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2011 Teddy Bear Tosses

This Sunday was the annual Calgary Hitmen Teddy Bear Toss and although I was not able to attend, I wanted to take a look at the event.  The Teddy Bear toss is exactly what it sounds like; a toy drive for the Alberta Children’s Hospital, and it is quite successful. Last year, fans threw 23, 096 stuffed toys onto the ice following the Hitmen’s first goal of the night. This year, the 17th running, that total was 25, 303.

From the Hitmen website and press release:

The Hitmen will wear their new Reebok Teddy Bear Toss jersey featuring a Christmas red colour with the traditional Hitmen Logo.  Features include a Santa hat on the front logo and snow banks on top of all numbers.  There is also a Teddy Bear patch on one shoulder and a Petro-Canada Logo on the other.

These unique jerseys are being sold in an online auction which started today, click the image below, with net proceed to support the CBC Suncor Energy Food Bank Drive.

It was Calder Brooks of the Hitmen who’s goal with two minutes left in the second period unleashed the approximately 20 minute game delay as all of the toys were tossed to the ice, then collected and bagged. 

The home town didn’t end up winning this game. Instead, it went to Oilers’ prospect Tyler Bunz and the Medicine Hat Tigers. Bunz was outstanding, and gave hockey fans a sneak peak at the World Juniors. The more time passes, the more confident I am that we will see Bunz in a Team Canada jersey representing his country between the pipes.


For those hockey fans in Edmonton, the Oil Kings’ Teddy Bear toss will be December 17th,  a game against the Calgary Hitmen at 7pm MST. All toys collected will be donated to Santa’s Anonymous.  Last year, the Oil Kings collected 4,200. That number is great, but Santa’s Anonymous would love for Edmonton to beat Calgary in this event.

This year, Oil Kings ticket prices have been reduced by 30% and are an excellent and affordable fun, family night out.  Even better, you don’t need to bring children to enjoy the game. Oil King games can be enjoyed by one and all, old and young and everywhere in between.

Edmonton Oilers Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall are not far removed from their CHL and Teddy Bear tosses of their time in junior, and last year reminisced about what it was like.


The modern Oil Kings have not been around for as long as Calgary, and so obviously have not seen the same amount of success. But, the team is getting better every year and has advanced beyond its early expansion days. Slowly the Oil Kings are garnering more fans and hopefully this will start to build a little quicker as excitement in hockey and Edmonton teams increases once again.

No matter what, the annual Teddy Bear toss is truly a sight to see and something that I hope continues in its various communities for a very long time.

EDIT: Thanks to SYF for finding me video from the Los Vegas Wrangler’s 2011 Teddy Bear toss. The toys begin flying at approximately 1:15. I love the giant Batman and find it interesting that the toys are not tied up in plastic bags. The bags help to keep the toys clean and dry until they can be donated. Still, it’s great to see such a sense of giving and community.

Filed in: WHL, Calgary Hitmen, Edmonton Oil Kings, | Oil Patch | Permalink
  Tags: teddy+bear+toss


SYF's avatar

LV Wranglers had theirs just this past weekend.  What a great promotion.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 12/06/11 at 03:45 AM ET

Lisa Brown's avatar

I love these games. You get a little restless as you wait for that first goal, and it’s disappointing when the home team is shutout but in the end it’s always something special to experience.

It’s too bad they don’t have as much press about the LV Wranglers event. Mind you, I really wanted to write this because I could only find a few words about this year’s Oil King Teddy Bear toss. I hope that this is a situation where every little bit helps.

Posted by Lisa Brown on 12/06/11 at 03:52 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Wranglers vs. Steelheads Teddy Bear Toss game.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 12/06/11 at 03:59 AM ET

HasTheVoice.com's avatar

I handle PA for the Kelowna Chiefs and we have our second annual Teddy Bear toss this coming Saturday.

I am proud to say I was born in Calgary - but since you are an Edmonton blog, I think you will enjoy this anti-Calgary sign posted on my blog 2 1/2 years ago as Kelowna beat out the Hitmen for the WHL title:
Has The VOice…On and Off the Ice: A picture worth a thousand words? Thousands of calories

Posted by HasTheVoice.com on 12/06/11 at 04:07 AM ET

Lisa Brown's avatar

Thanks SYF! I’m surprised that didn’t come up in my google search, youtube has been great for that usually.

That is a cute sign promoting the Hitmen game. I’d love to see any video from your Kelowna Chiefs game this Saturday. I hope that you have a big crowd and successful fundraiser.

Posted by Lisa Brown on 12/06/11 at 12:46 PM ET

KelseyAnn's avatar

This is such an adorable yet effective way to help out a charity. I think the Red Wings’ farm team, the Grand Rapids Griffins, did something similar not too long ago. I’m glad this method of giving ot charity is catching on, it’s not only creative but it gets the fans into the game a bit more

Posted by KelseyAnn from Ahwatukee, Arizona on 12/06/11 at 07:04 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I love the giant Batman and find it interesting that the toys are not tied up in plastic bags. The bags help to keep the toys clean and dry until they can be donated.

Good call, Lisa.  I know a couple of Wranglers Account Executives and I’ve run into Billy Johnson several times on a casual basis.  I’ll pass the word.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 12/07/11 at 09:38 PM ET

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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.

Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.

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