With the NHL lockout in full force, hockey players of all kind are trying to find a way to play the sport they love. Some are taking their talents overseas, where as others are going back into the minor leagues. Scott Harnell of the Philadelphia Flyers took another approach. Hartnell organized a charity hockey game at the famed Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City to raise money for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Hartnell, along with Rangers star Brad Richards captained the two teams.
Other NHL stars involved in the game were Steven Stamkos, Henrik Lundqvist, Martin Brodeur, and Kimmo Timonen. The event was well received by hockey fans all along the east coast, helping it become the first hockey game to sell out Boardwalk hall since 1933. The game was a great success due to the fact that it raised at least $500k to help those victimized by the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. It also gave hockey fans, perhaps the most passionate sports fans in all of North America, a chance to watch the sport they love. The crowd of over 10,000 was a mixed group of Flyers, Rangers, and Devils fans. Supporters of their teams put their differences aside with their rival fans to help raise money for a great cause. Throughout the game the crowd was electric and energized as if the game was game 7 of the Stanley Cup. Chants of “Hat trick,” “we want hockey,” and “Bettman sucks” echoed throughout the arena. The final score was 10-6 in favor of Team Richards, but the real winners were the fans, victims of Sandy, and the game of Hockey itself. Whether or not a season will be played this year is still unknown. What is known however is that whenever hockey does return, it will receive a warm welcome.