Choosing, for now, to stay in North America and not venture to Europe to play during the lockout, Mike Richards of the Los Angeles Kings sent a message to his 114,000-plus followers that he was going to be on top of a parking garage at The Forks in Winnipeg if anyone was interested in joining him for a street hockey game.
Like Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust did last month outside of Bell Centre, Richards, who was joined by Mark Stuart, Jim Slater and Andrew Ladd of the Winnipeg Jets, ended up on the losing side of the game, 5-3, but the event provided a way for the players to connect -- again -- with fans.
Check out the Winnipeg Sun for more video on the game.
Both games hosted by Prust and Richards were organized by TSN's Cabbie Richards who, with his many relationships with NHL players, could easily do one of these events in every major Canadian city until the lockout is over.
From the Winnipeg Free Press:
"We came just for this," said Cabbie after the event, won by Team Ladd 5-3 over Team Richards. "I hit up Richie (Richards) and Ladd and asked them if they'd be interested in doing a pop-up road hockey game. They both agreed, we found a date that worked. I flew here this morning and we're flying tomorrow. We did something like this in Montreal and it was pretty successful. We knew Winnipeg was a diehard hockey market. It's awesome to see how many people showed up."
NHL owners were going to hold their own surprise street hockey game, but the event ended quickly when they demanded that 16 percent of the sticks be held in escrow
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Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy
- Ice Hockey
- Sports & Recreation
- Mike Richards
- Andrew Ladd
- Montreal Canadiens
- Brandon Prust
- Winnipeg Jets
- Los Angeles Kings
- Cabbie Richards