By Nick Christophers
The NHL has always been a strong advocate for helping young kids and every team contributes. For the local New York Rangers they have donated their time and effort in many ways. From the Garden of Dreams Foundation to the inner-city Go Skate program they have proven they always offer their best.
For the past eight years the Go Skate program has helped get kids off the streets and into recreation centers to play hockey. Even though it’s street hockey and not on ice, the kids still love it. Just recently they held a “Stanley Cup” type of competition for kids from all five boroughs. There were games going on in three different rinks with as many as five teams competing.
On hand was New York Ranger Alumni Brian Mullen who offered his time and autographed photos for the players. We had an opportunity to speak with him at the one of the rinks.
How does this all come together?
Brian – “Kids from all five boroughs converge here today for their own “Stanley Cup”. The kids range from the ages of eight to fourteen. It is a great thing to see them devoting their time to something positive. There are a lot of giveaways like shirts, hats and face painting. I grew up five blocks from here and this is how I started playing hockey.”
How do you see the game today and how do see the Rangers chances this year?
Brian – “It has its good and bad points. In my day we were able to be a bit rougher with more fights. Now its more skill than brawn. The rules have changed like there is no red line so the passing is more fluid. I like it better when I played. As for the Rangers I think their chances are good but you never know in the playoffs anything can happen.”
Despite the blustery cold the kids forged on and played one game after another. There was also a section where the kids were able to test their hockey skills. There were at least 100 plus players taking part in the games. At one of the games we spoke with one of the players Diamond Ortiz after she scored a goal.
How long have you been playing?
Diamond – “I have been playing a year now and really enjoy it.”
Where is your team from and who is your favorite team?
Diamond – “We are from Hunts Point and playing the game is a lot of fun. Even though I’m a girl the boys don’t scare me. My favorite team is the New York Rangers of course!”
Well said from the 12 year old Diamond Ortiz. The NHL and the New York Rangers are always working to build positive activities for kids of all ages. Learn more about the organization and how to help.
Categories: New York City
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