Photo from the first annual 'Play With Purpose' charity hockey game (photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey)

Check out the rosters for the second ‘Play With Purpose’ charity game (now with free admission)

By @MichaelCaples –

Hey hockey fans, check out this roster for a unique summer hockey charity game in Plymouth.

On Aug. 11, the following players will be taking part in the second annual ‘Play With Purpose’ charity hockey game in honor of the late Mitchel Kiefer and organizations fighting distracted driving.

An added bonus? The game’s going to be free to the public, after event organizers have raised enough money already to cover the costs of hosting the game at USA Hockey Arena.

Admission is free of charge; donations are welcome at the door. The puck drops at 4 p.m.

Current roster:

  • Bobby Kaiser – UMass-Amherst
  • Trevor Hamilton – Grand Rapids Griffins
  • Drake Rymsha – Sarnia Sting (Los Angeles Kings draft pick)
  • Nick Azar – Harvard University
  • Brandon Naurato – Detroit Red Wings player development consultant, Michigan Wolverines alum
  • Derian Hatcher – Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers alum
  • Josh Norris – Michigan Wolverines (San Jose Sharks draft pick)
  • Luke Witkowski – Detroit Red Wings
  • Ed Ward – Quebec Nordiques, Calgary Flames, Detroit Vipers, Atlanta Thrashers, Anaheim Mighty Ducks and New Jersey Devils alum
  • Scott Dornbrock – Texas Stars
  • Tony Calderone – Dallas Stars
  • Eric Nystrom – Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild, Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators and Michigan Wolverines alum
  • Mitch Eliot – Sarnia Sting
  • Mickey Redmond – Detroit Red Wings alum
  • CJ Kusch – Humboldt Broncos alum
  • Scott Wedgewood – Buffalo Sabres, Plymouth Whalers alum
  • Will Yates – St. Norbert College
  • Jagger Joshua – Muskegon Lumberjacks
  • Steven Oleksy – Anaheim Ducks
  • Tie Domi – New York Rangers, Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs alum
  • Jake Chelios – Detroit Red Wings
  • Spencer Wright – Michigan State Spartans
  • Ryan Barnes – Detroit Red Wings, Grand Rapids Griffins, Kalamazoo Wings alum
  • Joe Cecconi – Michigan Wolverines (Dallas Stars draft pick)
  • Danny DeKeyser – Detroit Red Wings
  • Luke Glendening – Detroit Red Wings
  • Kraig Nienhuis – Boston Bruins, Port Huron Border Cats alum
  • Jalen Smereck – Flint Firebirds, Arizona Coyotes signee
  • Jalen Chatfield – Vancouver Canucks
  • Michael Ferrantino – Charlotte Checkers
  • Joey Kocur – Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks alum
  • Matt Krug – Wayne State University, Toledo Walleye alum (Adrian College assistant coach)

From MiHockey’s original article about the second annual event:

There will be some big names coming through Plymouth this August – and for a good cause.

The second annual ‘Play With Purpose’ charity hockey game will be taking place inside USA Hockey Arena on Aug. 11 at 4 p.m., as people gather to support a hockey-centric effort to make our world a safer place.

The game, created in memory of the late Mitchel Kiefer, aims to increase the awareness of the consequences of distracted driving.

USA Hockey is sponsoring this year’s ‘Play With Purpose’ game and bringing the friendly skate to USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth. The Olympic ice sheet at USA Hockey Arena – home of Kiefer’s Detroit Catholic Central hockey program – was officially named the Mitchel Kiefer Memorial Rink on Dec. 6.


Last year, the inaugural game was held at the Troy Sports Center – the same location where Kiefer played his last hockey game, which was an employee vs. intern game organized by Gallagher-Kaiser. The GK interns decided that the game should now be played in Mitchel’s honor, creating the Play With Purpose game that attracted the likes of Igor Larionov, Tie Domi and Zach Werenski last August.

This year, the game will support distracted driving awareness initiatives led by the PEERS Foundation, the BRAKES Foundation and, as the Mitchel Kiefer Foundation continues in their quest to limit distracted driving.

“We are honored to be a part of such a special event,” said Bob Kaiser, owner and CEO of Gallagher-Kaiser. “We look forward to joining USA Hockey and the other sponsors to put together a memorable event that helps tell Mitchel’s story, while raising funds to increase awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.”

Players already on the roster include Domi, Danny DeKeyser, Derian Hatcher, Mickey Redmond, Dalton Prout, Steven Oleksy, Eric Nystrom, Ryan Barnes, Kraig Nienhuis and Eddie Ward. More players will be announced as the event nears.

Ken Daniels and Darren Eliot will emcee the event, which will also feature a 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, live music performances and special guest appearances.

“Our entire family is humbled for the amazing platform that this event will bring to Mitchel’s memory and our mission to end distracted driving,” said Steve Kiefer, Mitchel’s father and founder and Chairman of the Board for the Kiefer Foundation. “We are so happy to see the progress that our relationship with USA Hockey Arena has taken since the dedication of the rink in December and look forward to continuing our relationship to positively impact the lives of young people.”

MiHockey Staff

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