Hockey players....big....tough....ready to fight at the drop of the puck. In this very physical sport,most fans think toughness is their only mentally and a trip to the hospital is just to fix a broken bone, replace a tooth or to get stitched up.
If this is what you think, you have crossed the blue line and are offside in your assumption.
The Cheyenne Stampede have re-defined the meaning of hockey player. January 18th was one of many dates that personified the redefinition. That night the stampede held their annual teddy bear toss. After the first goal, fans threw over 700 stuffed animals on the ice.
"We got over 700 this year. They just kept coming on the ice.
We put them in piles and they wouldn't stop coming over so it was agreat experience." Said Stampede Forward Heath Lantz
You might be saying teddy bears??? yes and the players welcomed everyone of them because they are not as tough as you think.
" Some of the guys like to think they are tough but most of us we like to come out and we are nice to children and nice to people.
We like to at tough on the ice and be tough on the ice.
We are not tough outside of the ice." Russell Armbruster said at the hospital when delivering the stuffed animals.
They had to let the stuffed animals dry for a day then they packed them up into containers to deliver to the hospital.
the hospital gives the bears to kids who are currently receiving care at their facility.
"The response is very good.Our kids coming to the hospital is not where they want to be.It is a stressful time for them and their families so when they can have something to hold onto when they are not feeling well.It is really neat." Said Erin Rooney, who is the Nurse Manager of the Women's and Children's Services at CRMC.
Now the hospital wasn't the only place the stampede stopped by to drop off bears, they made their way over to the Cheyenne police department.
"They can actually hand them out when they are dealing with families that are victims of crime.And the officers themselves carry some on them so when they go on calls for domestic violence and things like that, They can actually hand out these teddy bears to the kids."
All this was just in one day. They also gave to the Fire Department, Salvation Army and the Safe House of Cheyenne. So, the next time you see this happen on the ice just remember once their skates come off they turn into regular decent people that care about the community they live in for News Channel 5 sports I'm Kurt Maddox