For a number of years now, Jackson Events and Easter Seals have proudly partnered up to host the Easter Seals Celebrity Hockey Classic Series. The Celebrity Hockey Classic Series offers hockey enthusiasts the chance to play with former NHL greats in a two or three-game tournament, as well as the opportunity to meet and greet the players during an exclusive Draft Party the evening before. On Draft Party night, each team will draft one former NHL great to play on their team. A number of high profile, former NHL stars host their own Celebrity Hockey Classic. These players include former Toronto Maple Leaf captain Rick Vaive, 3 time Stanley Cup winner Paul Coffey, Philadelphia Flyers legend Eric Lindros and former Buffalo Sabres fan favorite Brad May. In addition to these player hosted tournaments, the counties of Huron and Bruce jointly played host to the Huron Bruce Celebrity Hockey Classic.
Jackson Events is excited to continue to host the Celebrity Hockey Classic Series alongside Easter Seals. Easter Seals is an excellent organization that provides a wide variety of programs to children with physical disabilities throughout Ontario. Services Easter Seals provides includes financial assistance up to $3000 per year for each child to purchase mobility equipment, operating 2 fully accessible 10 day summer camps with fun activities such as rope courses, climbing walls and water sports. Easter Seals also offers a range of scholarship opportunities for those with disabilities to attend postsecondary institutions and runs several awareness campaigns.
Preceding each Celebrity Hockey Classic tournament is either a Captains Breakfast or Captains Reception. These events took place on a day in the weeks leading up to its particular Celebrity Hockey Classic tournament. At this pre-tournament event, The organizing team behind that particular Celebrity Hockey Classic provided participants with details on fundraising, new participating NHL alumni, details of the draft taking place at the draft party, game-day logistics, incentive prizes and more. In addition, captains were provided with their kits and jerseys. Attendees also got the chance to hear from and get a one-on-one photo in their jersey with an NHL great in attendance. It provided participants a great opportunity to meet the NHL great hosting the particular tournament, other captains and the team behind the Celebrity Hockey Classic as well had the chance to receive further information about the tournament.
The Rick Vaive Celebrity Hockey Classic took place on Friday November 25th at RIM Park in Waterloo. The Rick Vaive Celebrity Hockey Classic VIP Draft occurred the night before on Thursday, November 24th at Edelweiss Tavern in Kitchener beginning at 6:30 pm. In addition to Rick Vaive, other former NHL players who participated included Al Iafrate, Mike Krushelnyski, Dave McLlwain, Tom Fergus, Todd Warriner, Steve Rice, Scott Walker, Dennis Maruk, Brad Dalgarno, Todd Bertuzzi, Bernie Nicholls and Mike Johnson. The Captains’ Breakfast for the Rick Vaive Celebrity Hockey Classic took place on Wednesday September 28th at The Duke of Wellington pub in Waterloo, with Rick Vaive on hand. The Captains Breakfast commenced at 8:00 am. In addition to a excellent breakfast served by The Duke of Wellington’s staff, tournament organizers gave speeches and each participant in attendance got their pictures with Rick Vaive. The festivities wrapped up at 9:30 am.
The Huron-Bruce Celebrity Hockey Classic was held on Saturday, October 29th with the VIP Draft Party taking place the night before. Both the Huron-Bruce Celebrity Hockey Classic and the VIP Draft Party took place in Saugeen Shores, with tournament play taking place at The Plex Community Centre and the VIP Draft Party taking place at The Queens Bar & Grill. Prior to the VIP Draft Party, those involved with the Huron-Bruce Celebrity Hockey Classic had the opportunity to take part in a “Skate with the Greats”, which took place at The Plex from 5-6 PM. After the skate, all the legends and other participants headed to The Queens Bar & Grill. Former NHL greats who took part in the Huron-Bruce Celebrity Hockey Classic included former Washington Capitals star Dennis Maruk, Boston Bruins alumni Kraig Nienhuis and former Toronto Maple Leafs Al Iafrate, Mike Krushelnyski, Tom Fergus, Rick Vaive, Ric Nattress and Mark Laforest. The Captains’ Breakfast for the Huron-Bruce Celebrity Hockey Classic took place on Tuesday, October 4th at Lakeshore Recreation, located in Port Elgin. The Captains Breakfast kicked off at 8:00 am with Al Iafrate in attendance. After a top-notch breakfast served by Lakeshore Recreation, those in attendance stuck around for speeches and pictures in their team jersey with Al Iafrate, with the festivities wrapping up around 9:30 am.
The Paul Coffey Celebrity Hockey Classic held it’s 4th annual on Friday, November 11th. The Paul Coffey Celebrity Hockey Classic VIP Draft Party took place the night before, on Thursday, November 10th. Tournament play was held at The Sports Village, and the Luxy NightClub hosted the VIP Draft Party. Both are located in Vaughan. In addition to Paul Coffey, other players who participated in the Paul Coffey Celebrity Hockey Classic included Al Iafrate, Mike Krushelnyski, Tom Fergus, Ric Nattress, Glenn Anderson, Rick Vaive, Kraig Nienhuis, Todd Harvey, Dennis Maruk, Brad May, Tiger Williams, Brad Dalgarno, Craig Muni, PJ Stock, Dave Gagner and Todd Warriner. The Captains’ Breakfast for the Paul Coffey Celebrity Hockey Classic occurred on Thursday, October 6th at JD Smith in Vaughan. In addition to a great breakfast, those in attendance got to enjoy good speeches and got the opportunity to take pictures with Paul Coffey.
The 5th annual Eric Lindros Celebrity Hockey Classic was held Friday, November 4th with the Eric Lindros Celebrity Hockey Classic Draft Party having occurred the night prior on Thursday, November 3rd. The Eric Lindros Celebrity Hockey Classic was hosted by the Iroquois Park Sports Complex in Whitby with the VIP Draft Party taking place at The Junction Nightclub in nearby Oshawa. In addition to Eric Lindros, other NHL alumni who participated included Dale Hawerchuk, Adam Graves, Tom Fergus, Ric, Nattress, Rick Vaive, Dennis Maruk, Doug Gilmour, Brad Dalgarno, Bernie Nicholls, Craig Muni, Kris King, Darcy Tucker, Keith Acton, Dave Gagner, Dan Daoust, Jack Valiquette and Darryl Shannon. The Captains’ Breakfast for the Eric Lindros Celebrity Hockey Classic occurred on Friday, October 7th at Nurse Chevrolet in Whitby. Those in attendance had the opportunity to enjoy a great breakfast, as well as hear speeches and have their picture taken with Eric Lindros. The Eric Lindros Celebrity Hockey Classic has been a huge success since it’s inaugural event 5 years ago, raising over 1 million dollars, including surpassing $300 000 at the 2016 event alone.
The Brad May Celebrity Hockey Classic took place for the 4th consecutive year on Friday November 18th, with the Brad May Celebrity Hockey Classic VIP Draft Party having took place on Thursday, November 17th. Tournament play was held at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex, with the VIP Draft Party having occurred at the OE Banquet Hall. Both facilities are located in Oakville. In addition to Brad May, other former NHLers who participated included Al Iafrate, Mike Krushelnyski, Ric Nattress, Doug Gilmour, Dennis Maruk, Krig Neinhuis, Scott Walker, Craig Muni, Rob Ray, Peter Ing, Kevin Maguire and Dave Gagner. Instead of a Captains’ Breakfast, the Brad May Celebrity Hockey Classic hosted a Captains’ Cocktail Party at Turtle Jacks in Oakville on Tuesday, October 12th. During the Cocktail Party, participants got to enjoy some fabulous appetizers as well as listen to speeches and get photos with Brad May.
On behalf of Jackson Events, Easter Seals and the NHL Alumni Players involved, we’re happy to see all the eager fans watching and participating in the exciting action. Thank you for supporting Easter Seals and stay tuned for the 2017 edition of Celebrity Hockey Classic Series!
Written By: Chris Cunneen