What's better than Ping Pong for charity? Playing Ping Pong against NHL-ers for charity, of course.
Last Thursday, the players were out in full force at Smashfest!, a charity ping pong tournament hosted by Dominic Moore and the NHLPA to raise money for concussion research.
This was the inaugural Smashfest! and in just one night, players like Steven Stamkos, Vince Lacavalier, Joel Ward, Jason Spezza, Teddy Purcell, Eric Lindros, Logan Couture, and others helped raise over $20,000 for both The Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center and Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute.
Washington Capitals' Joel Ward told us being at Smashfest! was "huge" for him. While his backhand no-spin serve was his go-to weapon of choice, Ward's team was knocked out in the second round. "I'm a big supporter of concussion research so just being here is reward enough for me," stated Ward.
Teddy Purcell was also excited to be in attendance and to him it was about "giving back as much as possible for a really great cause." The competitive spirit was running on high throughout the tournament and this especially rang true with Purcell, who's team got knocked out in the semi-finals. When asked about how his team fared Purcell laughed and said "I would want a rematch, but mostly I'd want to play against [Daniel] Winnik... he has a big attitude about his ping pong game."
Understandably so. Daniel Winnik, who appropriately used the moniker of "the Destroyer" was the guy to beat and ultimately won the title of the inaugural Smashfest! tournament.
Winnik's victory capped off a great night of food, sport, and charity that had guests such as Flyers forward Claude Giroux, Johnny Damon and Jeremy Accardo of the Cleveland Indians, and Tennis star Daniel Nestor drop in to show their support.
Tags: Charity, Claue Giroux, concussion, Dominic Moore, Eric Linros, Jason Spezza, Joel Ward, Logan Couture, NHL, NHLPA, Ping Pong, research, Smashfest, Steamwhistle, Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning, Teddy Purcell, Vince Lacavalier, Washington Capitals