25,000 Teddy Bears On The Ice?

If I saw a hockey fan walking to the rink with a teddy bear I would probably laugh.

Throwing stuffed animals on the ice after your team scores its first goal is not exactly the most manly thing in the world. But then I came across this video and now I will have to agree with Brian Noe of ESPN Radio104.5 and give fans a pass on the non-manly teddy bears because it is all for a good cause...

The Hitmen have been hosting their Teddy Bear Toss every December for the last 17 years. The organization encourages fans to bring a teddy bear to the game to be be tossed on the ice after the Hitmen score their first goal. The stuffed animals are then donated to local charities & hospitals and sometimes even hand delivered by team members. For fans that don't have time to run to the toy store before the game teddy bears are sold at the stadium for $10 with proceeds helping a local charity.

This year the Hitmen sported new Christmas red jerseys specifically made for the Teddy Bear Toss. I have to give props to Reebok for making the jerseys. They are surprisingly cute with their Santa hats on the 'Hitman', snow topping all of the player numbers and even a teddy bear patch on one of the shoulders. The jerseys will be auctioned off online with the proceeds going to support the CBC Suncor Energy Food Bank.

A big THANK YOU to the Calgary Hitmen and all other hockey teams and organizations that host similar events during the holiday season. Well done gentlemen, well done...Now get back to being men and start some fights on the ice!

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