Chat with many Canadian rock stars and they'll admit to having fantasized about being a pro hockey player. Some of them now get to live out that dream by lacing up the skates and competing against former NHL greats in the annual Juno Cup. This celebrity Rockers vs ex-NHL-ers joust has become one of the most popular events in Juno Week every year, and music education charity MusiCounts gets to benefit handsomely.
The first announcement of those competing has been made. Former NHL alumni confirmed to play include Cliff Ronning (Vancouver Canucks), Dave Babych (Vancouver Canucks), Jyrki Lumme (Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks), Kirk McLean (Vancouver Canucks), Brad Dalgarno (New York Islanders) and Troy Crowder (New Jersey Devils, LA Kings, Vancouver Canucks). More players will be announced in the coming weeks.
Confirmed musicians include Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo), Dallas Smith, Chad Brownlee, Craig Northey (Odds), Devin Cuddy and Grant Lawrence (The Smugglers, CBC Music). On Facebook today, Rockers member Michael Hollett (NXNE) posted "Last time our Team Rockers squad won was in Vancouver. Will history repeat? Hell yeah! #junos."
The Juno Cup has raised $840K over the past 14 years for MusiCounts, which puts instruments in the hands of kids who need them through several programs and music education initiatives.
In a press release, event regular Jim Cuddy says “The Juno Cup is great for all the right reasons – it combines music, hockey, and a great charity in MusiCounts who give much needed instruments to schools across Canada. The camaraderie between the musicians and the NHL Greats is evident both on and off the ice. And the fans in the stands cheering us on makes everyone feel energized and excited to play. I am looking forward to this year’s game and celebrating the Junos in beautiful Vancouver with all of these great players.”
The puck drops on March 23, 7:30 p.m. at Burnaby’s Bill Copeland Sports Centre. Tickets go on sale this Friday. More info here