So, they’ve set out from their Elmira, Ont., home in a recreational vehicle to visit NHL cities. Edmonton will be the third stop. They plan to attend the Red Wings-Oilers game Saturday night. They were at games in Chicago last Thursday and in St. Paul, Minn., on Saturday.
“The hockey community supported us in so many ways after Dan’s tragedy and I wanted to give back to the community in some way,” Graham Snyder told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
They take in an NHL game in each city, visit with players and make speaking appearances to pass on their message of forgiveness and to raise awareness and money for the Dan Snyder Memorial Foundation.
He is a financial adviser and she is a retired nurse so the flexibility of their schedules freed them up for this tour, which would take them more than 22,000 kilometres when finished.
Dan Snyder was a passenger in a Ferrari driven by Dan Heatley, then a Thrashers teammate, that crashed in Atlanta on Sept. 29, 2003. The seriously-injury Snyder subsequently died of an infection. The district attorney who handled the case noted that the Snyders’ insistence that Heatley not get jail time was a reason why Heatley could plead guilty and get three years probation.
While in Minnesota, the Snyders met before the Blue Jackets-Wild game with Wild defenceman Kurtis Foster, who was their son’s teammate with the minor-league Chicago Wolves. Foster won the team’s community service award the first year it was renamed in memory of Dan.
“I think the tour is pretty cool,” Foster told the newspaper. “I know that they have a big golf tournament in the summer that generates a lot of attention.
“Hopefully, they can keep that going and raise a lot of money for his foundation.”
One of the foundation’s goals is to help build a community centre with an arena in Elmira.
Funding for the tour has come from the NHL, member clubs and the NHLPA. Don Reynolds, Dan Snyder’s agent, donated his RV to the Snyders.
The itinerary includes a stop in Atlanta on Dec. 21 before a flight home for Christmas.