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Hockey players raise $750,000 for Alzheimer’s

Hockey players raise $750,000 for Alzheimer’s

by GREG DOUGLAS

The organizing committee behind last weekend’s tournament gathered early Friday morning to hear the final results of their efforts.

There was hardly a dry eye in the boardroom when the figure $750,000 was proudly confirmed, all from 16 participating teams and roughly 250 recreational players.

The Nov. 15-17 event at Canlan Ice Sports on the North Shore was monitored by Mr. Hockey himself, Gordie Howe.

Each team had an NHL Alumni player as a designated captain. One of the most popular was Marty McSorley, the former enforcer who protected Wayne Gretzky for years in Edmonton and Los Angeles.

McSorley’s NHL career ended when he was charged with assault and suspended by the league after he whacked Canuck Donald Brashear in the head with his stick. Brashear fell backwards, hit his head hard on the ice and suffered a Grade 3 concussion. That happened in February 2000, and on Oct. 4, 2000, a jury found McSorley guilty of assault with a weapon. He was sentenced to 18 months probation and would never play another NHL game.

Ironically, it’s McSorley who transmits the loudest message on behalf of Alzheimer’s. “We are all aware there is a high percentage of athletes today suffering from brain injuries,” McSorley said on the Brook Ward Sports Weekend show. “There was a time when a trainer would sit you down at the end of the bench suspecting a concussion and simply say, ‘Are you OK?’ If you nodded ‘yes’ you’d be back in the game. We have to make sure that today’s players are protected with proper treatment.”

HERE ‘N’ THERE:

Ernie Dougherty of the original 1945-46 Vancouver Canucks was the first of four alumni legends to be given a special tribute night at Rogers Arena Tuesday night. Mickey McDowell, Bob McCusker and Orland Kurtenbach are next on the list. A couple of surprise visitors who popped by to honour Dougherty were Canucks’ first draft pick (1970) Dale Tallon, now GM with the Florida Panthers, and Canucks’ chief operating officer Victor de Bonis, the Vancouver east ender who once parked cars on game nights. He was four years old when Tallon was drafted and is now in his 20th year in charge of the Canucks’ finances.

SHORT HOPS:

Undisputed star of Confratellanza Italo-Canadese and North Burnaby Boxing Club ‘Fight Night’ Thursday was ring announcer Jimmy Crescenzo, drama teacher at Templeton High and noted actor around town. Wearing his trademark fedora, a tuxedoed Crescenzo kept the soldout crowd at the Italian Cultural Centre entertained throughout six lively bouts … Rick Uppal, former voice of the New Westminster Bruins and race-caller at Fraser Downs for more than 20 years, leaves with his wife and successful standardbred trainer Casandra this weekend for new adventures on the U.S. racing circuit.

END ZONE:

In answer to many queries about a service for the late Dunc Stewart, longtime Vancouver Sun sports editor, a celebration of life will be held at noon on Dec. 1 at the Town & Country Inn in Delta.

Material reprinted with the express permission of Vancouver Sun, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.


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