On May 4th and 5th, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to play in goal for one of the teams participating in a pro-am hockey tournament to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. The tournament featured 36 teams and about 40 NHL Alumni.
Each team included a former NHLer selected by team captains in a draft that took place on the evening before the tournament. The ex-pro on our team was Stewart Gavin who had a long and distinguished career with the Maple Leafs, Hartford Whalers, and Minnesota North Stars. A true gentleman, Stew still plays pickup hockey on a weekly basis and has a successful post-hockey career as a financial planner.
Each team plays three games. I ended up facing shots from Gary Leeman, Dennis Maruk, Rick Vaive, and Brad May. I have played against ex-pros before, and I never cease to be amazed at their skill level, almost irrespective of the amount of time that passed since they retired. What really impressed me, however, is just how friendly these guys are, and how truly interested they all seem to be in helping raise money for an outstanding cause.