Archive for November 16th, 2012

Goals for Dreams Challenge a nice release for locked-out NHLers

- November 16th, 2012

For at least one day, there will be somewhat of a sense of normalcy on Saturday afternoon — the key word being somewhat.

No, it won’t be at MTS Centre and doesn’t feature the actual Winnipeg Jets, but a host of NHLers will be putting their talents on display at Max Bell Arena before a sold-out crowd in the Goals for Dreams Hockey Challenge.

This charity game features 15 NHLPA members and the Winnipeg Patrolmen Hockey team.

What should fans expect?

“It’s going to be great,” added Jets centre Jim Slater. “We’ve got some really good players coming in for this game and the fans are going to be entertained for sure. It’s the first competition for some of these guys and it’s going to be fun. It might start up a little slow, but as the game picks up, it usually gets a little more competitive, depending on the score.”

Mark Stuart isn’t planning on putting on his usual shot-blocking display.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of built-up energy and aggression in a lot of these guys, but you have to remember this game is for charity and a couple of good causes, the Dream Factory and the Children’s Hospital Foundation,” said Stuart. “I’m sure it will be a little bit more competitive (than a regular non-contact scrimmage).”

I asked Andrew Ladd about his GM strategy and his answer was very honest:

“I don’t know if I had one,” said Ladd, who played in a similar charity game last month in Chicago. “We’ve got a good group and two pretty equal teams, so it should be a lot of fun. It’s nice to have something to look forward to.”

Here’s a look at the two teams:

Team Andrew Ladd:

Goalie

James Reimer – Toronto Maple Leafs

Defence

Duncan Keith – Chicago Blackhawks – late scratch when he couldn’t get to Winnipeg due to airline issues

Shane Hnidy – Jets colour commentator/former NHLer

Forwards

Andrew Ladd – Winnipeg Jets

Bryan Little – Winnipeg Jets

Jim Slater – Winnipeg Jets

Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks

Tanner Glass – Pittsburgh Penguins

Troy Brouwer – Washington Capitals

Ryan Garbutt – Dallas Stars

Team Mark Stuart

Goalie

Chris Mason  – Nashville Predators (the first overall selection)

Defence

Mark Stuart – Winnipeg Jets

Shea Weber -  Nashville Predators

Forwards

Olli Jokinen – Winnipeg Jets

Mike Richards – Los Angeles Kings

Gregory Campbell – Boston Bruins

Colin Wilson – Nashville Predators

Ryan Reaves – St. Louis Blues

Jim O’Brien – Ottawa Senators

Zach Bogosian will serve as head coach for Team Stuart.

The game is sold out, but if you have a ticket, the NHLers will be on hand for an autograph session at 2 p.m., with puck drop slated for 3:30 p.m.