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Monday, 09.27.2010 / 1:38 PM / News
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When a young Dave Andreychuk  was riding his bike in the Dundas Driving Park all those years ago, he probably never imagined he'd back there Sunday signing autographs with the Stanley Cup as part of the Kraft Hockeyville celebration.

Andreychuk actually grew up in Hamilton, then a separate city to that of Dundas, but he was nonetheless close enough for family excursions. So when the former Stanley Cup champion learned Dundas had won this year's Kraft Hockeyville competition, he knew he wanted to be part of it.

"I was contacted even before we knew alumni were going there," said Andreychuk, who played with the Sabres from 1982 to 1993. "I was asked, would I be involved in it, would my foundation be in it? It was a pretty quick yes."

Andreychuk, along with fellow Sabre alumnus Danny Gare and former Senators Shawn McEachern and Brad Marsh, will host hockey clinics for the local youth, visit local elementary schools and McMasters Children's Hospital and, of course, sign autographs at the Dundas Driving Park.

These activities aren’t anything new to Andreychuk, who has been striving to give back to greater City of Hamilton since his playing days.

"While I was still playing, I made a 10-year commitment to Hamilton minor hockey that we would give money to underprivileged kids to play," Andreychuk explained. "That was how it (Dave Andreychuk Foundation) all started."

His foundation has since expanded from minor hockey to include local children's hospitals. In the past, Andreychuk has hosted a fundraiser for the neonatal unit at the McMasters Children's Hospital, where his sister is a nurse, and he also made a very special visit in 2004 after he won the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"I'm really excited to go back there again, six years later," he told NHL.com.

Kraft Hockeyville came at the right time for Andreychuk and his foundation, as he had been looking for a way to expand into the outlying communities of Hamilton, such as Dundas and Stoney Creek.

"It's just important that I'm back in that community and do some good things there,” he said. "When I found out Dundas had won, obviously it was great for that community and you know for me, it's your hometown and right next door, so it was a natural fit."

Through the NHLPA's Goals and Dreams Fund and in the spirit of Kraft Hockeyville, Andreychuk's foundation will receive 15 new sets of equipment. He aims to put it right back into to Dundas.

"My plan and my foundation directors' plan is to go back into the building (Dundas' J.L. Grightmire Arena) and hold a free clinic for young kids to come out," Andreychuk said. “We’ll probably buy some more sets of equipment and have a little something right there at the rink."

But for Andreychuk, he's really just happy to be going home.

"I'm absolutely excited. I think it's great for not only Dundas, but for the whole area," he said. "I think it is really good for hockey and the way they support minor hockey there. I think it's awesome, and to go back there as a guy that grew up right next door, it's exciting for me."

Andreychuk did in fact play at the J.L. Grightmire Arena back when thoughts of skating in the NHL and winning the Cup were simply just dreams.

"I remember playing hockey there. When you look back on it now, it was good times," he said. "It was not about anything else but having fun, and that's the main thing for kids."

Andreychuk believes playing in the small rink will bring back similar memories for the Sabres and the Senators.

"As a player, you're going into a small little building that takes you back to your youth hockey," he said. "They're really going to relate to where they came from, where all those guys came from."

With family and friends still living close by, Andreychuk is fully aware of the hype of Kraft Hockeyville.

"I know the whole town, they are super excited for this happening. You've got to give them credit, they worked hard trying to get it and they ended up winning," he said.

And who knows, perhaps Andreychuk will get swept in the moment and will grace Dundas with a bike ride through the Driving Park for old times’ sake.




1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52


C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82