NHL

Hurts so good: Red Wings fan using hatred of Maple Leafs to raise money for charity

Kyle Krische is combining two of the things he hates most in the world — the Toronto Maple Leafs and physical exercise — to raise money for charity.

Kyle Krische wants to raise $5 and run 1 km for every goal Toronto scores this season

Kyle Krische, who grew up in Kitchener, Ont. following the footsteps of his father as a Detroit Red Wings fan, is using his hatred of the Toronto Maple Leafs as motivation to raise money for charity. (Kyle Krische)

What do you get when you cross a Toronto Maple Leafs hater with an anger for seeing the team do well?

Throw in a distaste for physical exercise, and in Kyle Krische's case you hope to have three negatives turn into something positive.

The Kitchener, Ont., man is looking to use his enmity for the Maple Leafs to raise money for charity.

Krische, 27, who grew up a Detroit Red Wings fan thanks to his "smart" father, wants to raise at least $2,000 through donations of $5 for every goal the Maple Leafs score this season. He has started a campaign called Run Over The Buds, and fans can go there to donate with the money going to You Can Play, an organization dedicated to fighting homophobia in sports, along with removing stereotypes related to gender, ethnicity and disabilities.

(Kyle Krische)

As for the fitness part, Krische will punish himself by running one kilometre for every goal scored, which he's chronicling on twitter at @RunOverTheBuds. That's 40 km so far as the Auston Matthews-led Leafs are currently second in the NHL with 40 goals scored.

"I'm a solid five feet, ten inches, and a modest 230 pounds, so running isn't exactly my forte," Krische said.

Krische said the idea came to him after the Leafs began the season with 15 goals in their first two games.

"[The goals] just keep coming and I was getting furious, like actually angry watching my TV," said Krische. "I'm going to go crazy if I keep watching these games, I need something to soften the blow."

After years of teasing supporters of the woeful Leafs as his Red Wings won four Stanley Cups between 1997-2008, seeing the success of the Leafs was driving him crazy.

"I'm sitting on the couch literally with Twitter open just thinking of something I can say to anger Leaf fans," Krische said, but finding something bad to say about the 7-2-0 Leafs is a bit tougher this season. 

"I'm bringing the Leafs fans on board into this, where it can make you kind of get behind the funnier side of this … and [Leafs fans can] kind of back it and put their money where their mouth is," he said.

While he's not a fan of running — the married father of a seven-month-old says he's "doing blasts of six kilometres every night I can get away"— he says it's worth it to raise money and bring awareness to a cause he thinks is important.

"[Equality is] still a big issue in sports, so I was like, 'OK, I can try to do this running thing and try to raise money at the same time," Krische said. You Can Play was started by Patrick Burke, son of Calgary Flames GM Brian Burke, so the connection to hockey made sense.

"You Can Play [seemed] like the easy choice," said Krische, who now lives in Hamilton.

Lots ... and lots of running

The Leafs are scoring at a league-leading 4.44 goals-per-game pace, which over 82 games comes out to 364 goals scored and translates into $1,820 with the $5-per-goal objective. Krische said he will personally donate $50 for every game the Leafs are shut out.

It also works out to almost the exact distance in kilometres between the home of his hated Leafs, the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and his beloved Red Wings' new home, Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

Krische could always make the run at the end of the season and catch a Detroit playoff game. Though any Leafs fan might say a look at the current standings makes that prospect unlikely.

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