Hockey fans far and wide are well aware the Montreal Canadiens Alumni will be in Nelson in January 2020 to meet the Kootenay Patricks as part of the Make A Change Canada Charity Hockey Game.
Now, organizers have announced the roster of local players lacing up the skates to meet the Canadiens Alumni squad.
Leading the Patricks, consisting of ex-NHLers, NCAA players and local junior grads, from behind the bench is former NHLer Mike Laughton. Back in 1967, Laughton was a member of the Oakland Golden Seals who took to the ice against the Canadiens.
“You walk into the Forum and you are in awe,” Laughton recalls with a smile 52 years later. “It took me ten seconds to get on the ice, all the guys were pushing me from behind, because I was looking at all the lights and the seats.”
“There is such a story to that arena, so I took my time,” Laughton added. “A kid from a small town… what do you expect?”
Puck drop is 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 23, 2020. Laughton will be joined behind the bench by Nelson Leafs coach Mario DiBella.
Players include former pro players Simon Wheeldon and Matt Walker as well as Mike Laughton Jr., Bill Kestell, Darrell MacKay and Brock Johnson. These players form the defensive unit.
Forwards include George Trainor, Shandy Mowery, Justin Pickerell, Shane Glover, Derek Diener, Pat Severyn, Aaron Shrieves, Doug McMullin, Dale Donaldson, Terry Maglio and Vincent Deslauriers. Goalies are Chris LaValley and Ian Perreault while the training staff includes Garth Georgetti and Arthur Andrews.
David Hornby, traveling in for the game from China, is the final player on the Patricks roster.
Former NHLer Greg Adams, who had many successful seasons with the Vancouver Canucks, is unable to attend due to commitments with the Arizona Coyotes Alumni at the upcoming NHL Allstar Game.
The evening is a fundraiser for Make A Change Canada.
Based in Nelson, Make A Change Canada is a national non-profit and charitable organization that provides online employment, self-employment, and skills training to people who face barriers to employment in today’s labour market. A pioneer in the field, what distinguishes Make A Change Canada is the one-on-one support it provides through its online programs to those who cannot leave home or wish to work from home.
Clients include people facing all types of challenges from youth and single parents, to those living with a disability or chronic health issue, to those living in rural and remote areas.
Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online.
Sponsorship packages that enable local businesses and organizations to get involved in the game are also currently available.