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Fedorin Cup a major cog in hockey’s battle to help defeat cancer

 

Fedorin_1997

When his pickup hockey buddies found out Eric Fedorin had brain cancer, they were stunned.

Action quickly overtook the shock.

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Rick Hutchinson led the charge, starting a charity hockey game in his friend’s honor and forming a charitable foundation, Athletic Sports Fund of America (ASFA).

The game has grown in size and scope since 1997, but the mission of it and the accompanying events, which annually draw more than 1,000 people to The Rinks-Anaheim ICE, remains the same – picking a fight against cancer with the hope the disease receiving a permanent game misconduct.

“We were sitting in a locker room saying, ‘Our buddy has cancer, what are we going to do?” said Hutchinson, ASFA’s president as well as hockey director of The Rinks. “Twenty years later, here we are.”

This year, Hutchinson has invited the participants in that first game (pictured). He’s having jerseys printed for them and will have them join this year’s players on the ice for introductions, the anthem and a group picture.

Some original Fedorin Cup players still play, including former Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Los Angeles Kings forward Sean Pronger.

“The first one was just kind of a group of guys. We had matching jerseys but I don’t recall everyone having matching socks,” Pronger said. “It was remarkable. It was for such a great cause.”

Pronger couldn’t believe the event’s growth the next time he played in it.

“I got traded away and was out of the area nine or 10 years between games,” he said. “I was amazed how much it had grown and how well organized it was. It was sold out, there was a band playing, catered food and a casino night. It was top shelf all the way through.

“It’s incredible to see how it’s evolved. ‘Hutch’ has done a phenomenal job. He’s obviously tried to make it better each year, and it has been.

“This is the type of thing that could fall by the wayside – there’s a year between games, it’s in the summer. But he’s done a great job staying on guys to come, and we want to stay involved.”

Hutchinson said the support of former NHL players in the region and elite players from California has made the event possible.

The event is just as memorable for the pros, Pronger said.

“It’s really great to be involved in this,” Pronger said. “Cancer’s touched everybody. It’s cool when you’ve got cancer survivors on your team. When they have a chance to play with guys like Ryan Getzlaf or my brother (Chris), it’s cool to see their faces.

“We’re honored to play with them.”


fedorin_cup20th Annual Fedorin Cup

When: August 26 at The Rinks-Anaheim Ice

What: A charity hockey game featuring current and former NHL players and players from California, as well as a casino night. Athletic Sports Fund of America will donate all event proceeds to causes such as the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer, the American Cancer Society and the USC Norris Cancer Center, as well as to support families in need.

Schedule: Pregame party at 2:30 p.m.; Player introductions at 4 p.m. and faceoff at 4:15 p.m.; Postgame party and VIP casino night starts at 6:45 p.m.

Game tickets: $30 adults; $10 kids 5-17; 5-under free; VIP packages available from $60-$2,000

More information/tickets: asfafedorincup.com

Photo/From its humble beginnings 20 years ago, the Fedorin Cup has grown into one of the biggest charity events on the California hockey calendar. Pictured top, from left, are Jason Marshall, James Hannon, Steve Cooke, Dave Andreychuk, Kenny Richards, Brent Severyn, Danny Ryan, Sean Pronger, Charlie Simmer, Phil Bourque, Paul Miller, Rick Hutchinson, Simon Bibeau, Bob Barich, Richie Costello, John Blue, Christian Lalonde, TJ Moore and Doug Jones. Pictured bottom, from left, are Robby Johnson, Chris Tygarski, John Henning, Doug Ingraham, Bob Pitts, Lester McKinnon, Ralph Fedorin, ERIC FEDORIN, Fred Nelson, Robert Schumitzky, Scotty Miller, Tom Cox and Berkley Hoagland. Not pictured: Mikhail Shatalenkov, Bobby Dollas
Photo/Shelly Castellano

— Chris Bayee