Hockey-starved northerners will get a taste of what they've been missing later this month, when 30 locked-out NHL players take to the ice for charity exhibition games in three Northwest Territories communities.
The players will also be taking to frozen Great Bear Lake for a game against players from Deline, the self-proclaimed "birthplace of hockey."
The tour begins with a 6 p.m. game at Yellowknife's Multiplex arena Nov. 18. The players fly to Deline the following day for what's being billed as a culture day. After overnighting in the Sahtu community, they fly further north to wrap up the tour with a Nov. 20 game at the Roy Ipana Memorial Arena in Inuvik.
The tour is being spearheaded by former NHLer John Chabot.
"I've talked to all the players and they are jacked to experience the North's culture and landscape," he said in a press release issued Thursday. "This will be a first for most of them."
The tour is being organized by the Aboriginal Sports Circle of the Northwest Territories and First Assist Charities. According to officials, the names of the players will be announced on Friday. Ottawa Senators Daniel Alfredsson and Chris Neil are among the NHLers who have expressed an interest in being part of the tour.