The Mike Keane Celebrity Hockey Classic kicks off with a draft day experience where each team chooses an NHL superstar to play on their team. Draft positions are determined by the total dollars raised by each team. After an evening spent getting to know their celebrity teammate, teams hit the ice at Bell MTS Iceplex. The event ends with the top fundraising team playing against the NHL greats. Proceeds from the event are split between the True North Youth Foundation and Continuity Care.
“This tournament allows everyday hockey enthusiasts to team up with former NHL greats to play hockey and raise funds for charities in Manitoba,” said Dwayne Green, Executive Director, True North Youth Foundation. “We are extremely grateful to be a part of such a unique event that has so many local ties to Winnipeg.”
Mike Keane, former NHLer, three-time Stanley Cup champion and Manitoba Moose captain, spearheaded the initiative of a charity hockey tournament to raise funds for Manitoba charities in partnership with Continuity Care and the True North Youth Foundation (formerly the Manitoba Moose Yearling Foundation). This event allows adult recreational hockey players from around Winnipeg to become wide-eyed kids again as they take to the ice with their childhood heroes.
Each team has a former NHL star on its roster and the participants are treated like pros. They get to take part in a draft night, have their dressing room set up similar to one in pro hockey and get to play with their idols while getting the opportunity to interact with a former pro, get autographs and hear stories about the good old days. Pros get to spend this wonderful day with local hockey players who care about their community and have raised funds for two great charities – Continuity Care and the True North Youth Foundation.
The inaugural tournament occurred in November 2010 where 16 teams participated in the tournament. The last Keane Classic raised over $400,000 and was a tremendous success. Everyone involved from the everyday hockey enthusiasts to the former NHL greats had an amazing time!