Montreal Canadiens alumni coming to Estevan to raise money for OSI-Can

Alumni from the Montreal Canadiens will be skating alongside some local people in a fundraiser in February.

Canadiens alumni will skate with and against local players, a team of which will be determined later, on Feb. 24, 2019.

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Proceeds from the event will go to OSI-Can, a joint project of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Saskatchewan Division and the Royal Canadian Legion’s Saskatchewan Command.

“OSI-Can is a support group for injured veterans (and) people with occupational stress injury and post-traumatic stress disorder,” said event co-chair Jim (Frosty) Forrest of the Estevan branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. “They have various programs within their organizations to do that with their groups.”

Support is available in either peer support groups through a network of service providers linking members to other necessary services.

Forrest said that when he was approached about the idea of a fundraiser by the OSI-Can provincial co-ordinator, and the idea of an alumni game with the Canadiens was brought up, he took it to the local branch and they were excited by the idea.

“It’s going to be a tremendous event,” said Forrest. “We expect we’re going to fill the arena here. There’s no better place in Estevan to hold this event. And the Legion is not making a nickel out of this. It’s strictly to support veterans and first responders and those people that suffer from these disorders.”

People are encouraged to be involved in the game in a variety of different ways. Tickets for the game will be $20 for rush seating and can be purchased online through a link on the event’s Facebook page, or by going to the Royal Canadian Branch or Henders Drugs. Kids under 10 will get in for free.

Players can also apply to take part in the event as they will be looking for 22 for the game from Estevan or anywhere in southeast Saskatchewan. 

“It’s basically first-come, first-served,” said Danny Ewen, Power Dodge Estevan Bruins marketing manager. “They’ll be wearing OSI-Can Bruin jerseys…. To be on that team you need to be at least 35 years of age or older and you have to have some hockey ability out there.”

Cost to play in the game will be $400 and players will get to keep their jerseys at the end.

There are also two spots to skate with the Montreal alumni squad that are going for $1,500 each, and one assistant coach spot behind the bench of the Habs available for $1,000.

There are also 200 VIP spots available for $200 each, and people who get this will get to watch the game in a special section and have access to a VIP reception after the game.

They won’t know specifics of players on the alumni from the Canadiens until a later date but it’s not out of the question to potentially see some of the all-time greats from that organization’s storied history.

“We anticipate it being an excellent program and some local players get to play with their heroes and the legion is totally dedicated to helping veterans and this is a way we can do this,” said Forrest. “This is a way to raise some funds and provide some entertainment for folks and we’re looking forward to a very successful event.”

Information was available at Wednesday night’s game between the Power Dodge Estevan Bruins and the La Ronge Ice Wolves. 

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