Nathan helps 'Chicks'

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:12 AM ET

With no NHL to occupy his time, L.A. Kings' defenceman Nathan Dempsey played a home game in Edmonton. Dempsey, a Spruce Grove native, took the ice for the fifth annual Chicks With Sticks charity event at Bill Hunter Arena yesterday.

The game featured teachers from St. Francis Xavier High School against players from the St. FX Girls Hockey Academy in a Santa's Anonymous fundraiser.

"I'm friends with Bryan Keller, who runs the hockey program, and he asked me to come out,'' said Dempsey.

"I was more than happy to help.''

With nothing much else to do, Dempsey, like so many other locked-out NHLers, has been spending his winter getting back to his roots.

"My wife and I are both from Spruce Grove and we come back here every summer,'' he said.

"We're just sticking around till we see what happens, so I've been busy with a lot of these things, helping out with minor hockey around the Spruce Grove area, this, then out to Calahoo to help out there.

"This is something that we're not usually able to do during the season. With all negatives going on you try and take some positives out of it.''

Dempsey said he was rather impressed with the talent level of the St. FX girls' team, if not the high-school teachers.

"They're extremely competitive, they're talented and you can tell that they love the game,'' he said. "The more people that get interested and start loving this game the better.''

Is this going to be the extent of his hockey this season? "I've spent enough time being disappointed,'' he said. "So until they cancel the season I'm going to be optimistic.''


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