The players announced for the Montreal Canadiens Alumni team that is coming to the Comox Valley have won a combined 15 Stanley Cups.
And on Sunday, March 29 they’ll be hoping to add the coveted Mayor’s Cup to their resume in a fundraising hockey game that gets underway at 2 p.m. at the Comox Valley Sports Centre.
The Canadiens Alumni, recruited by Comox mayor (and huge Habs’ fan) Paul Ives, will represent Comox at this year’s game. The Hab-Nots, a collection of Mayor’s Cup seasoned veterans, will represent Courtenay.
In past years, all proceeds from the game (about $4,000 raised by players and sponsors plus a $1,000 contribution from the Comox Rotary Club) have gone to KidSport Comox Valley. This year, the money will be split between KidSport and the Comox Valley Minor Hockey Association.
General admission is $20. There will be a VIP Meet & Greet buffet at Crown Isle Resort from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. that same day. A special VIP admission which includes the buffet, photos and autographs with players is $100. VIP tickets are limited to 100.
General admission tickets and VIP tickets are available at Happy’s Source for Sports on 6th Street in Courtenay. (Cash only).
The Canadiens Alumni confirmed (as of March 19) to appear in Courtenay includes Steve Shutt (five Stanley Cup rings), Gaston Gingras (one), Chris Nilan (one), Stéphane Richer (two), Richard Sevigny (one), Gilbert Delorme, Mathieu Dandeault (three, all with Detroit), Rick Green (one), Normand Dupont, Yves Racine and Jessie Belanger (one).
Ives explains how the Mayor’s Cup evolved. “Since the fall of 2010, we have been playing hockey early Monday mornings (6 a.m.) as a group of about 25 players organized by Dr. Paul Helpard of Shoreline Orthodontics. As a wind-up to the season, we have played in a charity fundraiser game … when, along with our friends, family members etc. encouraging and cheering us, we have raised funds for youth-related causes.
“The past fall I got an email from the Habs Alumni team to ask if our community would be interested in hosting them for a game, and everything came together in a way that we could combine our Mayor’s Cup game with their appearance.”
Ives said Comox Rotary president Stu Tunheim is lacing them up for the game and notes former Courtenay mayor Greg Phelps will be offering his spot on the Hab-Nots squad to the highest bidder. “As well, we are having music producer and 2013 Comox Valley Walk of Achievement recipient Brian Howes from L.A. joining the Habs Alumni team as back-up goalie.”
Howes grew up playing hockey (he coached future NHL goalie Byron Dafoe at a summer camp) and tubing the Puntledge River in Courtenay. He is a two-time Juno Award winner.