NHLers turn talents to ping-pong charity event | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaNHLers turn talents to ping-pong charity event

Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2012 | 01:36 AM

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Dominic Moore split 79 games last season between the Lightning and Sharks, combining to post four goals and 25 points. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Dominic Moore split 79 games last season between the Lightning and Sharks, combining to post four goals and 25 points. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Despite a busy summer, NHLer Dominic Moore still has found time to front a unique ping-pong charity endeavor that will played at the Steam Whistle Brewery in downtown Toronto on Thursday that will raise friends for concussion research.

Dominic Moore has a busy summer, that much is clear.

His wife, Katie, is on the mend after she was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer and underwent surgery in April. As an unrestricted free agent, the 31-year-old Moore is looking for a new address after nine pro seasons with nine different NHL teams.

The Harvard University graduate, who has a sociology degree, also is among the 31-member negotiating committee for the NHL Players' Association in its recent commencement of collective bargaining agreement talks with the NHL.

But Moore still has found time to front a unique ping-pong charity endeavour that will played at the Steam Whistle Brewery in downtown Toronto on Thursday that will raise funds for concussion research through the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center and Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute.

Tickets for the inaugural Smashfest! Charity Ping-Pong Challenge are on sale at www.smashfest.ca.

"I'm obviously multi-tasking right now," the native of Thornhill, Ont. said about the Smashfest! Charity Ping-Pong Challenge.

"The charity event has been something we've planned for a year-and-a-half and something we felt we needed to follow through. You see the roster of the guys we have coming to this and it's a cause that obviously resonates with them."

Besides Moore, Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier, Eric Lindros, Jason Spezza, Brett Connolly, Logan Couture, Steve Downie, Cody Hodgson, Zenon Konopka, Teddy Purcell, Joe Reekie, Mathieu Schneider, Ryan Shannon, Daniel Winnik, Rob Zamuner, Mike Weaver, Wojtek Wolski and Stephane Veilleux are scheduled to participate in this event.

Moore is an all-around athlete. Not only did his brothers, Steve and Mark, played hockey with him at Harvard, his mother is a former triathlete, his father won the Canadian over-50 tennis championship and Dominic played on Harvard's tennis team as a freshman.

He also likes table tennis, a game that is omnipresent in most dressing rooms around the NHL.

"I love ping-pong personally and the game is pretty much played in every dressing room in the league," Moore said. "Guys are lined up to play before and after practice.

"It's part of hockey culture that nobody really knows about."

When asked who is the most proficient ping-pong player among hockey players, Moore didn't hesitate and named Stephane Veilleux of the Minnesota Wild. He's so good that he plays in high-level amateur tournaments.

Hockey players often are seen kicking around soccer balls in arena hallways as a way to prepare for games. But behind close doors, ping-pong is as prevalent. The Edmonton Oilers had a ping-pong culture in their glory days and this is a unique way to raise money for hockey players to raise money for a charity.

Of course, concussion research is near and dear to Moore, considering what happened to brother Steve nine years ago in his incident as a member of the Colorado Avalanche when he was attacked from behind by then Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi.

"I've seen the effects of a concussion up close and personal with my brother," Moore said. "Every guy in the league has seen it up close and personal, whether they have had one themselves or a teammate has had one.

"Every one reacts differently to having one. In a lot of ways, concussions are not understood that well.

"There still needs to be a lot of research done in terms of the science behind it and in terms of the awareness."

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