CHICAGO -- Troy Murray will return to his happy place on Wednesday.
Murray will join other Chicago Blackhawks' alumni in a charity game against St. Louis Blues' alumni at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, Ill. on Wednesday. All proceeds will go to the Salvation Army Tornado Relief Fund to assist the Central Illinois area.
"To be out on the ice, where I always say is my happy place, to be out with some of the old guys who I grew up with, played and knew in the National Hockey League, it's a real treat for me to be involved," Murray said Tuesday. "I just think it's a great opportunity for the former players, like myself and everyone involved in the game today, to give back still to the game and contribute to a real worthy cause. A lot of people were devastated by what happened down in that area."
The former Blackhawks scheduled to play are Murray, Steve Konroyd, Bob Nardella, Brian Noonan, Reggie Kerr, Denis Cyr, C.J. Koroll, Denis Savard, Jose Charbonneau, Grant Mulvey, Dave Mackey, Murray Bannerman, Reid Simpson, Adrian Aucoin, Eric Daze, Bill Mullins and Jack Collins.
Murray was excited to play with former Blackhawks of various ages.
"I love the different generations of what is in our alumni," Murray said. "From a guy like Cliff Koroll to a Grant Mulvey to some of the younger guys who are coming up now; Brian Noonan is one of the younger guys. I hope in the future that some of the players that are in today's game will stick around the Chicagoland because I think it's so important to have that identity in the community.
"I just think it's really important for former players, like myself, to stay involved in the game of hockey and give back when we have a chance to make a difference in somebody's life, big or little, whatever which way it is. I think it's important as a former player that we're still ambassadors of the game. I think that's what this is all about."
The former Blues scheduled to play include Terry Yake, Kelly Chase, John Wensink, Gino Cavallini, Steve Martins, Alex Brooks, Larry Patey, Reed Low, Jeff Brown, Bob Bassen, Mark Bassen, Tyler Rennette, Jean-Guy Trudel, Kevin Tucker, Steve Ortman, Luke Gruden, Dominic Lavoie and Rick Zombo.
"As much as you probably hated some of the guys who will be in the game tomorrow night in Peoria, you always had respect for them," Murray said. "Now we all get along great. Everybody gets what this game is all about, and everybody has an appreciation for all the careers that happened in the National Hockey League whether your role was a scorer or a fighter. When your days are done, you basically forget it and move on."
Murray was sure the competitive juices would get flowing for both sides.
"Once you start playing the game, a lot of things kick in as far as your competitiveness and stuff like that," Murray said. "Somebody is skating down the ice, you want to chase them down and not let them score. When you have the puck, you want to score. Those things will always be there.
"We'll see what happens. I had to take my skates down and get them all sharpened up because there's a lot of rust on them. We'll see. Hopefully they'll be ready tomorrow. Hopefully the old body stays together."
More information about the game can be found at skatestronghockey.com.