CAN Pro-Am raises $575,000 for BC families with autism

Source: Canucks Autism Network

Daniel Sedin & Kirk McLean with representatives from CAN & Modern Green Canada


After months of tireless fundraising for Canucks Autism Network (CAN), 16 rec and corporate teams laced up for the inaugural CAN Pro-Am Hockey Tournament, presented by Modern Green Canada. Featuring 19 NHL Alumni, including the surprise addition of Vancouver Canucks legend Daniel Sedin, it was truly a weekend to remember.

Each team’s journey began with a pledge to raise at least $20,000 for CAN. By the time the dressing rooms at Rogers Arena were cleared, the CAN Pro-Am had raised an incredible $575,000 to support programs for individuals and families living with autism across BC.

Pre-tournament festivities

The weekend festivities kicked off Friday afternoon in the Rogers Arena Captains Room with the Hotstove Luncheon, sponsored by Zerto. VIP guests were treated to decadent family-style fare while listening to unheard stories from Canucks Alumni spanning all three of the team’s Stanley Cup Final runs (1982, 1994, and 2011).

Brought in to moderate the panels was Sportsnet 650 personality Scott Rintoul. In addition to hosting the exclusive Q&A, Sportsnet 650 was live on location broadcasting for the duration of the weekend.

That evening, business attire was swapped for jeans and jerseys, as players and sponsors headed to the Imperial Vancouver for Draft Night, sponsored by Odlum Brown. Having raised a tournament-leading $75,667, the Odlum Brown Bulls lifted the inaugural “CANley Cup” and earned the right to select first overall. With the top pick, they selected former Canucks winger Raffi Torres.

The Odlum Brown Bulls lift the CANley Cup as the Top Fundraisers

In true NHL style, the showstopper on Draft Night was a surprise trade. Comprised of five CAN parents, the Healthy Scratches swapped their second overall pick to the tenth-ranked fundraising team in exchange for a $5,000 donation to CAN.

NHL Alumni hit the ice

With each team boasting a former NHL star on their roster, the stage was set to hit the ice on Saturday morning. Over the next two days, CAN Pro-Am players lived out their wildest hockey fantasies, competing alongside the likes of Daniel Sedin, Josh Gorges, Kirk McLean and more.

While there were many close games on Saturday, the action at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre was highlighted by a thrilling shootout win from Dave Babych and the Healthy Scratches. Featuring a CAN parent in goal, Lee McCormick went head to head against former Canucks 30-goal scorer Mikael Samuelsson and came out on top.

Mikael Samulesson (left) during the CAN Pro-Am All-Star Game

For CAN parents like Lee and John Carinha, the tournament experience was especially impactful:

“The CAN Pro-Am has brought together a group of strangers with NHL greats for a common goal and it has nothing to do with the score of the game. We’re all here to highlight the opportunities that CAN offers the autism community. And most importantly, to fundraise for them to continue growing their reach.”

John Carinha
CAN Pro-Am participant and CAN parent

With games transitioning to Rogers Arena on Sunday, the tournament culminated in a highly-anticipated All-Star Game that showcased the top 22 individual fundraisers and eight NHL Alumni. Despite names like Daniel Sedin, Brendan Morrison, and Cliff Ronning on the ice, players and spectators were reminded of the real stars of the weekend during the pre-game ceremony.

Top fundraiser Bob Shanks was joined by 10-year-old CAN participant Noah Zanatta and Carleen Pauliuk from Presenting Sponsor Modern Green Canada to drop the ceremonial puck between Kirk McLean, and Daniel Sedin. Then, with a number of CAN hockey participants lined up at centre ice, Daniel shook the hand of each of the aspiring youth athletes.

Daniel Sedin greets members of the CAN hockey program.

Like every pre-game ceremony at Rogers Arena, players were invited to remove their helmets for the singing of the national anthem. Taking the mic was 9-year-old Jayden Weiss, a member of the CAN/Sarah McLachlan School of Music program. Incredibly, Jayden sang ‘O Canada’ by heart, just four years after being unable to speak

Needless to say, the CAN Pro-Am was full of inspiring moments that are sure to bring rec and corporate teams back year after year. In an interview with Sportsnet 650 after the tournament, former Canucks star Brendan Morrison reflected on the impact that the CAN Pro-Am had on everyone involved.

“There was such positive energy all weekend. Guys were talking about how they can’t wait until next year and how it’s going to grow and get bigger, which is huge for CAN.”

Brendan Morrison
NHL Alumni

The collective fundraising effort of each team was bolstered by support from community sponsors, most notably the tournament’s presenting sponsor, Modern Green Canada.

Daniel Sedin returning to Rogers Arena for a cause!

“This weekend was truly every hockey fan’s dream! All the NHL Alumni were phenomenal and every player was smiling from ear to ear all weekend long. As a real estate developer and the Presenting Sponsor, we are honoured to partner with Canucks Autism Network to showcase our shared commitment to our community. Thank you to everyone involved for making this inaugural event such a success.

Raymond K. Li
President, Modern Green Canada

With $575,000 raised, CAN Pro-Am players and supporters can take pride that their participation has helped ensure that individuals with autism will also have the opportunity to enjoy the thrill of sports province-wide.

CAN Pro-Am Hockey Tournament presented by Modern Green Canada will bring “Best of BC” NHL Alumni to Vancouver

Source: Canucks Autism Network


The inaugural Canucks Autism Network (CAN) Pro-Am Hockey Tournament, presented by Modern Green Canada, is set to take place from January 25 to January 27, 2019, at the UBC Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre and Rogers Arena, home of the Vancouver Canucks. In partnership with the NHL Alumni Association and Vancouver Canucks Alumni Association, the tournament will bring together former NHL greats with amateur players in support of CAN and families living with autism in British Columbia.

Themed as the “Best of BC”, the tournament will feature a uniquely local spin on the classic pro-am format, as each team will include a member of the NHL Alumni who was either born in BC or has competed for the Vancouver Canucks.

To participate, teams must raise a minimum of $25,000. With draft night taking place at The Imperial in Vancouver, teams will have the opportunity to select NHL Alumni in the order of their fundraising ranking.

The following NHL Alumni will be draft-eligible, with additional NHL Alumni to be announced soon.

  • Greg Adams
  • Dave Babych
  • Garth Butcher
  • Geoff Courtnall
  • Thomas Gradin
  • Chris Higgins
  • Jyrki Lumme
  • Kirk McLean
  • Dana Murzyn
  • Cliff Ronning
  • Kyle Wellwood

“We are very proud to announce the upcoming CAN Pro-Am. We know there is strong community support in Vancouver and we look forward to making this an annual success.”

Glenn Healy
Executive Director of the NHL Alumni Association

The weekend will also feature a Hot Stove Lounge and Luncheon at Rogers Arena, open to the public, where attendees will gain a unique insight about life in the NHL from hockey legends. As 2019 also celebrates the 100-year anniversary of hockey in BC, the CAN Pro-Am is of particular significance to the province’s historic hockey community.

“The Vancouver Canucks Alumni Association is proud to be part of this wonderful fundraising initiative that supports one of our key beneficiaries. Having a Pro-Am with NHL Alumni in Vancouver is a huge plus for the game of hockey and to the families who benefit from Canucks Autism Network programs throughout BC.”

Bob Murray
President of the Vancouver Canucks Alumni Association

Funds raised from the 2019 CAN Pro-Am Hockey Tournament will support the delivery of CAN’s sports and recreation programs for children, youth and young adults with autism. An estimated 1 in 66 Canadian children is diagnosed with autism and over 16,000 are impacted in BC alone.

“The CAN Pro-Am Hockey Tournament represents a unique and valuable opportunity. While tournament participants spend the weekend making lifelong memories, funds raised will help ensure that individuals with autism province-wide will also have the opportunity to enjoy the thrill of sports.”

Paolo Aquilini
Vancouver Canucks Co-owner and Canucks Autism Network Co-founder

For more information, or to register your hockey team, please visit