NHL alumni face-off at Howelsen in 5th annual Steamboat Hockey Classic March 24 | SteamboatToday.com

NHL alumni face-off at Howelsen in 5th annual Steamboat Hockey Classic March 24

National Hockey League alumnus Keith Carney, center, representing the NHL Players' Association, presents a gift to Chris Campanelli, left, and Kerry Shea, of Steamboat Youth Hockey, during the third annual Steamboat Hockey Classic at Howelsen Ice Arena.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Call them the Globetrotters with foil knuckles.

That's the image that comes to mind for this weekend's visit by the notorious Hanson Brothers of Slapshot fame as part of the fifth annual Steamboat Hockey Classic March 23 and 24 at Howelsen Ice Arena.

It might be March Madness for hoops, but here in Steamboat Springs it's also a big month for hockey.

A benefit for Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey, the weekend is highlighted by an exhibition game between NHL greats, as well as an exclusive silent auction and benefit concert featuring Todd Mohr of Big Head Todd and the Monsters at the Steamboat Christian Center.

"Every year has been a huge success, and everyone's really looking forward to coming back," said co-organizer Kerry Shea. "And this year we'll have even more NHL stars, as well as an amazing musical performance and great silent to help raise funds for the program."

Greats from the Detroit Red Wings, including Joe Kocur, Jiri Fischer, Kevin Miller, Kyle Quincey and Eddie Mio, will be joined by other NHL All Stars and professional alumni Wayne Presley, Jose Charbonneau, Eric Nystrom, Lorne Knauft and Jon Finstrom. All are more than willing to make a return visit to Ski Town USA.

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"The events are always great, with super hospitality," said Presley, whose 14-year NHL career included stints with the Blackhawks, Sabres, Rangers and Maple Leafs. "We're all definitely looking forward to this year’s game and visiting Steamboat again."

The weekend kicks off Friday, March 23 with a meet and greet, skills clinics for youth players and benefit concert at 6:30 p.m. by Mohr. On Saturday, March 24, following a picture and autograph session at 6:30 p.m., alumni from the Detroit Red Wings take to the ice to battle special guests the Hanson Brothers.

"The charity hockey game featuring NHL All-Stars is the cornerstone of the festivities as we celebrate hockey's heritage and raise funds for area youth to enjoy the greatest game on earth," said Shea, touting participation from Olympic, World Cup and NHL ranks. "People's participation, along with our partners and local sponsors, will culminate in a hockey experience that helps expand the sport both locally and abroad as we salute all that is hockey."

For tickets and more information visit http://www.steamboathockeyclassic.org.