The teddy bear toss has been a staple on the hockey calendar for teams around the world for decades.
The tradition has been a way for fans to donate en masse bears for kids by throwing thousands of bears onto the ice whenever the home team scores their first goal of a game.
Let's take a look at some of the more popular teddy bear toss moments:
The First Game
A tradition has to start somewhere, and the origins of this game to go back almost 30 years. The idea came to life in 1993 from Kamloops Blazers marketing head Don Larsen. The game was a way for fans to be able to donate bears for children at the pediatric ward at Royal Inland Hospital whenever the first Blazers player scored during the game.
Only a few hundred bears were expected to be thrown on the ice, but to Larsen's surprise, over 2,500 bears were tossed onto the ice after Brad Lukowich's goal at the then known as Riverside Coliseum.
And now, the concept has evolved in a big way.
Calgary Hitmen set a world record
As the teddy bear toss has become an annual tradition, the Calgary Hitmen became the first team that would take the event to another level.
On Dec. 15, 2015, a world record was set when 28,815 toys were thrown onto the ice of the Scotiabank Saddledome. Bears of all sizes and shapes would reign down onto the ice in a situation that looked like the bears would never stop flying from all corners of the arena.
The record wouldn't last for long: in 2018, the team once against set a new team all-time high at 29,935... only to have an AHL team crush Calgary's previous best...
Hershey Bears obliterate the Hitmen's record
On Dec. 2, 2018, Riley Barber's goal would trigger an avalanche of 34,798 toys onto the Giant Center ice to set the new world record... only to beat it again the following year.
The 2019 game would see 45,650 bears thrown onto the ice, another world record was set but the number of bears would also delay the game for 40 minutes.
If this mark is surpassed a game may need to be rescheduled because it may take a few hours to clear the ice of that many toys.
The Edmonton Oil Kings go all in
For the most part, the Teddy Bear toss games play out like a regular game except for the extended delay to clean the thousands of bears from the ice.
But the Oil Kings like to spice things up and create unique jerseys for the occasion. The 2021 game was no exception, as the human face that usually adorns the Oil Kings alternate look was turned into a bear with furry legs added to the pants and a tail added to the back of the jerseys.
This year's jerseys also paid homage to health care workers for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tossing bears goes beyond hockey
Teddy bear toss games may have started in hockey, but other sports have added the game to their calendars. Basketball has been the most prominent sport to have its take on the day.
In 2014, the trend spread to Italian basketball as teams in Lega Basket Serie A and numerous NCAA programs have adopted the tradition including UNLV, Kansas, the University of Utah, and Mercer.