Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Apr 17th 2010 9:30AM by Karen Bliss
The annual game -- now in its seventh year -- is the highlight event leading up to the Juno Awards presentations (Canada's Grammy equivalent) Saturday and Sunday nights in celebration of the country's best musical output of the past year. But such a prestigious award or nomination doesn't come close to how these hockey-playing musicians from every genre feel about hitting the ice with their heroes. Some were just in for the game.
The ex NHLers beat the musicians the first six Juno Cups, but last year, much to everyone's amazement, the musicians won 13-12. Alas, the smell of sweet victory would not be theirs again this year.
The 2010 team of 20-plus "rockers," led by Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy, included rapper Classified; country singer George Canyon; and members of bands Billy Talent, Great Lake Swimmers, Ten Second Epic and Great Big Sea. The NHL alumni, smaller in number but far more mighty, included Mark Napier, Gary Roberts, Brad Dalgarno and Terry Ryan.
The game always entails tons of tomfoolery -- from body-checking to blindfolded shots and the Rockers did win a good number of the skills competitions. They've even added a sing-off, which Lanny McDonald cawed through last year and won the audience vote, opposite Cuddy, a beautiful singer.
Same thing happened this year, with Napier, on the same song, Blue Rodeo's classic ballad "Try." The hockey player took liberties with the lyric, singing, "Every time I come to The Rock, I can never be sure of the weather," a reference to the havoc the fog has caused for the Junos, as tons of artists, record label personnel, media -- and hockey player Greg Smyth -- were stranded in Halifax until Saturday.
Money raised from Juno Cup ticket sales, merchandise and a silent auction support MusiCounts, a Canadian music education charity, which has already raised $700,000 from the hockey game since 2004.