Ryan O'Byrne played a pickup hockey game at Kirby's Source for Sports on Tuesday and donated 28 sets of new hockey gear to underprivileged kids on behalf of the NHL Players Association.

Ryan O’Byrne is home to help

You can bet Ryan O’Byrne made lifelong Colorado Avalanche fans out of 28 kids on Tuesday morning.

It’s a good bet Ryan O’Byrne made lifelong Colorado Avalanche fans out of 28 kids on Tuesday morning.

O’Byrne directed play and took a few swats at the ball during a pickup game of street hockey with the youth hockey players on the outdoor sports surface at Kirby’s Source for Sports in Saanich.

Complete sets of new hockey gear, from sticks to skates, were handed out to each of the 28 youths, purchased by the NHL Players’ Association Goals and Dreams foundation.

“All the kids are from different backgrounds and different situations in life,” O’Byrne said. “Some have played more than others, a few haven’t played at all, and they’ve been chosen by their local hockey association because they showed strong values.”

O’Byrne is a St. Michaels University School grad and former junior A player with Victoria Salsa (now Grizzlies) and Nanaimo Clippers, and is readying for his third full season with the Avalanche. The 6-foot-5 defenceman is two weeks away from hosting the inaugural Ryan O’Byrne Charity Camp, a week long hockey school instructed himself, local coach Max Young, and single day appearances from guest NHLers Jamie and Jordie Benn (Dallas Stars), Manny Malhotra (Vancouver Canucks) and Clayton Stoner (Minnesota Wild).

The camp will also feature WHL players Keenan Kanzig of the Victoria Royals, Sam Grist of the Tri-City Americans, and BCHL players David Walchuk of the Victoria Grizzlies and Josh Bryan of the Nanaimo Clippers.

Young, who last coached the major midget South Island Thunderbirds, played with O’Byrne on the provincial midget champion Racquet Club Kings 13 years ago.

All of the proceeds from the hockey camp are going to KidSport Victoria, enough to cover the registration grants for 28 players.

“Altogether (the NHLPA and KidSport money) is $30,000, a huge lift to the youth hockey community in Victoria,” said Patti Hunter, chair of KidSport Victoria. “For (O’Byrne) to choose KidSport is awesome.”

“My parents taught me to appreciate things,” O’Byrne said.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to play in the NHL and I remember the volunteers who helped me along the way.”


Just Posted

Major expansion coming to Royal Bay Secondary

Province will build space for 600 more students on same site

Colwood wins Victoria Flower Count for a five-peat

The 43rd annual Flower Count had over three billion blossoms counted in total

West Shore municipalities eye mass notification system

System would send out info via text, email or phone call in an emergency

Moving fire dispatch services will save taxpayers thousands, say mayors

Transition will save about $1.5 million over the next five years

One World Performance and Expo returns to the McPherson Playhouse

The annual event has been presented for nearly 40 years

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 16, 2018

Salmon Arm community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

Dead rabbits found at Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds stoke concerns about Nanaimo virus

A B.C. wildlife veterinarian says a few of the dead bunnies will be sent for diagnosis next week.

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

Most Read