NHL Players donation will purchase a significant amount of youth hockey equipment to introduce hockey to local youth
Blaine, Minn. (December 13, 2017) -- The Herb Brooks Foundation (HBF) announced today they have received a donation of a significant quantity of hockey equipment, courtesy of the National Hockey League Players’ Association’s (NHLPA) Goals & Dreams fund.
This donation of hockey equipment from the NHLPA Goals & Dreams will be dedicated to supporting the HBF’s Rink Rat Program. The Rink Rat program is dedicated to providing inner-city children the chance to play, learn and love the game of hockey at no cost. The 13 Rink Rats programs in Minneapolis and Saint Paul have served over 7,000 kids since the program’s inception in 2009, and last year introduced over 1,000 kids to the sport of hockey.
The St. Paul Police Activities League provides volunteer coaches for Herb Brooks Foundation Rink Rats programs in St. Paul.
The donation from the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund the purchase of 40 pairs of shin guards, 60 pairs of elbow pads, 50 pairs of gloves, 50 pairs of skates, 50 sticks and 45 helmets.
Many of the Rink Rats programs are after-school programs with kids learning basic skills indoors and then skating outdoors at local parks. Other Rink Rats programs are all on-ice programs at local rinks.
“The Herb Brooks Foundation is dedicated to expanding the pyramid of youth hockey,” said HBF Executive Director John McClellan. “For that to happen, youth players and their families need a chance to try the game at relatively no cost. The donation by NHLPA Goals & Dreams will make that a reality for all the kids playing in our Rink Rat program.”
"Learning the game, as many know, is a tremendous challenge,” said Dan Brooks, HBF Board Member and the son of Herb Brooks. “What can make it tougher is if the kids can't play in proper gear. Providing kids with new equipment makes the game safer and takes so much of the challenge away. We are humbled and honored by this generous gift from the NHLPA."
Locally, the Rink Rats Program is supported by many Saint Paul and Minneapolis community service programs -- the Saint Paul Police Athletic League, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Ramsey County Parks and the Minneapolis Public Schools. Many of the coaches are provided by the FHIT program at the Herb Brooks Training Center. Morrie’s Automotive Group provides student transportation from schools to local parks in Minneapolis. Other sponsors include Dave’s Sport Shop, the Butzow Foundation, the Minnesota Wild Foundation, Let’s Play Hockey, RBC Wealth Management, and the Saint Paul Police Activities League program.
"Herb Brooks believed in growing the game and widening the pyramid. Kudos to the NHLPA for providing more hockey equipment for the young inner-city kids of Minneapolis and St Paul,” said Joe Dzeidzic, a NHLPA member and retired NHL player for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Phoenix Coyotes. “This grant will help introduce the game to more kids by allowing them to try hockey. Hopefully they enjoy it and develop a passion for the game. You never know where these new opportunities will take them."