It takes a special kind of person to watch the NHL season go up in flames, then a city forced under water, and try to put a positive spin on things. Frankly, the more of those people who exist the better.  Friend of the blog Will Martinez, AKA @HeyMyNameIsWill, has been watching the two disasters (not to remotely equate the significance of the two) and cooking up an idea. A really cool idea, actually, and one that we here at Backhand Shelf would love to be a part of.

Below is his proposal that he sent in email form to the NHLPA. Check it out, and let’s see if we can’t get the ball rolling on something like this. It would certainly take the involvement of organizations a lot bigger than just ours.


I write to you not to express anger and resentment over the current lockout but rather to try and turn several negatives into a positive. The lockout and upcoming cancellation of the Winter Classic are certainly unfortunate but not as unfortunate as the effects Hurricane Sandy recently had on the New York City/New Jersey area in particular. The following is an idea to hopefully make a positive out of each of those situations:

I propose that six weeks from now, give or take, an outdoor charity tournament be held outdoors in Central Park, New York City to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy. On the Friday night of the event, all interested players would be split into eight teams, each named after various boroughs/neighborhoods in the NY/NJ area to promote rooting interests among the fans. Sticks would be placed in the middle of the Central Park rink that will be set up and a shinny-style draft would be held.
The attendance for the weekend would consist of Sandy victims, all of which would receive complimentary tickets, and those who have won auctions on all remaining tickets. I imagine corporate sponsors would jump at the chance to be a part of this event.

The draft and tournament would all be televised with four quarterfinals taking place on Saturday and the semifinals and final taking place on Sunday. Every single dollar raised by this event would go directly to the victims of the hurricane to help rebuild their lives and maybe even make their holidays a little better.

I’m sure there are several hurdles in this idea that I haven’t thought of but I don’t see why some variation of this couldn’t happen. Anyway, just an idea…

Best Regards,

Will Martinez

I’ll say this: if we can ever get an event like this together, I will be there in person to be a part of it. So what say you? Is something like this reasonable, or utter fantasy? Or IS THE NHL GOING TO BE BACK BY THEN?

…Yeah, probably not the last one. Let’s hope this gets seen by someone with a little power at the players union, and they see an opportunity to do some good during their “down time.”