations over the Feb. 27 – March 1 weekend.

NHL superstars including Right To Play Athlete Ambassadors Alexander Ovechkin, Zdeno Chara, Joe Thornton and Daniel Alfredsson will be among at least 25 players donating to Right To Play based on minutes played in one of their team’s games Feb. 27 – March 1. While players celebrate their ability to play a game they love, they will be making donations to Right To Play in honour of coaches or role models who instilled in them the positive values of sport and helped them succeed -- not just in hockey, but in life.

Funds raised will support Right To Play’s sport and play programs in 23 countries of operation across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America. By training local community leaders as Coaches to deliver these programs, Right To Play provides similar growth opportunities and positive role models for 600,000 children in Right To Play activities every week.

“When I visited Right To Play projects in Mozambique last summer, I saw what an incredible impact Right To Play Coaches are having on children’s lives,” said Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. “I was inspired by their commitment and extremely impressed by the ability of just a few Coaches to create such happiness and amazing learning opportunities for literally hundreds of children. My father was a mentor for me and that is why I am honouring him with my donation. I know it is for an outstanding cause.”

The Garth Brooks Teammates For Kids Foundation is also joining in the players’ support of Right To Play by matching donation contributions from Teammates For Kids ‘Hockey Teammates’ up to $20,000.

In addition, players, teams, the NHL and NHL Players’ Association have all contributed to an online auction in benefit of Right To Play. The auction launches this evening at and is highlighted by a 1999 Harley-Davidson motorcycle donated by Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference and a leather jacket from Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada. Andrew’s video promoting the auction can be seen on the eBay site. Other items include a custom Steve Montador signature poker table, a signed 2009 ‘West’ NHL All-Star Game sweater, game-used sticks from Daniel Alfredsson, Garnet Exelby and Manny Malhotra, an Alex Ovechkin-autographed Right To Play tracksuit, signed jerseys and other merchandise. The auction closes on March 1.

“On behalf of all the children in our programs and the volunteer Coaches who work with them, I want to thank these NHL players and the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation for their outstanding leadership and support,” said Right To Play President and CEO Johann Koss. “This initiative is a great example of what can be achieved when athletes rally together around the best values of sport and play.”

Participating players are listed below and can also be found on a Coach Tribute Wall at or Fans are encouraged to join these NHL players by making online donations in honour of their own coaches or role models. For donations of $25 or more, donor and coach names will be inserted on the Coach Tribute Wall alongside the NHL players, and the donor will receive a personalized ‘Coach Tribute’ via email as a special thank you.

Right To Play 2009 ‘Donation for Minutes Weekend’ Participants
NHL Team
Coach / Role Model
Anaheim Ducks Steve Montador Gisele Bourgeois Feb. 28 at DAL
  Chris Pronger Ollie Bon Jovi / Hummer Feb. 28 at DAL
Atlanta Thrashers Garnet Exelby Jude Boulianne Feb. 28 vs. CAR
Boston Bruins Zdeno Chara Zdenek Chara Feb. 28 vs. WAS
  Andrew Ference Brent Peterson Feb. 28 vs. WAS
Calgary Flames Robyn Regehr All minor hockey coaches Feb. 27 vs. MIN
Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews Thom Gross Feb. 27 vs. PIT
Columbus Blue Jackets Manny Malhotra Scott Sones / Rob Honighan March 1 at VAN
Edmonton Oilers Ethan Moreau Ab Moreau Feb. 28 vs. MIN
Florida Panthers Jay Bouwmeester Dan Bouwmeester Feb. 28 at NJ
  Greg Campbell All minor hockey coaches Feb. 28 at NJ
Los Angeles Kings Anze Kopitar Matjaz Kopitar Feb. 27 at DET
Minnesota Wild Nick Schultz Robert Schultz Feb. 27 at CGY
Montreal Canadiens Mike Komisarek Aleksey Nikiforov Feb. 28 vs. SJ
Nashville Predators David Legwand Dave and Carole Legwand Feb. 28 vs. DET
New York Islanders Josh Bailey Mickey Renaud Feb. 28 vs. BUF
New York Rangers Wade Redden Pat Redden Feb. 28 vs. COL
Ottawa Senators Daniel Alfredsson Hasse Alfredsson Feb. 28 vs. TOR
Philadelphia Flyers Mike Richards Mark Richards / Matt Richards Feb. 27 vs. MON
Pittsburgh Penguins Eric Godard Bill Higgins Feb. 27 at CHI
San Jose Sharks Joe Thornton Brian Muscat Feb. 28 at MON
Tampa Bay Lightning Matt Pettinger Allan Neale Feb. 27 at VAN
Toronto Maple Leafs Dominic Moore Brad Selwood Feb. 28 at OTT
Vancouver Canucks Kevin Bieksa Scott Jess Feb. 27 vs. TB
Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin Zinetulla Bilyaletdinov Feb. 28 at BOS