The Golden Knights spent 52 days in the NHL Bubble in Edmonton. Whether it was for a game, a morning skate, practice, or for any other reason, players, coaches, management, and staff made the walk from the J.W. Marriott where they were staying to the connected Rogers Place arena and practice rink next door pretty much every single day. Back and forth over 52 days, sometimes multiple times a day, means that walk became a huge part of the lives of every single person making it.
The entire walk is indoors, sheltered from the outside world, allowing the players to stay inside of the bubble to keep them safe and allow the NHL Playoffs to go off without a hitch despite the global pandemic. A part of that walk includes an indoor bridge running alongside 102nd Street and 105th Avenue in Downtown Edmonton.
When you went from the practice rink to the main rink there was a food shelter there and you saw a lot of people were always in line, especially when the weather was nicer. -Paul Stastny
That food shelter is the Boyle Street Community Center. It’s the local soup kitchen where they’ve worked to feed the homeless and fight poverty in Edmonton since 1971.
The Golden Knights, spearheaded by an unnamed player and trainer, wanted to help.
When you are in a bubble and when you can’t get out of there you have to find different ways to give back. -Stastny
So, the Golden Knights phoned a local pizza joint and asked them to deliver pizzas to the people standing in line waiting for a meal.
Sometimes it’s nice to switch it up so you don’t have to eat the same soups or the same simple foods all the time. -Stastny
Then, they did it again, and again, and again. Every Monday for the entirety of the Golden Knights stay they sent pizzas.
You just realize how lucky you are and sometimes it feels like the littlest thing but for that person for that one day a week I think it just changes mentalities of people there that are struggling. When you around good people you see stuff like that you see people giving back. It just shows the quality of guys on this team that have been around for a while and realize how much the game has given us. -Stastny
But now, the Golden Knights have gone home and the pizza delivery service to those in need has dried up. Or has it?
A Golden Knights fan on Reddit has launched a campaign to continue the delivery and to this point, they’ve already raised enough money to keep donating pizzas for the next six weeks!
Overwhelmed with gratitude for what has happened here. For someone from outside our city, our province, our country to want to help our community and support the people that we serve, people who are experiencing homelessness is just such a profound gesture -Elliot Tanti of Boyle Street Community Services to CTVNews in Edmonton
The donation link remains open until Sunday at 6:00 PM and can be found here.
The Golden Knights did not leave Edmonton with what they went there for, but they did leave something behind, a legacy of kindness and giving, and a delicious one at that.