Hockey for Health Heroes, launching today, was founded by Sherwood (Sherry) Bassin, Joe Busillo, and Dr. Craig Donaldson. Bassin is a Canadian ice hockey executive, known primarily for 36 years of involvement in the Ontario Hockey League as a general manager, team owner and coach. His teams won five J. Ross Robertson Cups, and appeared in six Memorial Cup tournaments, winning once on May 13, 1990 with the Oshawa Generals. Bassin helped the Canadian National Junior Team win its first gold medal in 1982, and another in 1985. Donaldson, now an Emergency Care physician at Headwaters Health Care Centre in Orangeville, and Busillo, a former Olympic hockey player, both played for the Oshawa Generals at the time of the big 1990 win!
“Now more than ever before our country has an incredible appreciation for our Hospital workers,” says Sherry Bassin. “A country that during this time of year would be rallying at the rink or in front of the TV are now staying at home and relying on our local Hospitals to keep our families safe. I had the unique opportunity to coach a lot of players that have gone on to serve their communities and Dr. Craig Donaldson was one of them. I wanted to do this event to not only honour Craig and health care professionals like him, but to also remind everyone how much hockey unites us. I want to ask those I’m close to, and the people that are close to them, please, help us recognize the communities that helped us get to where we are today. For many of my former players, teammates and colleagues – that’s Oshawa and Orangeville.”
Since 1937, 190 players from the Oshawa Generals went on to play in the NHL including Bobby Orr, Marc Savard, Tony Tanti, Eric Lindros and John Tavares. Additionally, there are several Orangeville natives that have followed their dreams to the NHL, most notably Brett and Nick Ritchie, Aaron Downey, and the late Bert Wilson. “Certainly, our past is something we are very proud of but we are also very excited about our future and what it holds,” says Roger Hunt, Vice-President and General Manager of the Oshawa Generals. “It seems so poignant in this time that we are all excited about our future and can’t wait to restart.”