Ice hockey fans invited to teddy bear’s puck-nic

A previous 'teddy toss' in Ontario during a match between London Knights and Guelph Storm. Picture: Getty

A previous 'teddy toss' in Ontario during a match between London Knights and Guelph Storm. Picture: Getty

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ICE hockey fans are used to seeing the fur fly as stars drop their sticks for a dust-up on the rink.

But this weekend the Edinburgh Capitals players will need to watch out for some airborne cuddly toys making their way down from the stands and on to the ice during the team’s first Teddy Bear Toss.

Our players are really keen, particularly because it’s all going towards a great cause.

Scott Neil

Supporters are being urged to bring along a soft toy to hurl from their seat when the Capitals net their first goal at Murrayfield Ice Rink.

The cute collection will then be donated to the Forth Cash for Kids charity for Christmas.

The Caps will be hoping they don’t slip up during the venture as Sunday’s opponents, Braehead Clan, did last week.

The Glasgow side failed to score during their Teddy Bear Toss match against Cardiff Devils, meaning fans were forced to tuck their teddies away and take the toys home with them.

The following night, the team tried again – this time against the Capitals – and managed to secure a 2-1 victory and big bundle of bears.

Caps manager Scott Neil said: “I don’t think we will have that problem, I’m pretty sure we will score a goal or two.

“Our players are really keen on the idea, particularly because it’s all going towards a great cause.”

The event, which originated in North America, has become popular in British ice hockey circles over the last few years – and now it is the Capitals’ turn to get involved.

The Teddy Bear Toss first started 21 years ago, with the toys being gathered as Christmas gifts to hospitals and charities. In many cases, players often donate teddy bears themselves.

Mr Neil said: “We’re encouraging all our fans to bring a teddy along to Sunday’s match and throw it on to the ice when we score our first goal.

“It’s going to be a great atmosphere and hopefully something that will be marked permanently in the calendar.”

Shereen Trotter, Edinburgh Capitals fundraiser, said all the leftover teddies from the match will be donated to help disadvantaged children.

She said: “We came up with idea of having the Teddy Bear Toss this weekend after someone posted about it on our Facebook page.

“It’s been done in Belfast a few times and one of our fans thought ‘let’s bring it to Murrayfield’ and one thing led to another. We are really looking forward to it – it’s something a bit different.”

Last Sunday, fans of the Calgary Hitmen threw 28,815 stuffed animals on to the ice.

courtney.cameron@edinburghnews.com