The Mike Keane Celebrity Hockey Classic raised $350,000 last year and the three-time Stanley Cup champion says this year he expects that number to grow in support of the Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation and Continuity Care.
"Guys get competitive about it. They're calling me now and asking me what the number is. Last year the Richardson group raised over $53,000 to get first pick and first prize and other guys are going after that number," said Keane.
The event is based upon 18 businesses forming hockey teams with each player pledging to raise a minimum of $500 and each team a minimum of $10,000.
The team that raises the most money drafts first from a group of NHL alumni in town for the event which begins Wednesday night with the draft and then hits the ice all day Thursday.
The 18 teams play three games each at the MTS IcePlex which is open to the public. Tickets for the event are $10.00 and include that night's MJHL game between the Blues and the Saints.
Players for the 2011 Celebrity Hockey Classic include Keane, Dale Hawerchuk, Steve Shutt, Lanny McDonald, Marcel Dionne, Brad Park, Brian Trottier, Billy Smith, Thomas Steen, Keith Tkachuk, Dave Ellett, Charlie Simmer, Brian Bellows, Dean Kennedy, Dave Babych, Dave Manson, Laurie Boschman, Brian Skrudland and Rod Black.