JOHNSTOWN - The Johnstown Tomahawks announced Tuesday the first annual Johnstown Tomahawks Charity Classic benefiting the Pittsburgh Kids FoundationHaiti and the Johnstown Tomahawks Foundation has been cancelled due to the recent tentative agreement reached between the National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association for a new collective bargaining agreement.
Johnstown Tomahawks President Rick Bouchard said the team was advised by the Pittsburgh Penguins' players participating in the charity event that upcoming training camp and insurance concerns over potential player injuries contributed to the decision to cancel the game.
"While we're excited the NHL and the NHL Players Association reached an agreement on a new labor contract, we're obviously disappointed for our fans and supporters who helped us sell out the game for our two worthy charities," said Bouchard.
The Tomahawks Charity Classic game was scheduled to take place tonight at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena and feature NHL and Tomahawks players.
Pittsburgh Penguin Matt Cooke, who was a driving force behind the creation of the charity game and helped the Tomahawks through all stages of the game's development, said, "I would like to thank all the fans and Tomahawks organization, who immediately jumped at the chance to be involved and help a great charity."
"We apologize we are unable to make this game a reality because of the start of the NHL season, but we will look at other opportunities to assist the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation and the Johnstown community," added Cooke. "We look forward to seeing everyone back on the ice in Pittsburgh."
Tomahawks fans holding tickets for the Charity Classic can obtain full refunds for the event through the authorized ticket outlet from which they purchased them. These include the War Memorial Box Office, the Johnstown Tomahawks front office, and Ticketmaster. Refunds will begin at 10 a.m. Monday.
In a statement, Dr. Brad Henderson, president of the Pittsburgh Kids FoundationHaiti, also noted that while he is grateful the lockout has ended, he would also like to thank everyone for their dedication to helping the foundation.