Thomas Gradin, who led the Vancouver Canucks to the team’s first trip to the Stanley Cup final in 1982, is among the members of the Canucks Alumni who will play in the upcoming Mayors Cup in the Comox Valley.
The annual Courtenay versus Comox challenge is a fundraiser featuring local politicians, business leaders and guests. Along with Gradin (now a Canucks scout), other former National Hockey League players participating are Jamie Huscroft, Moe Lemay, John Craighead, BJ MacDonald, Brent Hughes and Chris Higgins. Former minor league goalie Terry Bingley will also play.
“We’re still working on players,” said Robin Wyss, executive director of the Canucks Alumni. “We typically come in with about 14 players — a goalie and 13 skaters — and then we add a couple of local guys…We have the PA announcer that does the games for the Canucks as well, Al Murdoch.”
The Canucks Alumni is comprised of former hockey players, coaches, administrators and a few entertainers. It has about 125 members living in B.C., the core group in the Lower Mainland. Other members live in various parts of North America and Europe. Its purpose is to support the hockey fraternity as well as charities.
“If you look at our membership, there’s a real broad age difference,” Wyss said. “A lot of the guys don’t return to where they played, so your ability to build your membership, where you can do things, is really challenging.”
Proceeds from the Mayors Cup will benefit Comox Valley KidSport — a non-profit organization that helps children who cannot play sports due to financial barriers.
The game will be held at the Comox Valley Sports Centre on Friday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door.
For presale or group tickets, call Kevin Pantuso at 250-331-6091.