Toronto Maple Leafs alumni coming to Chilliwack

The Leafs face the Chilly Wackers in a game benefitting the Chilliwack Society for Community Living.

In 2018 the Montreal Canadiens alumni came to Chilliwack.

In 2019 it was former Boston Bruins led by Hall of Famer Ray Bourque.

In 2020, Toronto Maple Leaf greats will hit the ice at the Chilliwack Coliseum in a charity game benefiting the Chilliwack Society for Community Living.

The game will be played Feb. 22, 2020 with a 7 p.m. start. as the visitors take on a local group of players calling themselves the Chilly Wackers.

“We are using a common bond — hockey and the Toronto Maple Leafs Alumni – to bring together people of all abilities together to celebrate diversity,” said CSCL Director Jeff Gilbank. “The immediate benefit of this event will be the reduction of social isolation for people with disabilities who will be welcomed and celebrated just as they are. The long-term benefit will be to strengthen Inclusion BC and our local community service providers so that people with disabilities in our communities to get the support they need to become active members of their communities.”

Six former NHLers are listed on the roster for the Toronto Maple Leafs Alumni 2020 B.C. Inclusion Tour.

Rick Vaive is well known to Vancouver Canuck fans as ‘one that got away.’ A fifth overall draft pick of the Nucks in 1979,he was traded away the next year and went on to become the first TO player to ever hit the 50 goal mark. He did it three times in blue and white and captained the Leafs from 1982 to 1986.

The father of a current Chilliwack Chief Garrett Valk will be in the Toronto lineup.

While his son is a defenceman, Garry Valk was a hard-nosed forward who played for Toronto, Vancouver, Anaheim, Chicago and Pittsburgh during a 13 year big league career. In 838 regular season and playoff games he managed 106 goals, 269 points and 826 penalty minutes.

He was a well-loved Maple Leaf who had his biggest moment in the playoffs, scoring an overtime goal in 1999 to punt the Penguins out of the playoffs in the second round.

Other players currently listed include ‘Dandy’ Dan Daoust, Mike (I was part of the Wayne Gretzky to LA trade) Krushelnyski, Al Iafrate and goaltender Trevor Kidd.

Iafrate was part of last spring’s Bruins alumni visit.

There are special opportunities attached to the Toronto event, including VIP tickets and the chance to ‘Be a Maple Leaf for a Day.’

“The past two alumni games involving the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins have been great experiences for CSCL in terms of fundraising and community support,” Gilbank said. “Chilliwack has always been a hockey town and what better way to host a fundraising event while involving Canada’s favourite pastime and one of hockey’s historic teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“Hockey strives to be an inclusive sport and CSCL’s vision is for a community that welcomes and includes everyone. It’s going to be a fun, family-friendly night so come on out and show your support for CSCL and the good ol’ hockey game!”

All proceeds will go to the Chilliwack Society for Community Living to help support adults with developmental disabilities and children and youth with special needs.

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