Hockey players have a long history of lending their names and their time to good charitable causes. The Ottawa Senators are no exception, as evidenced by their participation in a $150-a-ticket charity fundraiser that was held last night for the Roger’s House pediatric palliative care facility and the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Support Programs.
As part of the festivities, Senators centre Mike Fisher and wife Carrie Underwood volunteered to share a catered dinner at the home of the highest bidder. The opening bid was $7,500.
Other items up for auction included a trip to Italy preceded by a bon voyage dinner with Jason Spezza and his wife, a street hockey game with Chris Campoli and Jesse Winchester and a golf-and-dinner outing at Mount Tremblant with Chris Phillips and his wife.
We couldn’t afford to attend the event ourselves but we had an inside source at the proceedings that informed us about some of the other, less popular Senator-themed items that were up for auction:
• Defenceman Sergei Gonchar was on hand taking bids on replicas of the green jacket he’s bound to win this season. (Get it? Green jacket? Aw, come on, he’s a team-worst minus-12.)
• A stickhandling lesson with Alexei Kovalev. He also offered to throw in an explanation of why, with all that talent, he only has 1,000 NHL points and not 2,000. He was also willing to serve up a lovely turnover at the Fisher and Underwood dinner for an extra fee.
• A cab ride from downtown Ottawa to Scotiabank Place. This one was a bargain at $10,000.
• A lesson in goal scoring from Nick Foligno that consists of him saying, “Watch all my game tapes from this season and do exactly the opposite.”
• One lucky bidder got to scrap with Chris Neil. For the money, the bidder gets to feel the terror felt by saps in the NHL when they realize they’ve paired off with Neil during a scrum. All medical and dental work required afterward is supplied by the Senators’ doctors.
• A trip to Toronto with Daniel Alfredsson, during which the winner gets to watch people boo him for no discernible reason from the moment he wakes up in the team hotel to the time he steps on the charter to go home.
• Two tickets to an Ottawa Senators playoff game, subject to availability.
• An old promotional cardboard cutout of Dany Heatley, along with a healthy supply of gasoline and matches.