Photo: Jim McIsaac
Tom Poti‘s NHL career ended inauspiciously in March of last year. A persistent groin injury kept him off the ice for all of 2011-12 before an abbreviated, 16-game comeback in 2012-13 spelled the end of his time with the Washington Capitals. “I still have that hunger to play and I still have that desire,” Poti told the Washington Times that May, “and I definitely want to play as long as I can.”
While his future has not included more NHL action, Poti is still on the ice and still doing good. This time he’s suiting up to face off against the USA Warriors, the sled and standing hockey teams made of wounded and injured American servicemen and women. On April 9, Poti and a team of US Olympians will play against the Warriors at UMass Lowell. The charity game will pit some of the most accomplished and impressive athletes in the country — against former Olympians.
Joining Poti in the game is a list of some the best players ever to suit up in red, white, and blue. Hall of famer and Conn Smythe winner Brian Leetch will be there, as will journeyman Cup winner Shawn McEachern and Harvard head coach Ted Donato. Representing the American women will be Olympic gold medalists Katie King-Crowley and Tara Douncey among many others. Mike Eruzione, perhaps the most American hockey player in history, is scheduled to make an appearance as well.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the USA Warriors program as well as the Travis Roy Foundation, which helps people who have suffered spinal-cord injury, and One Fund Boston, which benefits families affected by the marathon bombing.
If you’ve ever seen the Warriors skate at KCI or Verizon Center, you know how important and remarkable this program is. Warriors hockey helps rehabilitate servicemen and women– some of whom have had multiple amputations, lost an eye, or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. And they play some scary good hockey. Leetch and Poti will have their hands full.
If you’re interested in attending the game on April 9, you can buy tickets online now.
If you’re not able to attend, you can donate directly to the USA Warriors and help spread the word by sharing this post on social media.