Unless you missed Pat’s weekly Grab Bag this past Wednesday (or just don’t pay attention to the internet because you’re a blouse boy (or girl)), you probably saw the video Tim Hortons released on Monday where they flew the only ice hockey team in Kenya over to Canada to play in a game this past summer. Just an absolutely awesome gesture by Tim Hortons considering that since they’re the only ice hockey team in Kenya, there aren’t any opponents within (presumably) thousands of miles.
So what could possibly be more awesome than that? How about including two of the best ice hockey players on the planet to join the Kenyan hockey team for the game?
So that’s exactly what Tim Hortons did. Accompanying the Kenyans in their first proper game of ice hockey were none other than Sidney Crosby and 2018 Hart Trophy finalist, Nathan MacKinnon.
Now, if that doesn’t hit you with #AllTheFeels, you’re
probably an asshole.
But it gets better.
This past Thursday before the Penguins faced off against the Maple Leafs in Toronto (read the recap of the game here), Ben Azegere, captain of the Kenya Ice Lions, had the opportunity to reconnect with his new pal, Sidney Crosby, before witnessing his first ever NHL game in person.
Low-key underrated funny part of that entire video is the fact that the Kenyans make their youngest players play goalie (which also proves the longstanding stereotype that people who elect to play goalie in the first place are inherently weirdos).
But what’s cooler is that ice hockey is beginning to spread to places around the globe that nobody ever thought was possible. It’s one thing for the NHL to set up shop in a city like Las Vegas, which many people thought would fail (looking back, LOL), but it’s another to see the game grow organically in places where many factors such as climate, financials, technology, etc. aren’t exactly ideal. Hockey (like many other sports) has a long ways to go before becoming a global sport; however, through impactful gestures like this, it will only help speed up the process.