Town hosts NHL, Eagles alumni games

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INNISFAIL – The Birds of Innisfail will host former NHL players, coaches and officials in the team’s first-ever NHL alumni game.

The event, which comes in the Eagles’ 70th anniversary season, takes place Nov. 25 at the Innisfail Twin Arena. Puck drop is 5 p.m. The NHL alumni game will come the day after the Eagles host their team alumni game at the Arena.

“We want to do something special for the community. It’s not just about the NHL players, it’s about everybody involved,” said Brian Sutter, Eagles head coach. “It will be a special evening in Innisfail and there’s going to be a lot of really special people here.”

Former NHLers expected to participate both on and off the ice include Theo Fleury, Warren Skorodenski, Charlie Simmer, Kevin Smyth, Al MacNeil, Jim “Bearcat” Murray, Al Coates, Mike Rogers, Colin Fraser, Ross Perkins, Jamie Macoun, and Curtis Glencross and Trent Hunter, the latter pair local hockey players from Central Alberta.

“Trent played a number of years in the NHL and he lived just outside of Innisfail,” said Sutter. “We’re going to have (former) NHL guys officiate the hockey game as well,” he added, noting former linesman Mike Cvik who retired from the NHL in 2016.

Chuckwagon champion Kurt Bensmiller and country music star Gord Bamford will also participate.

The event will provide a special opportunity for Innisfail and area residents to skate alongside former NHL players.

“You get eight, 10 or 12 (NHL skaters) and then you give other people the opportunity to buy a spot to play on the team,” explained Sutter, noting members of the public are encouraged to place their bid for the unique opportunity.

Tickets for the NHL alumni game are $20 for preferred seating and $15 for general admission, and can be purchased online or at the door.

For more information visit the Innisfail Eagles website. www.innisfaileagles.com or Facebook page.

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Kristine Jean

Kristine Jean is a reporter with the Innisfail Province, joining the newspaper in 2013. She covers Penhold municipal politics, news and community events as well as sports in and around the town as well as in Innisfail.