Hats thrown in celebration of Oilers hat trick donated to Edmonton homeless organizations
'I've had a couple buddies ... that ended up being hospitalized because they didn't wear the proper clothing'
Leon Draisaitl's hat trick was still paying off on Monday as the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation donated 800 hats to charities to help the city's less fortunate.
Close to 1,000 hats were thrown on the ice by fans in celebration of the Edmonton centre's third goal in the Game 6 defeat of the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night.
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The foundation delivered 800 hats to the Bissell Centre, Hope Mission, and Operation Friendship.
Around 200 Oilers hats have been donated to the <a href="https://twitter.com/BissellCentre">@BissellCentre</a>. The Oilers Foundation donated close to 1000 to 3 groups. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/oilers?src=hash">#oilers</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZVURv4OXYn">pic.twitter.com/ZVURv4OXYn</a>—@TravisMcEwanCBC
Darren Belliveau, a lifelong Oilers fan, listened to the game on a radio at the Hope Mission shelter.
"I thought it was amazing that we're going for the cup. I really think the Oilers are going to win the cup this year."
He's been homeless for two years, and hasn't worked as an electrical apprentice for a year. Today at the Bissell Centre, he traded in his weathered Oilers hat for one that was thrown onto the ice last night.
"Those will definitely cover a few heads," he said.
It's a great symbol in how we are all the same.- Darren Brennan, spokesperson for the Bissell Centre
Our <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/homeless?src=hash">#homeless</a> neighbours could sure use those <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Oilers?src=hash">#Oilers</a> hats! Tweet at <a href="https://twitter.com/EdmontonOilers">@EdmontonOilers</a> to help make it happen! Pls Retweet! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YEG?src=hash">#YEG</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/oilersnation?src=hash">#oilersnation</a> <a href="https://t.co/O7m99iJK6U">pic.twitter.com/O7m99iJK6U</a>—@BissellCentre
The donated hats aren't just about surviving the elements on Edmonton's streets. They also allow people who can't afford Oilers gear a chance to show their support.
"It's connecting the celebration of the playoffs to the people of the inner city who may not feel included in that," said Darren Brennan, spokesperson for the Bissell Centre. "It's a great symbol in how we are all the same."
Some NHL teams have policies to return hats to fans who get caught up in the hockey tradition of throwing hats on the ice in celebration of a hat trick. The Ottawa Senators allow fans a two-week period to pick up their hat if they give a detailed description of it.
The Edmonton Oilers do not offer that opportunity. Instead, they regularly donate them to a variety of charities.