Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers and Brad Richards of the New York Rangers are among a number of NHL players that will play in a charity exhibition game at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Saturday, Nov. 24.
Several other Flyers and former Flyers will either be on the ice or at the game. That list includes current Flyers Wayne Simmonds, Kimmo Timonen, Jody Shelley and Braydon Coburn, along with former Flyers James van Riemsdyk, Simon Gagne, Steve Downie, Ville Leino, Steve Eminger and Daniel Carcillo.
Other players scheduled to appear include Jeff Halpern, Ryan Callahan, Brian Boyle, John Carlson, Taylor Pyatt and James Neal.
"The lives that have been touched by the devastation are people in our own communities and the communities of our fans," Hartnell said in a statement. "To have the opportunity to be able to raise money for the relief effort by participating in this game is an honor and we are asking fans of the tri-state area to assist in anyway they can to help the communities and people affected."
Proceeds from the game, dubbed Operation Hat Trick and sponsored by Caesars Atlantic City, will benefit the Empire State Relief Fund, the New Jersey Hurricane Relief Fund and the American Red Cross, aiding New York and New Jersey families affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority has donated the use of the arena for the event, said Caesars spokesperson Katie Dougherty.
The game will take place at the Hall at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $100 and went on sale at 10 a.m. today.
Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com was the first to report on the game.
Don Marrandino, Eastern Division president for Caesars Entertainment, applauded the efforts of Richards, Hartnell and others for putting the game together. Players are currently locked out by NHL owners.
“A roster of this magnitude reads as though Atlantic City is hosting the American and International All-Star hockey game of the year — all to benefit those in our region affected by Hurricane Sandy,” Marrandino said in a statement.
“The national spotlight will be on Atlantic City next weekend, allowing the community to showcase what a diverse entertainment destination we are. A key tactic in the strategy of revitalizing Atlantic City is offering events such as this at a time when it is most needed. We as a business community benefit from the thousands of fans who will choose to visit our destination during that weekend and we look forward to a great event,” he said.
Richards has also organized a benefit skate today to help in the relief efforts on Staten Island. Richards, who signed with the Rangers last offseason, has partnered with a high school team to organize “Skating for Sandy.”
Eminger, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal will join forwards Carl Hagelin, Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik and Richards at the Staten Island Skating Pavilion.
Response from the Staten Island community has been good. The event will, in fact, feature two afternoon sessions, one at 3:30 and one at 4:40 p.m.
“We are going to keep this one,” Richards said, “for just the kids.”
The NHL lockout began on Sept. 15, and has already forced the cancellation of 327 games, including the Winter Classic between the Maple Leafs and Red Wings at Michigan Stadium. The league’s other big midseason event — the Jan. 27 all-star game at Nationwide Arena in Columbus — is also expected to be formally cancelled in the near future.
Negotiations had already hit a wall in the ongoing hockey labor fight, and now the NHL has suggested the sides take an official two-week break before getting back to the bargaining table.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)