Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend Smashfest for a third year in a row. For those unfamiliar with Smashfest, it is a questionably named fundraiser that (former?) Ranger Dominic Moore throws every year in Toronto. The event raises money for rare cancers and concussion charities, which both have personal ties to Moore.
Several NHL players attend to show their support for the cause, which elevates a ping pong tournament, paired with silent auctions, to raise over half a million dollars for charity. NHL players compete for ping pong supremacy in the friendly confines of the Steamwhistle Brewery, just beneath the CN Tower.
Among the names at Smashfest V (that’s 5 for those not into roman numerals) were former Rangers Derick Brassard and Cam Talbot, current Ranger Chris Kreider, and legends Adam Graves and Eric Lindros. Other attendees included Calder Trophy winner Aaron Ekblad, Patrick Eaves, Darnell Nurse, Mitch Marner, and Sam Bennett. These guys make themselves very accessible to chat with, which makes the fundraiser a place to really feel as though you get to know the guys.
I attended the event with four friends, and between us all we learned a lot of fun things. Some of those include:
- Brassard knew about the Ottawa trade for a while before it happened (s/t to Jessica for finding out this information),
- Adam Graves has never used Snapchat before,
- Ekblad is well aware and very excited to play with our beloved Keith Yandle “for years to come,”
- Nick Kypreos took full responsibility for hitting the “send” button on Twitter too soon when he called Dan Girardi to Arizona as part of the original Yandle trade (haven’t we all been there?), and,
- Moore is still fielding opportunities around the league to play.
The whole event is open and gives attendees plenty of opportunity to chat with players old and new. Seeing the players together gives you a good idea of the family feel that they share, supporting one another with lots of friendly competition.
If you ever find an opportunity to attend Smashfest, join it. The event typically runs in late July in downtown Toronto."Smashfest V Recap",