In the lead-up to the holidays, many Ontario Hockey League teams held Teddy Bear Toss Nights as a way to help bring joy to less fortunate children.
This year the league announced that it collected more than 52,000 bears to spread among local communities. The London Knights led the way with 10,671 teddy bears tossed onto the ice after Boston Bruins prospect Seth Griffith netted the Knights’ opening goal in their game against the Owen Sound Attack on Dec. 14.
That was a record for the Knights and they weren’t the only OHL team that topped its previous best.
In addition, OHL team holiday fundraisers raised more than $20,000 for toy and canned food drives.
The teddy bear toss isn’t limited to the OHL. On Dec. 1, the AHL reported that fans threw 12,497 bears onto the ice during the Hershey Bears’ game versus the Norfolk Admirals.
Tim Gleason has likely played his last NHL game. The 32-year-old defenseman has informed the Carolina Hurricanes that he no longer wishes to continue his professional tryout.
“Tim informed us today he wasn’t going to continue to pursue his tryout,” said GM Ron Francis, per the club’s website. “He looked and felt good physically, but didn’t feel up to the grind of the NHL mentally.”
“We got outcompeted in the second period, badly,” Mark Letestu told the team’s website. “Whether it was little puck battles or even just executing on systems. It played right into their game. When you get behind a team like this that’s so dominant in the circle it’s tough to generate chances to come back. We didn’t deserve to win this one at all.”
As if things weren’t bad enough, the Oilers also lost Nail Yakupovto injury after a linesman (yes, a linesman) fell on top of him.
After the game, head coach Todd McLellan didn’t hold back:
"That's a really disappointing effort from our hockey club… We weren't a very determined team." McLellan on the #Oilers defeat