The group of reporters couldn’t help laughing at the question asked to Johnny Gaudreau. “[Kevin Hayes] blew up your spot on Twitter earlier today about how you were playing Pokémon Go all morning? How do you like Pokémon Go?” The question seemed so odd, and yet, felt right in place with the event Gaudreau was asked this at. Where can you ask an NHL player about Pokémon Go and not feel sheepish? Let’s backtrack.
In 2015, former Boston College hockey players Pat Mullane and Andrew Orpik, along with Justin Murphy brought together alumni from the esteemed hockey program, along with alumni from Boston University, to raise money for two causes near and dear to each program’s heart. Compassionate Care ALS provides a support system for those diagnosed with ALS and their families, covering the spectrum of equipment and caregiving, to education and guidance. Raising money for the non-profit is a nod towards BC alumnus Pete Frates, a beloved member of the Boston community, as well as Dick Kelley and Ron Perryman. The Travis Roy Foundation was set up by former BU hockey player Travis Roy, whose namesake helps enhance the lives of individuals with spinal cord injuries and their families, according to the foundation’s website. Roy suffered a spinal cord injury only 11 seconds into his Terrier hockey career, ending his playing days but sending him down a path towards helping others.
The rosters are stacked to the gills with NHL talent from both schools. The aforementioned Gaudreau, a Calgary Flames forward now, will be back for his third season, along with his Eagles line mate and New York Rangers forward Kevin Hayes. Two teammates reunite in Brian Boyle and Cory Scheider, who now find themselves playing together for the New Jersey Devils. Buffalo Sabres forwards Jack Eichel returns to BU, as well as recent graduate and captain Doyle Somerby. Yes, there are Bruins representatives as well, Tommy Cross and Ryan Fitzgerald for BC and Charlie McAvoy for BU.
So where does Pokémon Go fit into all of this? We may see these players as the best in the world, and truly, they are for having reached the pinnacle that is the NHL. However, for everything they have achieved, they’re just as much human beings as you and me. So yes, Johnny Gaudreau absolutely took advantage of being at BC to go up against his younger brother Matthew in Pokémon Go. Nick Bonino took the opportunity to rib former head coach Jack Parker in the loss. In the end, it’s a great group of human beings coming together to raise money for some amazing causes. As Pat Mullane put it after last year’s event, “The fans of Boston are so willing and receptive to come out and support these guys on a Friday night in the summer…it’s a true testament to who [Roy and Frates] are as people.”
You can find more information on this year’s event at http://commaveclassic.com. The event is Friday, July 14th with puck drop slated for 7:05p.m.