The Stanley Cup hockey fever may be over for another year as summer activities finally arrive, but local NHL hockey fans can still get their fix this weekend when three up-and-coming professional players visit fans at their Aldergrove hometown.
NHL pros Cameron Abney, Dean Arsene and Brad Thiessen all grew up in the Aldergrove area and still have family living here. The three men will be at Aldergrove Arena this Saturday, July 16 from noon to 2 p.m., to meet their hometown fans and old friends.
It’s a fund-raiser for the Aldergrove Food Bank and is co-hosted by the Aldergrove Kodiaks Junior B Hockey team and TNT Hockey Performance.
“Everyone who brings a non-perishable food donation of $10 or more will get autographs and photos from the players,” said Mike Thompson, a co-owner of TNT along with Tyler Jackson.
“It’s a tough time of year for the food banks and we wanted to help them out with this event.”
Abney, 19, is a bruising winger who was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers last year on a two-way contract.
Arsene, 30, is a defenceman who has just signed a two-way contract with the Phoenix Coyotes.
Thiessen, 25, is a goalie on a two-way contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Thiessen had an outstanding season last year with the Penguins’ AHL affiliate and was named to the AHL All Star team.
TNT’s Jackson has been training Thiessen since his Junior B Hockey days eight years ago, and says that while Thiessen “has always been under the radar” his prowess as a goalie is a result of “all hard work. I’ve never seen anyone work as hard as Brad. He’s a real determined guy.”
Rick Harkins, owner and general manager of the Aldergrove Kodiaks, will also be at Aldergrove Arena this Saturday, along with some of the next season’s players, including captain Jordan Pughe.
“We will be selling season tickets at a reduced rate, and all Aldergrove Minor Hockey kids can attend Kodiaks season games free if accompanied by an adult,” said Harkins.
Thompson will also have tickets available for the annual TNT charity golf tournament, August 4 at Northview, as well as the charity hockey game at Langley’s Sportsplex on the next night. All proceeds go to the B.C. Cancer Parents Association, a registered charity based in Cloverdale, and Thompson is aiming to raise at least $10,000 that weekend for the cause.
For information or registration for either of these special events, call Thompson at 604-723-8198 or Jackson at 604-836-2448.