Calgary Flames and Canadian Blind Hockey players take the ice with 'Hockey Is For Everyone' campaign
'To see somebody with 10 per cent vision or less play the fastest sport on earth and do it well is fantastic'
Thirty-one current and former Calgary Flames players took the ice at the Saddledome on Friday night along with 30 members of the visually impaired community to play some hockey.
"We just proved hockey is for everyone," said Flames alumni Lanny McDonald.
Participants, aged six to 60, had the chance to skate alongside current and former NHL stars and try a sport that was new to many of them.
And the hockey experts learned something, too.
Matt Morrow, the executive director of Canadian Blind Hockey and sport director of the International Blind Ice Hockey Federation, said players had a chance to try vision simulator glasses while playing.
"It was cool to be able to see what they see," said Dougie Hamilton, a Calgary Flames defenceman.
Hamilton said it was a blast for the players to get out on the ice, and that everyone involved had a great time. And, the new players weren't too shabby, either.
"They were really good and could make a lot of saves," he said.
The event was held in support of the NHL's "Hockey Is For Everyone" campaign, which is intended to celebrate the game's diversity.
"I think the sport of blind hockey is excellent for creating awareness among the general public," said Morrow.
"To see somebody with 10 per cent vision or less play the fastest sport on earth and do it well is fantastic."
Anyone who is blind or partially sighted is welcome to play with Canadian Blind Hockey teams, and Morrow said the Calgary Seeing Ice Dogs is always recruiting. More information is available on the charity's website.
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With files from Julie Debeljak