Rocky Mountain Classic benefits Colorado charities

Updated: December 6, 2004, 4:37 PM ET
Associated Press

ASPEN, Colo. -- There was a lot on the line over the weekend as members of the Colorado Avalanche joined other locked-out NHL players for a charity tournament in Aspen.

It was, after all, a chance to play.

"Definitely these things help out," Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said. "It gets the guys together, it's great camaraderie. And everybody is smiling around here -- it makes everything worthwhile."

The NHL season has so far been lost in a dispute between the players and the owners. Dozens of players are on European teams, but others are taking time off. The Rocky Mountain Classic -- featuring players from the Avalanche, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Phoenix Coyotes -- benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Denver Children's Hospital and Aspen Junior Hockey.

Several big-names NHL players made the trip, including Avalanche stars Joe Sakic and Rob Blake and former Colorado players Mike Ricci, Chris Drury and Stephane Yelle.

The tournament also drew former NHL stars like Paul Coffey, Peter McNab, Marty McSorley, Lanny McDonald and Dennis Maruk, who lives in Aspen. Celebrity Cuba Gooding Jr. skated with the Avalanche and scored three goals.

Maruk said it was great to skate with hockey legends again, and he hopes that the lockout can be resolved.

"It's really frustrating for a lot of them," Maruk said. "Hopefully they resolve this soon, but it's important to look at what's best for the future of hockey. There could be ways to make both (the owners and players) happy."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press