Vancouver Giants revealed they will be wearing special Grinch-themed uniforms for this year’s teddy bear toss. (Vancouver Giants/Special to Langley Advance Times)

A weekend of teddy bear tosses for Langley hockey fans

Vancouver Giants and Langley Rivermen to collect stuffed toys during games Saturday and Sunday

Teddy bear tossing season is upon us and two Langley-based hockey teams, the Vancouver Giants and Langley Rivermen, are taking part in the annual event to help kids this Christmas.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, Langley Rivermen will invite fans to bring teddy bears and other stuffed toys to George Preston arena in Langley when the team plays the Trail Smoke Eaters at 7 p.m.

Rivermen have been staging the event for about eight years, estimated team business manager Mandy Henderson

“We wanted to do something for the local Christmas Bureau,” Henderson told the Langley Advance Times.

This year, the team has decided to combine the teddy bear toss with their annual “PJ night” drive that gathers sleepwear for young people.

Pyjamas should be non-allergenic and boys and girls sizes 2-16. PJ’s for teens are also welcome.

Toques, mittens and scarfs are also welcome, Henderson said.

But don’t toss the PJs on the ice – there will be a bin for them.

After the first Rivermen goal, fans will be invited to toss the teddy bears on to the ice for collection.

Since the team relocated from the Langley Events Centre to George Preston, usually around 200 bears end up on the ice.

“It’s almost the perfect amount,” Henderson commented.

“The Christmas Bureau doesn’t want too many.”

On Dec. 14, the Rivermen will be collecting canned good for the Langley Food Bank.

“C&D logistics is going to double it, pound for pound,” Henderson advised.

On Sunday, Dec. 8th, the Vancouver Giants will be away from home ice at the Langley Events Centre when they skate against the Tri-City Americans at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

Giants revealed they will be wearing special Grinch-themed uniforms for the game.

READ MORE: What the Giants wore last year for the annual Teddy Bear Toss

Play begins at 4 p.m. and proceeds from the sale of 50/50 raffle tickets and the sale of teddy bears on the concourse will be donated to charity.

“Teddy Bear Toss is one of the most exciting traditions in all of hockey and we are very excited to debut these jerseys next weekend for our fans,” said Giants VP of operations and assistant general manager, Peter Toigo.

“All game-worn Teddy Bear Toss jerseys will be autographed and sold via online auction with proceeds going towards the CKNW Kids’ Fund.”

Fans who attend the Dec. 8th Teddy Bear Toss game are encouraged to bring brand new stuffed toys with them. When the Giants score their first goal of the game, fans can then throw their stuffed toys onto the ice. All items will then be gathered and donated to local children’s charities.

READ MORE: LETTER: Giants teddy bear toss impressive

Vancouver Giants season tickets holders will be assigned tickets closely mirroring their seat locations at the Langley Events Centre.

Recent Vancouver Giants Teddy Bear Goal Scorers:

2018 – Bowen Byram

2017 – Bowen Byram

2016 – James Malm

2015 – Ty Ronning

2014 – Jackson Houck

2013 – Trent Lofthouse

2012 – Trevor Cheek

2011 – Brett Kulak

2010 – Michael Burns

2009 – Craig Cunningham

According to the online Wikipedia entry about teddy bear tosses, the concept originated with the Kamloops Blazers in 1993 “thanks to marketing director Don Larson.”

The first recorded teddy bear toss occurred on December 5, 1993, when a goal by Brad Lukowich prompted fans to throw over 2,400 bears onto the ice.

The tradition spread quickly, but not to the National Hockey League, which doesn’t allow anything to be thrown on the ice.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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