One of the stranger stories of the NHL season is the number of times Toronto Maple Leafs jerseys have been thrown onto the ice in protest of the team’s subpar performance. So the ECHL’s Brampton Beast, being nearby and all, thought they would turn a negative into a positive.
Enter “Toss Your Jersey” night, which will take place on Thursday, Feb. 5 when the Beast host the Allen Americans at the Powerade Centre in Brampton, Ont. After Brampton scores their first goal of the game, fans have been “strongly encouraged” to throw their sweaters onto the ice, and they’re doing it for a good cause.
Each sweater that’s thrown onto the ice will be collected by the in-arena staff and donated to the Moss Park Hockey League, a minor hockey league dedicated to children aged four to 14. The league, one that offers children the opportunity to play for free what can be at times an expensive activity, will then provide the sweaters to children in need.
"The Brampton Beast do not typically agree with or in any way condone the act of fans throwing jerseys on the ice, which we believe is disrespectful to the teams playing," said Cary Kaplan, President and General Manager of the Beast in a release. "However, we did feel that a 'Jersey Toss' night would be a fun and creative opportunity for us to give something to the great people at Moss Park, who amazingly provide free hockey to those who cannot afford it.”
The MPHL came to the attention of the Beast last season when Scott Howes, who now plays for Esbjerg in Denmark, told management of his experience playing in the league and how much he appreciated the opportunity.
"Moss Park is very excited and appreciative of the Jersey Toss promotion with the Brampton Beast," said Ed Hunter, President of the MPHL, in a statement. "It is a fun way for underprivileged kids to get hockey jerseys that they could otherwise not afford, so when they are on the ice they can feel on an equal level with others who love playing hockey."
And, hey, if the Beast get shutout, that’s just one more good reason to throw a jersey onto the ice, apparently.