Monday: Come meet Habs icon Elmer Lach at Pointe Claire Oldtimers tourney

Elmer Lach

Canadiens great Elmer Lach on his neighbourhood rink in January 2010, on the occasion of his 92nd birthday.
Allen McInnis, Gazette

The 43rd annual Pointe Claire Oldtimers charity hockey tournament begins Monday, April 16 at 3 p.m. at Bob Birnie Arena (map here) with Canadiens legend Elmer Lach and The Gazette and hockeyinsideout.com’s Dave Stubbs dropping the ceremonial faceoff to get the six-day event underway.

The game between teams of 70-year-olds from Pointe Claire and South Shore will start the action that will include 1,200 players from 82 teams coming from as far afield at Switzerland, Vancouver and various points of the U.S.

The tournament will wrap up Sunday with 15 finals, from 9 a.m. until after 6 p.m

Last year’s tourney raised more than $100,000 for charity with 52 needy groups, most in the West Island, benefitting from the sum raised.

Tournament chairman Rudy Erfle said this year’s event aims to top 2011’s record-setting total, the Pointe Claire Oldtimers again to hold a November donation evening at which representatives of many charities will receive their cheques.

A large tent erected in the arena parking lot on Maywood Ave., between Drake and Douglas Shand avenues, will be the hub of many activities this week, including a Friday (April 20) karaoke night and a Saturday night dance with live music. A barbecue will operate outside the arena Friday through Sunday, April 20-22.

All are welcome to drop by for a bite, a pint or a soft drink, and to watch the action, with money spent on refreshments, souvenirs and a terrific silent auction all going to a great cause.

Among the silent auction items: a winner and two guests will attend a Bell Centre Canadiens’ game-day morning skate one Saturday next fall with Stubbs, along with a behind-the-scenes look at the Habs dressing room and a visit to the Bell’s press gallery high above the ice.

Canadiens’ great Elmer Lach, 94, will be onhand for a short while after Monday’s 3 p.m. tournament faceoff to greet fans and pose for photos. A freewill offering to the event’s charity collection would be gratefully accepted.

• Tournament website: pcot.ca/tournament

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