A hockey rink donated by National Hockey League players to a local Christian school was highlighted on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Hockey Day in Canada.
CBC announcer Scott Russell (right) and Henry Staal with grandson Parker Staal, 2.
The rink is located at Thunder Bay (Ontario) Christian School, and the NHL players are Eric, Marc, and Jordan Staal, with younger brother Jared playing in the NHL’s minor league. All four were raised in First Christian Reformed Church in Thunder Bay, where Marc, Jordan, and Jared are still members.
Hockey Day in Canada is a day for fans to celebrate the sport with various segments broadcast from around the country on February 11.
The donation of the outdoor rink by the Staal brothers was the reason for the Thunder Bay segment.
“Talk about a great hockey family story,” said CBC announcer Scott Russell. Eric plays for the Carolina Hurricanes, Marc for the New York Rangers, Jordan for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Jared plays for the Hurricanes minor league team.
Proud parents are Henry and Linda Staal. Henry said their sons have been very fortunate, and that “they realize it’s important” to give back to the community and to Thunder Bay Christian School.
Of the hockey family legacy, Jordan told CBC the family has “a lot of good memories. We were fortunate enough to have our own rink.”
Eric reflected on his dad as a role model, highlighting to CBC “his passion for the game, getting us involved and going on the outdoor rink with us, and helping build the outdoor rink for us.”
Event coordinator Lorne Vis said that the combination of the Hockey Day in Canadacelebration and the Staal donation resulted in a donation of 120 sets of equipment for kids who need a hand. “Getting started in hockey is expensive,” he said.