Monday, March 11, 2013

NHL Alumni Interview: Washington Capitals Legend Dennis Maruk

On February 9th, 1982, many of the game’s greatest players gathered in Washington, DC, for the 34th NHL All-Star game. One by one, the Prince of Wales and Campbell Conference players were introduced on their respective bluelines - Gretzky, Bossy, Stastny, Coffey, Bourque and Robinson. However, the crowd only rose to their feet in unison when the final player was introduced; the greatest cheers that day rang out for #20, Dennis Maruk.

Raised in Rexdale, Ontario, Dennis was a scoring sensation during his Junior career with the London Knights in the early 1970’s, recording 112, 113 and 145 points in his three seasons with the team. Despite his success on the ice, the 5’8 center/winger was overlooked in the opening round of the 1975 NHL Draft. It was not until the second round began that his name was called, not by his hometown Maple Leafs, but by the California Golden Seals.

Read my NHL Alumni interview with former 60-goal scorer Dennis Maruk at the NHL Alumni website.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

NHL Alumni Interview: Hockey Helps Founder Gary Scullion, Sens' Boschman & Leafs' Reid

“From humble beginnings come great things.” - Unknown author

Whether it is through the NHL Alumni Association, or as is in this case, their team alumni associations, hockey players are always there to lend a helping hand whenever and wherever someone is in need. Having already successfully taken place in three other Canadian cities last Fall, the annual Hockey Helps the Homeless tournaments are about to arrive in Ottawa (March 1st, 2013) and Montreal (March 22nd, 2013).

As governments make drastic cutbacks to social spending, the economy continues to experience drastic highs and lows, and we begin to address the need for a better understanding of mental health issues, the Hockey Helps the Homeless fundraising efforts take on a greater importance with each passing year. In recent interviews, Hockey Helps the Homeless founder Gary Scullion, Ottawa Senators Alumni member Laurie Boschman and Toronto Maple Leafs Alumni member Dave Reid explained their passion for this cause.

From its humble beginnings in Toronto in 1996, when a group of colleagues led by Gary Scullion created an opportunity to give back to their community, the Hockey Helps the Homeless program has expanded to include tournaments in Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa; contributing much-needed local funding for frontline and reintegration programs in those cities.

Read my NHL Alumni interview with Hockey Helps the Homeless founder Gary Scullion, Sens Alumni Laurie Boschman and Leafs Alumni member Dave Reid.