St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

NHLers to tour Quebec for charity

wire services
Published October 8, 2004

MONTREAL - Three teams of locked-out NHL players will play for free while touring the province of Quebec in a four-on-four hockey series from which all proceeds will be donated to children's charities.

The 32-stop tour, which will not allow hitting or fighting, is being funded by sponsors. Fans will pay $20 per ticket. The tour's first stop is Oct. 23 in Sorel, Quebec.

The tour is being organized by Joel Bouchard of the Rangers. Jose Theodore of the Canadiens and Roberto Luongo of the Panthers will suit up for one team. Another squad features forwards Simon Gagne of the Flyers and Columbus goalie Marc Denis, while a third includes Minnesota's Alexandre Daigle and Anaheim goaltender J.S. Giguere.

Teams will dress 12 players and play 20-minute games in a round-robin tournament style at each stop.

EUROPEAN SIGNINGS: Star wings Alex Tanguay of the Avalanche and Richard Zednik of the Canadiens are the latest players to head to Europe.

There are 194 NHL players in Europe, according to the International Ice Hockey Federation. Most have lockout clauses permitting them to return to North America if and when the labor dispute ends.

Tanguay tied for 10th in the league in scoring last season with 79 points (25 goals, 54 assists) in 69 games. He signed with Lugano in Switzerland. He is to arrive Sunday and play his first game next week, Lugano coach Larry Huras said. Zednik, who led Montreal with 26 goals, signed with Zvolen in his native Slovakia.

CALGARY TO FRANCE: Just months ago, Steve Montador was living every player's dream - playing in the Stanley Cup final.

Now his Flames are closed for business and he's chasing pucks in front of 2,000 people in a remote corner of France.

"I would rather be playing in the NHL but I'm a positive thinker. I don't regret coming here," Montador told The Associated Press by telephone.

Montador's new hockey address is Mulhouse, a small city in eastern France near the German border. Steven Reinprecht, who won a Stanley Cup as a center for Colorado Avalanche in 2001, is expected to arrive soon in Mulhouse and debut alongside Montador against Tours next week.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.