Hockey players make the most of Thanksgiving away from home


Being away from home for the holidays is nothing new for pro hockey players so they try to make the most of it on Thanksgiving Day.

Players from the South Carolina Stingrays, who are in town for two games against the Toledo Walleye, will spend the holiday at a local hotel.

Some of the Walleye players plan to go home for Thanksgiving, while others will get together here in town.

Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said the team will have its normal morning skate on Thursday.

“But it's an optional skate so some of the local guys can head home,” Vitucci said.

South Carolina defenseman Scooter Vaughn, a California native, said he has plans much like many other Americans.

“I'll hang with the guys and watch some football,” Vaughn said.

South Carolina also plans to have a team dinner at the Park Inn Hotel in downtown Toledo.

About half of each teams' roster is comprised of players from Canada. Those players celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October.

Toledo has nine Americans on its roster, nine Canadians, and three from Europe.

Players like Sylvania native Alden Hirschfeld and Russ Sinkewich, of Westlake, Mich., will get the chance to celebrate at home.

Vitucci said he is heading to Bay City, Mich. to spend time with family there.

Assistant coach Dan Watson will head back home to the Cleveland area.