Former NHL players visit Kodiak for clinic, tournament

Final month, the quick guys got here to Kodiak.

This week, the robust guys are coming.

5 former NHL gamers — together with two males who made their dwelling as enforcers, in some instances famously so — are slated to take part on this week’s Kodiak Cup hockey clinic and event.

The previous execs — a gaggle that features former Boston Bruins toughman John Wensink and former Detroit Purple Wings pest Dennis Polonich — will take part in a expertise clinic and a four-on-four event Saturday and Sunday on the Baranof Park outside ice rink.

The occasion marks the second time in a month that Kodiak has lured some well-known athletes to city. In September, Olympic runner Ben Blankenship and hometown star Trevor Dunbar have been amongst those that competed within the Nice Alaska Miles Collection in Kodiak, the place Blankenship ran the quickest mile on Alaska soil.

The Kodiak Cup was dreamed up by Russell DeGroote, an orthopedic surgeon who moved to Alaska in December. He has labored as an orthopedic advisor for quite a lot of skilled hockey groups, which allowed him to make private connections with the gamers who might be in Kodiak this week – Wensink, Polonich, Terry Yake, James Campbell and Allen Pedersen.

“These are all pals of mine that I’ve recognized 10 to fifteen years,” DeGroote stated.

“These are nice motivational guys, particularly Dennis Polonich, as a result of he is 5-foot-6 and made it to the NHL within the time of monster males – 230-pound meat sticks – and he caught. One of many causes I needed to deliver him right here is to point out youngsters if you need it and work at it, you will get it.”

DeGroote stated he created the Kodiak Cup to boost cash for a shelter for gamers to placed on gear on the Baranof Ice Rink, which has no locker room.

He stated when he first noticed Kodiak’s rink, it took him again to his early hockey-enjoying days in Canada.

“It jogged my memory of once I was a bit of child enjoying outdoor, placing on hockey gear within the rain and snow and wind,” he stated. “We need to increase sufficient funds to have the ability to construct a shelter space for teenagers to placed on their gear.”

DeGroote hopes to make the Kodiak Cup an annual occasion. If sufficient cash is raised to construct a shelter, he stated, the subsequent objective will probably be including bleachers on the rink.

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