Smashfest is coming soon!
No, this is not a World Wide Wrestling Federation event, it’s an annual charity table tennis tournament attended by several NHL players.
Originally a brainchild of Dominic Moore, the event has drawn more and more players every year as it’s popularity has grown. They have reportedly raised over $500,000 so far in funds for charity.
For more specifics about the charitable aspects of the tournament and other background information, check out Ken Campbell’s article about it here – The Hockey News
The Hurricanes own Jeff Skinner participates in the event and was named “Most Improved” in last summer’s tournament. He made it to the semi-finals before losing to the eventual champion Patrick Eaves. Eaves has won the tournament two straight seasons now.
I spoke with Skinner last season about his experience and you could tell from his enthusiasm how much he loved it.
“hockey season is kind of my ping pong off season. I don’t really get a chance to play much during the year until summer but it’s a real fun hobby then.”
At the time I spoke to him about this, he said that there was no place for him to play against his teammates at the arena.
“Unfortunately, there is not really a great area here to set one up, but if anyone on the team ever wanted to challenge me and invite me over to their house, I’d be ready to play!”
Skinner said that he would certainly be ready for action again this summer.
“The tournament will be coming up again this summer and i will be practicing up, hoping to peak my game then.”
According to the Hockey News article, Skinner has indeed been practicing recently as much as three times a week, so he should be as ready has he had hoped to be.
The most recent listing of confirmed participants for this year’s tournament, (from the NHLPA) is as follows:
If you are in Toronto on Thursday, July 20, it’s not too late to sign up to participate. They will take entrants at the door.
For more information, go to Smashfest.ca
Good luck to Skinner this year.