The guys from @anythingforhockey got nothin’ on Ron Suggitt.
Over the next 30 days, the Edmonton businessman will attend 30 hockey games, one in each NHL city
He started his pilgrimage in New York on Friday the 13th, where he took in the Islanders-Senators game and got his face on TV, along with a nice mention from the broadcast crew.
Over the weekend, the president and CFO of Playhouse Productions was in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Tonight, he’s in Buffalo to watch the Washington Capitals play the worst team in the NHL that doesn’t have Oilers in its name.
Then its off to Boston for St. Patrick’s Day, and the game he’s most looking forward to.
“To see the Bruins play, in an Irish city like Boston, is going to be a lot of fun,” Suggitt told CBC.
The whole thing is a fundraiser for the Make A Wish Foundation.
The nugget of the idea dates back to Edmonton’s Heritage Classic outdoor game in 2003. He was there that freezing cold November day, watching the Oilers play the Montreal Canadiens.
Over the years, he began to wonder: what if you could visit all 30 NHL rinks; and what if you could that in only 30 days?
“I’ve been a hockey fan all my life,” Suggitt said. “I love going to other rinks. I’ve only been to six rinks in the NHL. And every time I got to watch a game in another rink I just get goosebumps.”
He sat down and studied the 2014-2015 schedule, and managed to find 30 consecutive games in 30 different cities. He said it worked out great that his final game will fall on the last day of the NHL regular season.
In all Suggitt will catch 28 flights, make two trips by car, and one by train — the Amtrak from New York to Philadelphia. The shortest flight was between Pittsburgh and Buffalo (346 kilometres); the longest will take him from Nashville to San Jose (3,116 kilometres, including a stopover in Denver).
The total trip covers 37,854 kilometres.
“I had some people suggest I should contact the NHL teams and get them to support me with tickets to the games,” Suggitt said on his website. “But I didn’t want to mooch off them. It’s my trip … I want to pay for it.”
“I saved up a lot of airline points to make this trip.”
The fundraising component, which Suggitt calls “Fill the Net with Wishes,” grew out of a chance meeting he had last fall with friends from the Make A Wish Foundation. His plan is raise $1,000 for each game he attends.
Donations can be made on his website at 30games-30nights.com
And since he’s playing all his own costs (he budgeted $100 per game for tickets), all the money raised will go straight to the foundation.
For game 11 of the trip, he’ll make a one-night stop back in Edmonton on March 23 to see the Oilers play the Winnipeg Jets. Then its back on the road until April 11, where he’ll wrap up the season with a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Canadiens.
“It’s really hard to know how I’ll feel after Day 25 or 27,” Suggitt said last week before he hit the road.
However he feels, it sounds like the ultimate hockey fan dream trip. And a chance to make some dreams come true for kids.
“I hope my wish, which is really in most ways very easy to do, connects with people,” he said. “And they want to transfer that over to the kids, who really deserve their wishes to be granted.”