Facing Wayne Gretzky Takes An In-Depth Look At Hockey’s Greatest Player Like No Other Book Has Done Before

Photo courtesy Sports Publishing

MONTEREY PARK, CA — Every summer, hockey fans suffer from withdrawal symptoms while their game goes on a long, painful hiatus.

Indeed, once the Stanley Cup Final has been completed and a champion crowned, all that’s left is the annual National Hockey League Draft, usually one week later, followed by the NHL Awards one week after that.

The final off-season events that pique the interest of hockey fans are the July 1 unrestricted free agent signing frenzy, followed shortly thereafter by team development camps for their young prospects.

That usually takes us into the second week of July, maybe the third week. But after that, zilch. Nada. Nothing. There’s a virtual black hole from that point, when there’s almost nothing to read, see, or hear in the hockey world until rookie and training camps begin in early September.

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Charity Hockey Game Benefitting Bone Marrow Donor Program Goes Beyond Organizer’s Wildest Dreams

The handshake line after the Knights of the Forum charity hockey game, played at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, Calfornia on August 16, 2015.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — As reported in this space on August 7, National Hockey League teams do a significant amount of philanthropic work to support various causes throughout each season and during each off-season as well, raising millions of dollars for a slew of worthy causes.

On August 16, a charity hockey game was played at the practice facility of the Los Angeles Kings, the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California. But this game was not sponsored by the Kings or the NHL, nor was it sponsored by any business, corporation or even a non-profit organization.

Rather, what made this game unique was that it was sponsored by an informal group of Kings fans, the 2,300-plus member Knights of the Forum group on Facebook. The game benefitted Be The Match, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping blood cancer and other patients get the life-saving bone marrow or cord blood transplants they desperately need.

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Teamwork Was One Of The Big Stories At Charity Hockey Game Benefitting Be The Match

Amber Lynette Hall (#77 in yellow, wearing the captain’s “C,” shown here during Knights of the Forum charity hockey game,
held at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, Calfornia on August 16, 2015.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — We’re still almost two months away from the start of the 2015-16 National Hockey League season. But for fans of the Los Angeles Kings, their team has not been on the ice since April 11, more than three months ago, a layoff many are no longer accustomed to after seeing their team play until mid-June when they won the 2012 and 2014 Stanley Cup Championships.

But on August 16, one could hear the vaguely familiar sounds of hockey pucks banging off the boards and clanking off goal posts. One could also hear the sounds of skates cutting into the ice as players tried to stop, of stick blades striking pucks on a slap shot, and of fans cheering loudly when a goal was scored.

Indeed, a charity hockey game benefitting Be The Match, sponsored by the 2,300-plus member Knights of the Forum group on Facebook, was played at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California on August 16, in front of a sell-out crowd of over 400 fans.

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LA Kings Rob Blake on Prospect Brian O’Neill: “Not Big…But He Competes At The Level Of The Big Guys”

LA Kings forward prospect Brian O’Neill (#22 in white), shown here taking a wrist shot in the slot during Game 1 of the 2015 Calder Cup Final against the Utica Comets on June 6, 2015, at the Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester, New Hampshire.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Blake Gumprecht

LOS ANGELES — Last April, when Los Angeles Kings forward prospect Brian O’Neill was named as the 2014-15 recipient of the Les Cunningham Award as the American Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player, if you listened carefully enough, you may have heard people asking, “who?”

Indeed, it was not until this past season that O’Neill began to appear on the radar as a legitimate Kings prospect.

“A lot of that has to do with my age, being a late bloomer, going to college and not being drafted,” said O’Neill. “[He] was a free agent signing. But I’ve been with the Kings for awhile. A lot of the guys they draft they have [been in the minors] for three or four years before they turn pro, and they’re still on everyone’s radar. But everyone advances differently in their career. My path is a little bit unique [compared to] other kids on the team. But L.A. has done a good job of bringing kids along [slowly]. Regardless of your age, they take their time with guys, and they’ve gotten really good results.”

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Charity Hockey Game Expected To Raise More Than $10,000 For National Bone Marrow Matching Program

To view/download a printable flyer,
click on the image above.
(Adobe Reader software required
to view/print).

LOS ANGELES — National Hockey League teams sponsor a slew of activities and events each year, including charity hockey games, to help raise funds for worthy causes.

But how often do you see an informal group of fans—not a team, business or a non-profit organization—band together on their own to do that, independent of anyone else?

That’s rare, to be sure. But one group of Los Angeles Kings fans is doing just that on Sunday, August 16, 2015, when they will play a charity hockey game benefitting Be The Match, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping blood cancer and other patients get the life-saving bone marrow or cord blood transplants they desperately need.

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