Former NHL players coming to P.E.I. to support Tyne Valley rink rebuild

Fundraising efforts to rebuild a P.E.I. rink will soon get help from some former NHLers. The Tyne Valley Community Sports Centre was destroyed by fire in late December.

Fundraising efforts started with the Rally for the Valley, where several hundred Islanders showed up in the parking lot of the former rink and took a photo to draw attention to their Kraft Hockeyville bid.

Now, Jeff Noye, the mayor of Tyne Valley, said some NHL legends will play a hockey game and all the proceeds will go toward rebuilding the rink.

Noye said the hockey game will take place on Feb. 9, which will include legends like Ray Bourque who once played for the Boston Bruins. 

The support, I can tell you, has been overwhelming across the Maritimes. — Adam MacLennan

Bourque will be headlining the game in Summerside at Credit Union Place. All the money raised will go toward rebuilding the rink in Tyne Valley. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for kids.

"All proceeds from everything from that game goes back to our fundraising efforts," said Tyne Valley rink manager Adam MacLennan.

Skate with Charlottetown Islanders

The Charlottetown Islanders are also throwing their support behind Tyne Valley with a Skate for the Valley after their game Sunday.

The support Tyne Valley has had from other P.E.I. communities goes to show how "tight-knit" the hockey community is and Craig Foster, president of operations for the Islanders, said the team wanted to be part of that.

"We just want to do what we can to help their fundraising efforts."

Hans Deryk, Archive/Canadian Press

Admission to the skate with the Charlottetown Islanders is by donation and all money raised will go toward the rink rebuild.

"Get some autographs, get some pictures," MacLennan said.

"It's not every day you get to go out and get to skate with potential future NHL players."

Charlottetown Mitsubishi will also be outside the Eastlink Centre offering test drives. For every test drive, the dealer will donate $20 to rebuild the rink.

"It's great to have local support here in Tyne Valley, but you know the support, I can tell you, has been overwhelming across the Maritimes," MacLennan said.

The Tyne Valley fundraising committee has been busy working on a business plan and economic study, as well as preparing applications for provincial and federal government funding, MacLennan said.

He said the committee is still waiting for the final word on the insurance claim for the rink.

Hockeyville bid

Every year, the Hockeyville competition gives one Canadian community money to upgrade its arena and host an NHL pre-season game. A top prize of $250,000 is up for grabs and the winner is announced March 28.

Tyne Valley's bid to win the Hockeyville contest has gained a lot of attention. It has been supported by other Maritime communities.

Sarah MacMillan/CBC

Celebrities with an Island connection have endorsed the bid like Trailer Park Boys and Mr. D star Jonathan Torrens.

"We've had great shout-outs from Ron MacLean, Elliotte Friedman, Doug MacLean," MacLennan said.

MacLennan said nominations for Hockeyville end on Feb. 9 and he is hoping people continue to show their support so they make the top-four finalists.

Noye said many Island communities have been supportive of rebuilding the rink. The Boys and Girls Club of Summerside has an online auction running with proceeds going to the rink rebuild.

Moosehead Breweries is donating $1 from every case of beer the company sells on the Island until Feb. 29 to a maximum of $20,000. 

Noye said he hopes the company is able to reach that maximum.

More P.E.I. news