Detroit is Hockeytown. We know and love all things hockey. From the puck drop of the first game to the endless excitement of the playoffs, we have some of the best hockey fans around. I am included in this group. During the hockey season, I live and breathe Red Wings’ hockey. However, it is not just our beloved Red Wings that hold a place in the heart of many Metro Detroiters. Hockey fans living in the Plymouth area (and beyond) know of another little gem, the Plymouth Whalers.
The Plymouth Whalers are part of the Ontario Hockey League and boast some of the best talent in the world for the 16-20 year age range. Last year alone, there were 21 Whalers’ alumni playing in the NHL. This is a talented pool of hockey players. But more than that, this is a great group of guys working for a fantastic organization. I had the opportunity to speak to Pete Krupsky, Director of Communications for the Whalers, to learn more about who they are and what they do.
The Whalers are not just a talented, exciting hockey team to watch on the ice, they are also an integral part of the local community, constantly giving back to the area. From their Adopt a School program, to skating clinics, to the 165 charity events that they host each year, this team has very strong ties to the surrounding Metro Detroit communities. As Krupsky tells it, “the players are the best ambassadors to the kids. They conduct themselves so well and are terrific role models.” The players come from all over the US, Canada and Europe. Many of them are still in high school and have very regimented schedules. They must keep their grades up in order to play on the team. A lot of very talented players get their start with the Whalers and go on to have brilliant hockey careers.
One of the biggest charity events that the Whalers participate in is their annual Pink Out! for Breast Cancer Awareness hockey game. This Saturday, October 13, 2012, the Whalers will don special pink jerseys and also dye their hair pink in support of breast cancer awareness. Yup, you heard correctly, these rough and tough hockey players willingly (and eagerly) get “pinked out”. Some guys opt to dye their whole head of hair pink while others have been known to buzz the breast cancer awareness ribbon into their pink locks. Then there are those that go an extra step and also dye their goatee. No doubt about it, these are a well coiffed group!
The grooming will take place on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at the Lucky Hair Company in Canton, who shuts down their salon for the day to participate in this great charity event. With the media on hand documenting all the action, the guys will take the pink plunge. They then will play two away games with their pink locks before taking home ice to battle the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on the 13th. After the game, the pink jerseys will be auctioned off and the proceeds from everything will be donated to the Karmanos Cancer Institute. The game starts at 7:05 pm and tickets are $12 or $16.
If you cannot make it to the Pink Out! on the 13th, you should definitely look into attending another Whalers game. The entire schedule, plus news, stats and much more about the team can be found at www.plymouthwhalers.com. The Plymouth Whalers are an organization that are not only entertaining and give the people something to cheer about, they also give back to the community and are a team that any hockey fan can get behind!