Too hot outside? Perhaps a little hockey in the middle of the summer might cool things off.Frontier Ice Arena in Coeur d’Alene is hosting Hockey Fest to help offset the expenses of hockey for local families and to make improvements on the only hockey rink in North Idaho.
Last year, organizers raised more than $30,000 and they hope to do better this year. All the proceeds from the event go to support youth hockey.
Hockey Fest started Thursday night with the Tyler Johnson Hockey Camp, where kids up to 12 years old worked on their on-ice skills with Johnson and several NHL players. Tonight, the NHL Legends game will feature all-time greats Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull, Brenden Morrow, Guy Carbonneau and other retired players along with approximately 20 current NHL players.
Johnson, the former Spokane Chief and current star of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, is originally from Liberty Lake and began his junior hockey career at the former Kootenai Youth Recreation Organization (KYRO) rink at Frontier, before a heavy snow load crushed the facility in 2008. Johnson is unable to play this year at the event while he rehabs a broken wrist suffered during the Stanley Cup playoffs. He will coach one of the teams and Hull will coach the other squad.
Also scheduled to appear are current Chiefs players Keanu and Kailer Yamamoto, and former Chiefs Mitch Holmberg and Derek Ryan (Shadle Park), who was named the Swedish Hockey League MVP for the 2014-15 season and signed a two-way contract with the Carolina Hurricanes and former Spokane head coach Bill Peters earlier this summer.
Dave Nichols, correspondent
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.