WINNIPEG - Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews couldn't think of a better place to be this week.
The Winnipeg-born star was at home when True North Sports and Entertainment announced Tuesday that it had acquired the Atlanta Thrashers and will move them to Winnipeg.
"It's an exciting time to be here in Winnipeg with everything that's going on," Toews said at today's press conference for the annual Canadian Tour event, to which he has lent his name.
"I'm obviously excited to be spending time here in Winnipeg right now with family and friends."
Toews has joined forces with organizers -- the tournament is now officially called "The Players Cup hosted by Jonathan Toews."
The tournament's champion will continue to enjoy the perks that were established four years ago. The winner gets an invite to the PGA Tour's RBC Canadian Open and top money-winners from the Canadian Tour as of the Winnipeg stop will also be invited to the Open, to take place this year in Vancouver.
Among the big events for tournament week (July 14-17) will be Monday's Jonathan Toews FORE Kids Golf Classic and Tuesday's Jonathan Toews and Friends Celebrity Pro-Am, presented by the Winnipeg Free Press, which will feature NHL stars and Olympic athletes. Organizers are expecting big crowds for the Tuesday event.
"I'm used to playing in front of people but it will be entirely different thing playing golf," Toews said.
Tournament executive director Ryan Hart released the list of stars who will be present for the Tuesday pro-am. It includes:
- Alex Steen,
- Thomas Steen,
- Colin Wilson,
- Carey Wilson,
- Taylor Chorney,
- Denis Savard,
- Ab McDonald,
- Cliff Koroll,
- Todd Simpson,
- Rhett Warriner,
- Mike Keane,
- Nigel Dawes,
- Brian Campbell,
- Doug Gilmour,
- Dave Ellett and
- Bobby Hull.
Two more celebrities have yet to confirm.