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NHLPA to Donate 100 Full Sets of Gear to Defending The Blue Line

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You have read several posts about Defending The Blue Line here in the past. We wanted to pass along some great news they have released today.

DTBL, with the help of Brent Burns and George Parros, have been granted 100 full sets of hockey gear, to be donated by the NHLPA's Goals & Dreams fun to the children of military service members. According to the release, this is the second largest grant given by the group. The NHLPA will visit with military families on Wednesday, December 15th.

For more information on this, make the jump.

As you should know by know, DTBL is a group founded and run by soldiers here in Minnesota. Their mission is to ensure that the children of military service members can continue with the dream of playing hockey, no matter what happens due to military matters.

Always gracious and humbled by the outpouring of support for the organization, founder Shane Hudella had this comment:

"We are very excited to have been selected as a grant recipient by the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund.  Military families sacrifice so much, we are doing everything we can to help support their needs and keep their kids playing hockey. Our service members' children will be using this equipment for years to come and we are very grateful. We can't wait to meet the PA staff, thank them in person, and introduce them to some of the families they have helped."

Many of you may be wondering why DTBL. I could certainly make the case, but I would rather leave it to those who support it the most. First, NHLPA Goals & Dreams Chairman Devin Smith:

"Together with Brent, George and the Defending The Blue Line program, it will be an honour to meet with Minnesota military families on Wednesday. These families have overcome a great deal, so it's important to the players that through NHLPA Goals & Dreams we are able to help bring enjoyment to the local children by giving them a chance to play the game of hockey. Over the last 11 years, NHL players have donated equipment to grassroots hockey programs everywhere from Australia to South Africa, Europe, and North America, through their NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund. The biggest obstacle in participating in hockey is the cost of equipment. Our goal is to bridge that gap for less fortunate children."

Indeed, the NHLPA has been a welcome partner for many organizations across the globe, none more grateful for that support than DTBL. This is the second such grant from the PA to DTBL.

As for the two players whose support for DTBL has been unwavering, here is what they had to say.

Brent Burns, one of the largest supporters of DTBL:

"With my Grandfather and Great-Grandfather both having been in the military, I have a great appreciation and respect for the sacrifices our service members make to defend our freedom every day.  I think Defending The Blue Line is doing a great job of taking care of military families by helping out with equipment and other costs related to hockey, while the equipment from NHLPA Goals & Dreams will allow many more deserving kids to play the game. I'm proud to be associated with these programs, and look forward to working with them on future projects."

George Parros, one of the more unheralded supporters adds this:

"Defending The Blue Line is doing great work helping military families. The deployments have been tough since 9/11, and people forget sometimes the sacrifices our service members make in order for us to enjoy our freedom. Defending The Blue Line is helping military kids in need stay active in hockey. It's a great program and I'm excited to be a part of it. This equipment from NHLPA Goals & Dreams will go along ways towards helping these kids."

Now, I know this doesn't have much to do with the Wild, or what is going on with the team. However, this is important. It is important to know that the players are helping organizations such as DTBL, and that organizations such as this exist. What better way to give back than to help kids play hockey?

I can't think of an organization that deserves this grant more than DTBL, and I am glad to see this gear coming to military families that have sacrificed so much.

If you would like more information on the event on the 15th, please visit Defending The Blue Line's website, and head to the "Events" tab. The event is not open to the public, only to military service members and their families. If you are a military family and would like to participate, please contact Shane at