Santa Claus made an early visit to the Catholic Centre for Immigrants on Thursday in the form of former NHLers Shane Doan, Kris King and officials with the NHL Enterprises Canada.

The group was on hand to deliver $15,000 worth of gift cards to Canadian Tire and Sport Chek, which CCI Ottawa will use to outfit young people with new skates. During the skating season, CCI runs several skating programs for hundreds of children and teens. The skating programs traditionally rely on donated skates with older children often having to share skates at the rink.

Carl Nicholson, executive director of CCI Ottawa, says the timing of this donation couldn’t be better.

“This donation means we can buy children their own skates, skates that fit, skates that are new. They can take them home and go skating on their own as well. I can’t say thank you enough to NHL Enterprises.”

Mark Schultz, director, partnership marketing, with NHL Enterprises Canada, said he was delighted to make the donation and help a new generation of Canadians discover Canada’s national past-time.

Shane Doan retired from the Arizona Coyotes at the start of this NHL season after a 21-year career in which he played more than 1,500 games. Kris King played 14 seasons with a number of teams, ending his career in 2001 with the Chicago Blackhawks. Both players had the opportunity to meet two teens who moved recently to Canada from Mexico. Both young women were at CCI to pick up their skates to participate in a skating program that evening at City Hall’s Rink of Dreams. The former players took time to pose for a photo with the young newcomers.

With this generous donation, CCI plans to outfit as many young people as possible with skates. The gift will also be used to purchase other sporting gear such as helmets and equipment for other sports that youth participate in.

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NHL Enterprises: NHL Enterprises, L.P. engages in merchandising and licensing programs. The company protects trademarks and other intellectual property of the National Hockey League and its member teams. NHL Enterprises, L.P. was incorporated in 1996 and is based in New York, New York. NHL Enterprises, L.P. operates as a subsidiary of National Hockey League.

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