TORONTO (Nov. 29) Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman was handing out Bauer skates, gloves, and helmets to children at Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Centre in Toronto today. Yzerman, along with Lightning standout Steven Stamkos, have been named ambassadors to the grassroots hockey program RBC Play Hockey. The program is a multi-year commitment that will see $1 million donated amongst various local communities to help grow and foster the game of hockey.
Yzerman was handing out equipment as part of a $25,000 learn to skate intiative, as well as ball hockey programs that encourage young kids to develop their hockey skills. Afterwards, he was quite reminiscent with local media, speaking of his childhood and the anticipation of the holiday season.
“It’s wonderful. You see the reaction. Again, I put myself in their shoes, as a five-year-old or something. My Christmas list was always hockey equipment, it was pretty simple.”said the Bolts GM. “It was skates, it was gloves, and helmets, so. And again, it’s a tremendous program. You see these young kids very excited about playing.”
And it’s wonderful to see Stamkos and Yzerman attaching their names to a cause like this. They both know how different their lives would be without the game of hockey, and are thus trying to reach out and give today’s youth that same opportunity. I’ve been a fan of Stevie Y for a long time and can’t say enough good things about him. It should come as no surprise that he has Stamkos following in his footsteps of goodwill and community outreach.
Big game tomorrow as Tampa tries to break out of their apparent mini-slump against a club trapped in a real scoring funk, the Toronto Maple Leafs. I will be attending the game in person (can’t wait to see Stamkos live!!!) and will have a nice blog following that contest. See you all very soon.
Yours in Hockey,