The stars will align at Prudential Center this week as the ice hockey community comes together for the third annual Boomer & Carton/Mikey Strong 23 Charity Game set for Friday, April 21 in Newark.
Nichols, a senior forward on the Monroe Township hockey team, suffered a debilitating neck injury when he fractured his C-5 vertebrae in a high school ice hockey game at Skylands Ice World in Stockholm on Jan. 4, 2014.
Since then, Nichols has received overwhelming support from the hockey community and that outpour continues as WFAN once again teams up with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for individuals living with paralysis.
This season, the New Jersey Devils will play host to the event and all the stars are coming out in support.
Patrik Elias, the Devils’ all-time leading scorer, joins the fold for the first time and will skate alongside fellow alumni Ken Daneyko, Bruce Driver, Grant Marshall, John MacLean, Aaron Asham, Doug Brown, Bryce Salvador, Colin White and Marek Zidlicky.
New York Rangers’ alumni Brad Richards, Alexei Kovalev, Brian Mullen, Tie Domi and Tom Laidlaw as well as former New York Islanders’ Rick DiPietro and Marty Reasoner will also be on hand along with former Princeton standout Kevin Westgarth.
Tickets to the event are $20 and are now on sale with special corporate sponsorship and VIP packages also available. All attendees will receive a ticket voucher from the New Jersey Devils and the first 5,000 attendees will also receive a voucher from the New York Yankees valid for two (2) complimentary tickets to select games during the 2017 season.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) April 17, 2017
Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, hosts of CBS Radio’s WFAN-AM/FM “Boomer & Carton” morning show, have long been supporters of the MikeyStrong23 initiative and will captain each team.
Esiason, a West Islip, N.Y. native, is a veteran of 14 NFL seasons.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the puck drop set for 7:30 p.m. in Newark.
— Boomer & Carton Show (@BoomerandCarton) February 23, 2016
Neck injuries, like the the one sustained by Nichols, Rutgers’ football player Eric LeGrand, and most recently Princeton’s Denna Laing, are a very real part of sports.
It is important Nichols’ story is not forgotten by the next generation of skaters in the Garden State — and Mike — as he prefers to be called now — is determined to not let that happen.
“This is the third year but a new venue being the Prudential Center and the biggest list of NHL alumni yet,” Nichols said. “I can’t thank the Devils enough for their generosity. I really can’t wait. It’s going to be a very special night.”
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) April 2, 2017