The Grumpy Old Men are taking to the ice once again for their tournament from March 27 to 29 and will feature another charity game on March 28 that will look to build on the success it had last year.
This marks the 25th year for the annual Grumpy Old Men tournament, bringing in teams from far and wide for a weekend of hockey.
The tournament will once again feature a charity game between Team Switchblade, which featured former NHLers Jeff Bandura, Richard Hadju and former Vancouver Canucks draft pick and country music star Chad Brownlee last year.
This year’s Vancouver Island All-Stars will include both Doug Bodger (former NHL first round pick in 1984) and Trent Kaese (former NHL eight round pick in 1985).
Last year, the Grumpy Old Men tournament was able to raise more than $5,000 in total, with more than $3,000 of that for the Society of Organized Services (SOS) recreation assistance program, which helps families in need for youth in sports.
This was able to help put 23 kids into minor hockey in Parksville Qualicum Beach and organizers are hoping to raise more this year than last year to help this cause.
“We were able to raise a lot of funds for a great cause,” organizer Bruce L’Hereux said.
“We’re hoping to see more people in the stands this year and we’ve got some great items up for auction to go along with the action on the ice.”
Items that are up for auction range from a signed guitar from Dallas Smith and Brownlee, who won’t be able to attend the game but will be in Nanoose Bay on April 4 with his country music tour.
Other items include a signed Carey Price jersey, Nate Leslie Hockey Camp tuitions and much more.
Intermission entertainment will also see Oceanside Minor Hockey Timbit players, something that L’Hereux and others organizing the event felt was important to include through the weekend.
“We’ve got lots of goodies,” L’Hereux said. “We are really trying to get these kids out to see the game and have a good time.”
“They’re the future and getting them out there on the ice in between periods should be a fun time for everyone.”