On Friday, the NHL and NHLPA will partner with LaFontaine's foundation to establish the All-Star legacy 'Lion's Den' at Sainte-Justine's Hospital in Montreal -- the first Lion's Den unveiled in Canada. A ribbon-cutting ceremony, which will include LaFontaine, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly and a few NHL All-Stars, will take place at 9 a.m. ET.
A Lion's Den is a a sort of themed playroom for children who are in the hospital can go to enjoy themselves:
The All-Star legacy playroom at Sainte-Justine's will be an interactive game room utilizing innovative communications tools, including multiple Xbox 360 consoles and games, flat panel televisions connected to Windows Media Servers and video conference pods that connect patients with family and friends.
Obviously, we approve of the name. But we are also very supportive of ideas like these. Innovative ideas that make children's lives brighter through hockey - this is great work from the former Verdun junior.
Earlier this week, there was another feel good story for the community as part of the Canadiens 100 year celebrations. In my opinion, it is one of the very best things to come out of the centenary: statue, sweater, plaza or otherwise.
The headline earlier in the week was clever, and I wish I remembered it, but it spoke of the Canadiens doing something for healthy children as well as those in hospital. They did this by opening a multi-purpose rink in a Montreal neighbourhood. I tell you, I wish I was a kid growing up next to this (Mike Boone really thinks so too):
The artificial ice rink has been built according to NHL standards and dimensions (200 feet by 85 feet), with red and blue lines, just like the pros use. The Parc François-Perrault rink offers the flexibility necessary to accommodate the practice of other seasonal sports activities. The skating season will last from mid-November until the end of March, while various types of ball games, such as basketball or soccer, and other sports will take over for the spring, summer and fall months.
A good week then for the kids in Montreal. Oh and then there's the all-star game...