Thursday, December 16, 2010

Teddy Bear Toss a Tradition in the WHL

The Warriors annual teddy bear toss is on Saturday December 18th when the Warriors take on the Brandon Wheat Kings at the Crushed Can. Teddy Bear toss is a popular Christmas season promotion in the WHL and with many junior hockey teams.

Fans bring a new stuffed toy to the game. When the Warriors score their first goal of the night, the bears are thrown onto the ice. For those of you who have not seen a teddy bear toss, the sight is quite incredible. Bears rain down and cover the ice. Vehicles emerge on to the ice while the players, staff and helpers pile the toys into vehicles.

You may be asking yourself, “What if the Warriors don’t score,”? There have been a few instances, like the other night in Swift Current where a home team is shut out. In that case, the bears are thrown out after the final buzzer of the game.

All the bears are then loaded up by our local Salvation Army, laid out to dry, and then given to families who may need a little help this holiday season. The tradition is perhaps the most popular in Calgary, Spokane and Portland. Over 7000 fans in Portland broke the teddy bear toss record in 06/07 by throwing 14,361 toys. The Hitmen broke that record only a few weeks later by getting 15,540 bears by the 16,000 fans in attendance. In 2007, Portland once again reclaimed the title when 26,919 bears came down.

It is an excellent promotion and Moose Jaw Warriors fans are always very generous on Teddy Bear toss night. If you are thinking about attending a game before the holiday break, be sure to come out on December 18th with your bear in hand and cheer on the Warriors in their last home game until January 12th.

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