Nova Scotia’s Stanley Cup winners put on show for Halifax charity

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By Andrew Rankin - Metro Halifax

HALIFAX - Sharing the Halifax Metro Centre with Sidney Crosby and Brad Marchand at Tuesday’s Phoenix Night of Champions fundraiser was enough for Chris Masson.

But the pair of local NHL stars had a simple encouraging message for the young audience that the resilient 19-year-old took to heart.

“They just said not to give up on your dreams and to hear that coming from them meant a lot,” he said

In the past two years Masson has gone from being homeless to healthy, living on his own and well on his way to earning a Nova Scotia Community College business administration diploma.

He’s never felt better and says he owes much of his success to Phoenix House – what Tuesday night’s event that brought 13 Nova Scotian Stanley Cup champions together to tell their stories – was in support of.

For Ottawa Senators’ head coach and Antigonish native Paul MacLean, attending in support of the non-profit, community based organization that helps at-risk and homeless youth, was a no brainer.

“Maybe I haven’t had the adversity that some people face,” said MacLean. “I know a lot of people have helped me so it’s important to give back and coming here for an evening isn’t a very difficult thing to do.”

Crosby, who says he is 100 per cent healthy and has been training with Marchand, was his usual self-deprecating self.

“Growing up in Cole Harbour, I always looked up to the local boys, always wished to grow up in their path, follow in their footsteps,” he told the crowd. “That being said I feel very proud and fortunate.”

Al MacIsaac, vice president of the 2013 Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks, spoke about the 12 month grind of managing the franchise while former New Jersey Devils’ assistant captain Colin White reminisced about the honour of being a leader with the respected franchise as well as playing with the legendary Scott Niedermayer.

“He could skate and skate and never got tired,” said White. “He was a quiet leader on and off the ice. I always looked up to him.”

Organizations: Nova Scotia Community College, NHL, Phoenix House Ottawa Senators Chicago Blackhawks New Jersey Devils

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Antigonish, Cole Harbour

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