Cool story out of Baghdad about the street hockey gear that the NHL donated to the troops last month. Upon receipt of the equipment, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Thomas Maddock teamed up with Army Sergeant Joel Kirk to put together an inter-branch street hockey tournament. Despite the 120-plus-degree daytime highs that Iraq sometimes sees, the tournament was a resounded success, culminating in a final game that saw the Army Hell Raisers beat the ITAM Air Force Warriors 5-4 in overtime. Says Kirk of the experience:
“The tournament has been a great success so far and is getting real good publicity over here. I keep getting new emails from people asking when I’m starting the next one and to let them know because they want to be in it.”
The NHL is also talking with the Pentagon to get some players overseas in the offseason to meet with the troops. Given the generous and accessible nature of most NHL players, I’m willing to bet they’d line up for the opportunity.
You can read the rest of Rocky Bonanno’s NHL.com story here.