The NHL lockout has sucked the joy of hockey out of many of us. (Hell, we can barely order drinks with ice in them without openly weeping.) What we all need is something that wipes away, even if for a moment, all those images of empty arenas and cancelled game tickets and scowling negotiators pissing away the game's goodwill through their avarice.
What we need is a shot, a goal and a tidal wave of stuffed animals crashing down on the ice from the stands. What we need, now more than ever, is the Teddy Bear Toss:
That was the scene in an EBEL game between visiting Innsbruck and Olimpija in Slovenia, as former Alaska Aces and Houston Aeros player Brock McBride scored for the home team to send the teddy bears flying from the 3,700 fans in attendance on Sunday.
There were over twice as many fans at the Bakersfield Condors' game on Saturday night vs. the Ontario Reign — 8,388 fans to be exact. What they witnessed was the fastest Teddy Bear Toss goal in team history.
"They're bonkers for bears in Bakersfield!"
Every Teddy Bear Toss should have play-by-play. And a giant bear repelling from the rafters. That too.
The full amount of the teddy bears collected will be released on Monday. Whatever mark the Condors fans set, keep in mind that the Calgary Hitmen have their 18th annual Petro-Canada Teddy Bear Toss on Sunday afternoon, and they've set a record or two in the past.