Chris Kelly, alternate captain of the Boston Bruins, will be on Team Stamkos at the RBC Play Hockey Charity Challenge on Dec. 19. The challenge will be held at Toronto’s Mattamy Athletic Centre, which is part of Ryerson University’s grounds and is actually situated on the site of the old Maple Leaf Gardens (along with a Loblaws supermarket, perhaps for after-game snacks).
Kelly hasn’t been on the radar lately over in Europe. He last appeared on the roster for HC Red Ice of the Swiss National League B on Dec. 2. The team has since played six more games and he hasn’t been listed there at all, so it would appear that he came back to North America.
For the RBC Play Hockey Charity Challenge, Steven Stamkos will captain the blue team. Kelly will be joined by other players like Michael Del Zotto, Kris Versteeg, Niklas Kronwall and Jonas Gustavsson. Over on the white team, P.K. Subban will put on another hat during this ongoing NHL lockout as he captains players like former Bruins Tomas Kaberle and Phil Kessel, plus Joffrey Lupul (just back from a not-so-successful stint with KHL Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg), Martin Biron and others.
All of the players are NHLPA members.
When these two teams face off for their friendly match, it will benefit the NHLPA Goals and Dreams Fund as well as the RBC Play Hockey Program. The Goals and Dreams Fund, founded in 1999, has given more than $21 million to grassroots hockey programs and causes in more than 30 countries. Equipment grants have helped suit up more than 60,000 young players in that time, too.
RBC Bank (new name sponsor of the Carolina Hurricanes‘ arena) oversees the Play Hockey Program, which has given more than $1.5 million to more than 120 programs of every level, even as simple as just learning to skate. The Play Hockey Program is also bipartisan, being a premier partner of both USA Hockey and Hockey Canada.
Subban has especially championed the cause of bringing hockey to more kids, including those who may need help paying for expensive gear, team registration fees or tournament costs.
Here are the full rosters for the two teams:
|TEAM STAMKOS||TEAM SUBBAN|
|Michael Del Zotto||Chris Campoli|
|Mike Komisarek||Carlo Colaiacovo|
|Niklas Kronwall||Tomas Kaberle|
|Dion Phaneuf||John-Michael Liles|
|Kyle Quincey||P.K. Subban|
|Dan Cleary||Brad Boyes|
|Tim Connolly||David Clarkson|
|B.J. Crombeen||Logan Couture|
|Steve Downie||Phil Kessel|
|Chris Kelly||Tom Kostopoulos|
|Clarke MacArthur||Matthew Lombardi|
|Matt Martin||Joffrey Lupul|
|James Neal||Jay McClement|
|Teddy Purcell||John Mitchell|
|Steven Stamkos||Steve Ott|
|David Steckel||Peter Regin|
|Kris Versteeg||Chris Stewart|
|Wojtek Wolski||Dan Winnik|
|Jonas Gustavsson||Martin Biron|