Play for the Gray

Play for the Gray 2014

Game date is still a little Gray but we’re working on it.

We don’t like to mix our sports metaphors but he 2013 Play for the Gray NHL Alumni Celebrity Hockey Challenge was an absolute home run. A slam-dunk, top-shelf, walk-off success and we are hoping against hope for an opportunity to make it happen again this season with an even more impressive group of players and celebs (if that’s possible).  We’re working hard right now to put a game in place but there are a couple of challenges to be sure.  The Coyotes have an excellent new ownership group that most certainly has all it can handle managing the team in their first year.  They are definitely doing a lot right; the Dogs are tied for second-place in the Wicked Western Conference with the third best record in the league.  They’re off to an amazing start and playing some of the best hockey in franchise history.  We hope it continues.  Then, there’s the Winter Olympics.  It’s that time again so in February we’ll be glued to our glass (TV, tablet and mobile) watching all of the winter sports that will stream out of Sochi Russia, February 7 – 23, 2014.

What that means is that the Calendar is much more impacted and the potential PFTG dates are few and far between.  Bottom line is that we’re still looking for a date but we’re hopeful.  We’ll keep at it and keep you posted on the status.  In the meantime, check out the sizzle reel from last year:

We want to play the game.  We want to do what we can to showcase the great sport and keep concussion awareness and prevention, um, top of mind; so to speak.  It’s a serious issue but in this game, it’s something we can address and remedy.

 So, stay tuned for more.  We’ll let you know as soon as it’s “Game On!”


Alan Thicke Interview

How is Alan Thicke personally connected to concussion awareness?

Check out this interview of Alan Thicke right before the game. We enjoyed talking with him about his personal connection with concussion awareness, the status on his hockey skills, and what he hoped for in the game that night.


When We Work Together, Everyone Wins

Hockey thank you graphic for Play for the Gray

Hockey players.  They’re something else, and I can say that because I consider myself to be one.  Now, I’ve never breathed the rarefied air that some of the guys playing tonight have.  Richard Nixon was president when I was playing my best hockey.  It’s been a continual slide downhill since then, but I’ve enjoyed every minute because I’ve had the opportunity to be in the company of some of the most talented, committed and humble athletes to ever play a sport.  The guys taking the ice tonight exemplify those characteristics as do the organizations and groups that support this event.  We want to take a minute to thank them.

The Beginning of this Hockey Event

When we started preparing for this game tonight, we knew two things: there was a small group of Coyote’s Alumni who toiled in the local communities without much fanfare, to promote and provide financial support for the sport, the boys and girls who play the sport and the families with kids in programs across the state.  The Coyote’s Alumni spends a great deal of time putting on events from Flagstaff to Tucson to raise money for kids.  They work closely with the Coyotes Amateur Hockey Association to make sure the sport and the kids get the attention they both deserve.  Add to that the incredible support that the Phoenix Coyotes provide and you get a team committed to promoting what I believe, in my admittedly biased opinion, is the greatest sport on the planet.  I have been overwhelmed by the dedication, commitment to community and the professionalism that these three groups have offered to us and I can’t tell you how proud we are to have the opportunity to work with each of them.  The Coyotes, despite the corporate and business challenges they face, are deeply rooted and unconditionally supportive of youth hockey, the hockey fan, the hockey community, the sport and the community at-large.  And they’ve gone to great extent to lend that support to this event.

Raising Concussion Awareness

The second component in this event is the health and welfare message that Banner Health and Banner Good Samaritan is providing.  They are taking this opportunity to introduce their Concussion Center and their on-going concussion prevention and awareness program.  It takes a great deal of courage to simultaneously support athletics and deliver a concussion awareness and prevention program.  But Banner has proved to be adept at both and we are proud to help in their effort.  Society is just beginning to look at the effect that sports may have on athletes of all ages.  Every sport is looking at how it deals with injury, from dislocated shoulders to head trauma.  It’s no secret that athletes today continue to get bigger, faster, stronger, and keener and that the development and training practices create professionals with skills we could have never anticipated years ago.  As a result, while sports are increasingly more compelling and exciting, the potential for injury has increased as well.  It takes a fan to appreciate and balance both these developments and the people at Banner have proven to be fans as well as physicians.  They advocate and enjoy sports – but they enjoy them more when athletes, parents and coaches possess concussion information and practice prevention. 

That’s what this is all about and I can say that we have had the distinct privilege and pleasure to work with a group of professionals who “get it” and want to share it with a community that they are honored to be a part of.   So regardless of the amount of money raised tonight, I can say without reservation that the Phoenix Coyotes, the Coyote’s Alumni, the Coyote’s Amateur Hockey Association, Banner Health and the Ice Den stand out in their compassion, commitment and professionalism. 

And they put on a great show.  We invite you to come and check it out tonight at 7PM at the Ice Den in Scottsdale.  You’ll have a good time and help these organizations do good things – everybody wins.

NHL Silent Auction

Hey sports fans! We’re having a Silent Auction!

When you’re at the game tomorrow night, be sure to check out our silent auction. Like the event itself, the proceeds from these items will benefit CAHA and Banner Good Samaritan Trauma Services and Concussion Center. We would like to thank the following individuals and organizations that graciously donated these items: The NHL, The NHL Alumni, Patrick Demsey, The Phoenix Coyotes, Phoenix Coyote Alumni, Garry Unger, The Vancouver Canucks, Hockey Legends, and PNW Sports and Entertainment Co.

NHL Alumni and Phoenix Coyote Alumni Autographed Jerseys and Memoabilia Hockey

Many of the items are autographed by players participating in the event, and even by some of the celebrities too. The auction items will be available for bids during the Play for the Gray Hockey Challenge event. Items will be displayed in the lobby of the Ice Den for viewing by all fans. Below is just a small sampling of the exciting items that you can bid on February 15, 2013 at the Ice Den. Come out and support a great cause and take home some great memorabilia.

  • 2013 Phoenix Coyotes Team Signed Jersey

  • Signed Jersey – Shane Doan

  • Autographed Puck – Alan Thicke

  • Legends Team Signed Jersey by Phoenix Coyote Alumni

  • Phoenix Coyote Alumni Suite – game, 4 people

  • Vancouver Canucks Autographed Cap – Ronning, Adams, Babych

  • And much, much more!

Maybe you could be the lucky winner! You’ll never know if you don’t bid at the silent auction.

Details regarding the opening and closing of the bidding time will be announced at the game. Winners can pay with either cash or credit card.


Dr. Steven Erickson talks about Concussions

Did you know?

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) or concussions can be caused by any
trauma to the head or body that results in a disruption of the normal
neurologic function of a portion of the brain.  Because of the neurologic
complexity of the brain and the variation in brain function every concussion
is manifested by a different constellation of symptoms.  Almost any
neurologic symptom may be a manifestation of concussion.  Common symptoms of
concussion include:

 *   Headache, pressure in head
 *   Nausea, vomiting
 *   Balance problems
 *   Drowsiness
 *   Vision changes, double vision, blurred vision
 *   Numbness or tingling
 *   Confusion
 *   Loss of memory of events before or after head trauma
 *   Seizures
 *   Feeling mentally foggy

Win a $25 Gift Card to 18 Degrees!

Enter to win a gift card to 18 degrees restaurant from Play for the Gray Hockey Challange

Hey Phoenix Hockey Fans!

When you come to the game on Friday night, chances are you’re gonna get hungry. Why not grab a bite to eat at 18 Degrees Neighborhood Grill. The restaurant overlooks the ice rink to give you a great view of the game. It’s easy to enter and win this contest on our Facebook page! All you have to do is answer a quick question, “What does the 18 in 18 degrees stand for?” If you know the answer, you could win a $25 gift card.

So be sure to “Like us” on Facebook by Clicking Here.

Then go to this page to answer the question and sign up to win!

See wasn’t that quick? It’s really that easy to enter to win this great contest! So don’t leave hungry this Friday night, instead, visit 18 degrees and treat yourself to some delicious food and ice cold beverages.

Video: What is CAHA? Youth Hockey in Scottsdale, AZ

Currently the Director of Travel Hockey at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, AZ, Mike DeAngelis is originally from Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada and has a playing and coaching career that spans over 25 years. He’s been in all aspects of the game; as a staunch blue-liner from Penticton to UMD to Italy, Mike played 14 seasons of professional hockey in U.S. minor pro, top European leagues. Since retiring he’s been coaching for the better part of the last decade. In his current role as Director of Travel Hockey for the Coyotes Amateur Hockey Association, Mike’s been instrumental in emergence of the Jr. Coyotes youth hockey brand locally and nationally. Mike has been fortunate enough to have recently helped in the development of some of the best young players our State has produced in the past few years. This list includes Zac Larazza (Denver- D1) and Henrik Samuelsson of the USA Hockey Development Program, plus Trevor Cheek of the Calgary Hitmen of the W.H.L. Other notable names that he has had the pleasure of coaching include Aaron Ave (Princeton- D1), Ritchie Coyne and Jordan Young in the U.S.H.L.

Managing the teams, parents and players with their extensive training and traveling schedules keep Mike busy and it’s not always easy to find a few spare minutes to chat. But with his background in Mass Communications and Psychology, we could not resist the chance to talk to him about amateur hockey in general, the state of Arizona amateur hockey specifically and most importantly, about the hockey game this Friday, February 15th at 7:00 at the Ice Den, that features Pro’s and Celebrities playing to raise money for the kids and for Concussion Awareness and Prevention. Here’s a bit of that interview. Thanks Mike. And good luck with the program again this year!

John Madden talks about Concussion-Awareness

Football players get concussions raise awarenessEveryone knows that concussion-awareness and prevention is one of sports’ most pressing issues. What’s interesting is how new the topic is and how much we have yet to learn. Mr. John Madden, football icon who may be out of the booth but is still very much in the game, spent a couple minutes talking about all things football including concussions with the NY Times. It’s worth checking out.

 Click here to read the article now.

Play for the Gray Video Minute – NHL & Celebrity Hockey Challenge

Everyone involved with the NHL Alumni Celebrity Play for the Gray Hockey Challenge is passionate about three things: kids, sports and kids who play sports with an awareness of concussion prevention. In our video minutes, we let our sponsors and partners share their information with you. This week, Sonja Smith, Banner Health Trauma Prevention Coordinator shares some basic information about concussions…and how to avoid them.