Chief of defence staff lands in Kandahar with ex-NHLers, Stanley Cup in tow

Gen. Rick Hillier arrived in Kandahar today with 19 former NHL players in tow, including enforcers like Bob Probert and Dave (Tiger) Williams. Other hockey stalwarts visiting Afghanistan include goaltender Ron Tugnutt and former Montreal Canadiens stars Rejean Houle and Yvon Lambert.

The players, who brought along the Stanley Cup, are in Afghanistan to show their support to Canada’s soldiers – as well as to play a little old-time hockey.

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Hillier, meanwhile, is at the heart of a controversy over allegations that prisoners are being tortured in Afghan prisons once they leave Canadian custody.

He and Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor have been accused of allowing the transfer of prisoners despite the risk of abuse.