It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Yeah, the holidays are upon us, but it’s also Teddy Bear Toss season!
The Teddy Bear Toss is a promotion that has been done by many teams at various levels of hockey for years. While we wait for the kings of the event, the Western Hockey League’s Calgary Hitmen, to host theirs on Dec. 10, a slew of tosses took place recently and boy, did the fur fly.
• Let’s start in Bakersfield, California where Brad Malone’s shorthanded goal helped the American Hockey League’s Condors to a 7-3 win over the San Antonio Rampage. Malone’s goal also signaled the 8,862 fans — the franchise’s fifth-largest attendance ever — to send their teddy bears flying.
Here’s their multi-angle view via Adam Beck of the Condors:
The final total was a team record 10,549 stuffed animals, which will help nearly 50 local organizations. The all-time count after 19 years of holding the event is 121,395.
• Next up we have the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins, who saw approximately 4,000 stuffed animals hit the ice to benefit Hug-a-Bears of Kent County.
BRING ON THE TEDDY BEARS! #MBvsGR pic.twitter.com/Pba7x7CRVC
— AHL (@TheAHL) November 25, 2017
• A six-game point streak came to an end for the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers over the weekend, but the fans at WesBanco Arena got to toss their bears following Garret Meurs’ first period goal.
And tonight it’s the @WheelingNailers fans who remind us that it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
They’re prompted by Garrett Meurs’ 11th goal of the season? pic.twitter.com/FF73KLqCXq
— ECHL (@ECHL) November 26, 2017
• Like I said, many different levels of hockey partake in this great tradition. Here’s the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Estevan Bruins getting in on the act to help out the Salvation Army:
• The Children’s Miracle Network were one of the charities who benefitted from the Quad City Mallards’ event:
Prompted by Josh MacDonald’s goal, the @myqcmallards fans remind us that it is, indeed, the most wonderful time of the year ? pic.twitter.com/D6BdHBE248
— ECHL (@ECHL) November 25, 2017
• Ben Berard got the BCHL’s Powell River Kings fans out of their seats to send their bears flying:
• The event has even gone international with the Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers of Germany taking part:
Das war unser #TeddyBearToss 2017. Vielen Dank an alle Fans und Sponsoren, die mitgemacht haben! pic.twitter.com/0o3oEAMKk7
— Ice Tigers (@Ice_Tigers) November 20, 2017
Pretty fun time, right? If you thought those were cool wait until you see what the fans in Calgary do next month when the Hitmen hold their annual Toss night. Last year they sent 23,924 stuffed animals to the ice, which was amazing but not close to the record they set in 2015 with a total count of 28,815.
That’s a lot of bears and a lot of soon-to-be very happy kids.
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.