NHL Prospect Tournament Hosts Special Olympics Athletes

TRAVERSE CITY – As the 2018 NHL Prospect Tournament continued Monday at Traverse City’s Centre Ice Arena, dozens of Special Olympics Michigan athletes were on hand.

With a majority of the athletes in attendance being Poly Hockey (floor hockey with plastic pucks) players, the Detroit Red Wings presented Special Olympics Michigan with a $1,000 check.

“That’s really going to be cool because when we go downstate and up in the U.P. for basketball, that’s going to be really cool because that’s going to help pay for our funds to absolutely continue doing this,” Special Olympics athlete Jeff Hiller said. “It means a lot to me. I’ve had the thrill over the last 15-16 years of playing hockey. Poly Hockey has really been a key element for me. I’ve had a lot of fun with being able to help new people come into the sport.”

Along with receiving the donation and watching the action on the ice from front-row seats, athletes had the opportunity to meet Red Wings general manager and executive vice president Ken Holland.

“This is, especially for our athletes, this is a great opportunity to come here,” Special Olympics Michigan coach Tom Park said. “Among our team players, they are the number one Red Wings fans, so they are really geared up for the hockey season now.”

The puck drops for the Poly Hockey season in late September and concludes with the state finals in November in Lansing.