ROSEMONT, Ill. | It started out as an idea hatched by San Jose Sharks forward Adam Burish and agent Bill Zito: Get a bunch of guys together for a charity game in Chicago. Within two weeks, the Champs for Charity game went off Friday night and made a major impact.
The game raised $323,500 for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana as 11,649 fans attended AllState Arena.
“We knew that there was going to be a lot of interest around the game, but we didn’t know there might be that much interest,” Washington Capitals right wing Troy Brouwer said. “It’s amazing for the fans here in Chicago, the Ronald McDonald House, all the sponsors. They did a great job putting this on. To be able to raise that kind of money, it’s something that’s pretty special.”
The game, won by the World team over Chicago 16-15 in a shootout, was as much Harlem Globetrotters on ice as it was a hockey game, featured a penalty shot goal by goaltender Niklas Backstrom and a play fight between Dan Carcillo and guest coach/Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster.
“This is a pretty cool event for all of us. We don’t get the chance to play in the NHL right now,” Burish said. “This is the closest thing any of us will [have]. We’ll get to that in the next few weeks, and hopefully the games come back. But in the mean time this is pretty darn cool that you guys all showed up.”