Steamboat Springs Later this month, hockey fans and players will have their chance to play alongside and against — or simply watch — NHL players at Howelsen Ice Arena.
Kerry Shea, co-owner of McKnight’s Irish Pub & Loft in Steamboat, is originally from Detroit and, as an avid Red Wings fan, has been busy organizing a Red Wings alumni charity hockey game to be played locally to raise money for the Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association.
“It’s really coming together,” Shea said. “A lot of people don’t realize how great Howelsen Ice Arena is, and it’s a great opportunity for us to engage with the NHL.”
All proceeds outside what it costs to put on the event will go directly to Steamboat youth hockey, he said.
A benefit auction and a meet-and-greet with NHL alumni, players and fans will be held at McKnight’s from 7 to 10 p.m. March 21, with the game scheduled for 7 p.m. March 22.
Former Red Wings goalie Greg Buchanan was one of the first pros to commit to play in the March 22 game. Buchanan, who spent three years in the Detroit organization and has been a Steamboat resident since June, said he is excited to get the community involved and strap on skates himself for the first time in more than a decade.
“Even if you’re not a hockey player, it should be fun to watch and do a meet-and-greet,” Buchanan said. “It will be nice for the local people and local hockey players.”
Shea also didn’t rule out the idea of branching outside just Red Wings alumni to invite some former Colorado Avalanche players to join the benefit game.
“I’ve got some feelers out to get other guys on board,” Shea said. “We’d split the benches and have half the team be ex-pro, and the rest (of the roster spots) are up for auction for bid. … The level of play will be a bit higher, if you will.”
Ticket presales begin Friday and will continue in the weeks leading up to the event until it is sold out.
Tickets can be purchased at McKnight’s. Admission is $30 per person for the March 21 auction and $10 per person for the March 22 game.
To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll
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