After a two-year absence from the ice, the Gagné-Bergeron Pro-Am is back in action on August 9 at the Videotron Center, with a roster of star NHL players who, once reunited, could potentially break the salary cap!
Joking aside, this is a brand new version of the event that raises funds for four organizations that help sick, disadvantaged or special needs children.
So far, 19 players have confirmed their presence, and the goal is to attract 24 to play alongside eight amateurs. The plan is to bring together four professional players and one amateur on the ice per team.
In addition to regulars like Patrice Bergeron, Simon Gagné and Jonathan Marchessault, players of the caliber of Jonathan Huberdeau, Jack Eichel, Alexis Lafrenière and Charlie McAvoy have pledged to be there. enhanced, with play that will resemble that of the National League, ”promised the new president of Pro-Am Gagné-Bergeron, Bruno Guay.
In the past, the event brought together more amateur players to mingle with the pros. This time, the eight amateurs present will pay the tidy sum of $10,000 to take part in the activity, but their presence among the greats promises to be more striking.
“The goal remains to raise as much money as possible for our foundations. We need our fans for that, but we had to improve the show on the ice. I saw spectators paying $25 and the show was okay, but not to my liking. The show will be much better,” said Simon Gagné, who has been behind the Pro-Am that bears his name from the start.
“Hobbyists will definitely have a better feeling as to what it looks like, a pros bedroom. They will see better, too, what is the speed of professionals on the ice, ”he added.
In past years, the Pro-Am has attracted some 10,000 spectators to the Videotron Center.
The organizers do not hide the fact that they are still trying to attract a few other big names, including one player in particular whose identity they did not want to reveal.
Could the Sidney Crosbys of this world answer the call?
“We already have several big names, but if the others we are working on accept, we can easily think of 12,000, 15,000, or even fill the building,” titillated Bruno Guay, without opening his game further.
After two editions of off-ice challenges during the pandemic, the Pro-Am returns to its roots with a 12th edition on the ice. Including the last two editions, the event is 14 years old and has raised 2.1 million to date.
“We had to restart the machine; it's big, the Pro-Am. A lot has gone by in 14 years, but it never stopped growing. We want to go up to 24 pros, we ideally lack a goalkeeper and three defenders, ”noted the vice-president, Alain Rioux.
As in the past, the pre-game tailgate will take place. The teams represented will be the Vegas Golden Knights, with Jonathan Marchessault as captain, as well as the Boston Bruins, with Patrice Bergeron in the same role.
The story does not yet say whether at this time he will be considered an active or retired player.
“We often talk with Patrice, but not about that. Will he retire? I don't know, ”left Alain Rioux hovering, while Bergeron's good friend Simon Gagné was also silent on the subject.
Tickets are on sale at gestev.com or at 1 855 790-1245. The four beneficiary organizations are Le Pignon Bleu, Leucan, the Maurice Tanguay Foundation and the Philippe Boucher Foundation.
*Players in discussion
Marc-Andre Fleury (Minnesota Wild), Louis Domingue (Pittsburgh Penguins), Malcolm Subban (Buffalo Sabers)