The lead up to the 2016 NHL All Star Game was out of control. Like a perfectly healthy college student trying to run through the woods from a slowly walking serial killer who’s been shot 12 times, you just couldn’t get away from it. Most were already shredding the Skills Competition. Then it was the 3 on 3, and then the tournament format. The opinions were everywhere. Adding more fuel to the fire was the fan vote and the name John Scott (nee Doe).
After reading enough posts to build a Trump Fence across the Mexican border going into the event, I really wanted to see what the reaction was going to be immediately afterward. There was certainly a lot to talk about, not the least of which was John Scott walking away with the MVP award. So imagine my surprise when I see the most hotly contested issue is…what the players from the winning team are going to do with the million dollar prize money! Actually, the word ‘contested’ is a little misleading because that implies there was a close race between two or more opinions. It was more like there was one particular suggestion/threat. Those bratty millionaires don’t need $91,000.00. They’d better donate that to charity. It’s the only proper thing to do because they already get enough. Amazingly, this was the thing people wanted to talk about. This is the decision many are talking about at the water coolers today. So here’s a thought to try and calm the storm IF one or more of these rich, ungrateful brats decides to keep their share.
I’m not even going to get into the contract that allows player salaries to be affected by escrow. You’ll have to look that up, but it’s not looking particularly good this season. I won’t even pretend to be the one to determine who has “enough” and who doesn’t. Is it ok for a player making 2 million to take the cut, but not a guy making 8 million? What about a player who has the uncertainty of only a year or two left on his contract? Can he take it as a safety net?Who’s making that judgement call? Not me.
How about we look from a different angle and find out who these undeserving clowns really are? The Pacific Division All Star roster is filled with high salaries, so just what could these people possible be doing with all that money? Literally a 5 minute Google search per player reveals a lot.
Drew Doughty spent 3 years running a charity baseball event called Grand Slam For Cancer. He stopped running it only to focus on his partnerships with McDonald’s (as announced on the fudraiser’s Facebook page in 2013). He was also one of several NHL players who helped Wayne Simmons run his Road Hockey tournament to raise funds to help underprivileged kids get the chance to play hockey.
Brent Burns won the 2015 NHL Foundation award. Fellow Pacific Division defenceman Mark Giordano was a finalist. I’ll let NHL.com summarize some of their significant off ice activities here.
Pacific Division goaltender Jonathan Quick has his own foundation, which you can read about here courtesy of lakingscourt.blogspot.ca.
Daniel Sedin and his twin brother, Henrik, donated 1.5 million dollars in 2010 for construction of a Vancouver children’s hospital. They also started a family foundation in 2014. vancitybuzz.com explains here.
Corey Perry is mentioned as a participant in many charitable events
I found, from Doughty’s Grand Slam for Cancer to NHL’er Scott Hartnell’s Operation Hat Trick, which raised money for victims of Hurricane Sandy, and he also always takes part in London Knight Alumni events.
Joe Pavelski was one of many players to shave his head and beard for the aforementioned Brent Burns fundraising efforts, and btn.com (big ten network) tells a little more about Pavelski and what he’s done to give back .
A young Johnny Gaudreau has already shown signs of appreciation for the opportunities his career has given him. He’s a heavy participant in the NHLPA’s efforts, as cited here by nhlpa.com.
Not to be outdone, Taylor Hall makes himself available at almost every opportunity, especially in his hometown of Kingston. He works with the local Boys And Girls Club, and has made repeated appearances at an off season event for the Children’s Cancer Fund of Kingston, among other things.
That’s what I found in half an hour, and that’s only using the term “charitable donations”, and that’s only for members of the Pacific Division All Star Team. This doesn’t include all the PR work, the spending time with kids and fans, the requests of the NHLPA, the NHL proper, the charitable requests of individual teams, both past and current, and any number of other reasons these guys are hit up for money or souvenirs on a daily basis. These guys are at hospitals, schools, charity events, even just signing autographs. They pay to foundations, start foundations, scholarships, minor hockey associations, etc. And it’s not just the highest paid players that do this.
But yeah, you’re right. If they take this $91,000.00, they’re selfish. It’s about time they take a step back, feel bad for all of us who don’t make a lot of money, and realize how lucky they are.