Former Colorado Avalanche star and 2001 Stanley Cup champion Milan Hejduk headlines a host of former NHL and Division I hockey players participating in this year’s Summit Hockey Classic celebrity hockey tournament.
The two-night tournament returns to the Stephen C. West Ice Arena Friday and Saturday night, April 5 and 6. The annual event — now in its sixth year — features teams composed of former NHL and Division I college hockey players in addition to area youth hockey coaches and local players. The tournament raises money for Summit Youth Hockey.
“Summit Youth Hockey is excited that Milan Hejduk could join the Classic this year,” event organizer Kathy Grotemeyer said. “The combination of the celebrities and the local talent makes for a fast-paced and fun tournament.”
Hejduk officially retired from the NHL earlier this year. He played with the Avalanche’s for 14 years, between 1998 and 2013, and holds the record for most career games played with the team (1,020). He’s also second on the Avs’ all-time scoring list with 375 goals, behind Joe Sakic (391).
Hejduk will by joined by fellow NHL players Rick Berry, Trevor Pochipinski, Marty Wakelyn and Rick Boh, as well as a few members of Denver University’s national championship team and other former college players.
Teams from Vail Summit Orthopedics, PeakOne Surgery Center, Copper Mountain Resort and Beaver Run Resort will hit the ice Friday night starting at 5:30 p.m. Winners of the opening round will face each other in a championship game Saturday at 7:30 p.m. A consolation game between the other two teams will be played prior to the championship.
Grotemeyer said that past tournaments have raised up to $30,000 for Summit Youth Hockey.
Brad Dickerson, president of the organization, added, “Summit hockey is dedicated to providing opportunities for all kids in Summit County to participate in hockey. We fund raise so that registration fees can stay affordable for all families.”
Tickets will be $5 per evening. The event will also include a silent auction, celebrity shoot out and other activities.