This Saturday night sees the return of a much anticipated game for the Edmonton Oil Kings. Easily one of the most important games of the year, the Teddy Bear Toss returns to Rexall Place in support of 630 CHED Santa's Anonymous. The Teddy Bear Toss game is special because after the Oil Kings score their first goal, Rexall Place showers the ice with stuffed animals of all types. The stuffed animals are then collected, counted, and donated to 630 CHED Santa's Anonymous to be given to needy children this holiday season. The Teddy Bear Toss goal is one of the most eagerly anticipated moments of the season.
The Oil Kings will host the Swift Current Broncos for this year's Teddy Bear Toss game. This is the ninth year the Oil Kings organization has participated in this tradition, and it has become a highlight for players as well as fans. Additionally, it's always fun watching the ice crew try and collect all those bears.
Over the course of the promotion, there have been roughly 50,000 stuffed animals donated to 630 CHED Santa's Anonymous. The Oil Kings will also host silent and live auctions for the special Teddy Bear Toss jerseys the team will be wearing during the game; the proceeds from those auctions will then be donated to 630 CHED Santa's Anonymous to help provide a magical holiday season for deserving children throughout the Edmonton area.
The Oil Kings played their last game on November 28th and are currently on a three-game winning streak. Comparatively, the Broncos will play December 2nd before their match up at Rexall on the 5th and have lost the last two.The Broncos sit two places back of the Oil Kings in the Eastern Conference Standings, but will also have one game in hand at the time of their meeting. The game on Saturday will either allow the Broncos to close some of the six-point lead the Oil Kings currently have, or make the Oil Kings' hold on the 8th and final Eastern Conference playoff spot more precarious.
The Oil Kings top line of Pollock - Bauer - Koch has been able to produce for them recently. After a nine-point night in Vancouver on November 17th, the top line has been the most consistent offensive threat for the Oil Kings. Bauer has five points in the last three games while Pollock has seven. The Oil Kings offense has come to depend on one or both being able to consistently produce. If the first line can't score, it tends to be a struggle for any Oil Kings player to put up points. Last year's Teddy Bear Toss goal scorer was Andrew Koep, and with no bold predictions for the Oil Kings as to who will score, it's all up in the air this year.
The Teddy Bear Toss game is more than a hockey game for many though. The last year has seen an increase in the usage of community based charities, such as food banks. The Edmonton Foodbank alone, reports a 23% increase in usage over last year. It then stands to reason that organizations like 630 CHED Santa's Anonymous will also see an increase in demand for their services over the course of December. The Teddy Bear Toss is an easy way for hockey fans to take in a game, support a worthwhile local charity at the same time, and get to throw something that's not a jersey on the ice!
Tickets are still available at Ticketmaster, and bears for tossing will be available for purchase at the game or you can bring your own. For those without Saturday night plans, the Teddy Bear Toss is an excellent option.