n. — Hockey, Social customs
an event during a hockey game when fans throw teddy bears on the ice for charity (see Image 1).
Type: 4. Culturally Significant — The tradition is credited to the Kamloops Blazers, starting in the 1993-94 season (see Kamloops Blazers reference); it has since spread across North America and overseas. Often, the toss happens when the home team scores their first goal, thus the reference to "the teddy bear goal" (see the 1999 quotation). Sometimes the bears are tossed during a designated period during intermission (see the 2004 quotation). They are then collected by staff and donated to a local children's charity (see the 1998 quotation).
Teddy Bear Tosses are a common Christmas tradition (see the 2013 quotation). Sometimes other items are thrown with the teddy bears, such as in "Toque and Teddy Bear Toss Night" (see the 2009 quotation).
See also: toque
- 1995  Ranger fans can bring new or "slightly used" teddy bears to Dom Cardillo Arena for the Rangers' first teddy bear toss for charity. The idea, said Brad Sparkes, the Rangers marketing and public relations manager, is to collect bears for hospital visits, Family and Children Services and other community groups.
- 1999  MacIver said the team happily takes part in events like Clothes for Kids, the food bank and tonight's Teddy Bear Toss. Fans are asked to throw teddy bears on the ice following Kingston's first goal.
"It's an exciting goal. It would be nice to get the teddy bear goal," MacIver said. "Last year [while playing for Belleville], I assisted on the goal. It's exciting."
- 2004  This Saturday is Travelodge Teddy Bear Toss Night when the Barrie Colts play host to the Kingston Frontenacs at the Barrie Molson Centre.
Fans attending the game are encouraged to purchase a Travelodge "Sleepy Bear" at the game to toss on the ice during the second intermission. All of the teddy bears collected on the ice will be donated to Barrie Emergency Services.
- 2009  The Regina Pats' annual "Toque and Teddy Bear Toss Night" is to be held Saturday at the Brandt Centre when the Brandon Wheat Kings pay a visit.
Fans are encouraged to bring a brand-new stuffed animal, a pair of mitts or a toque to the WHL game, which begins at 7 p.m.
- 2013  First off, the goal ended a seven-game scoreless streak for Smoskowitz. Secondly, it was his 74th goal in his Ontario Hockey League career. Finally, and, most memorably, the game marked the annual Teddy Bear Toss, a Christmas tradition in junior hockey.
Image 1: A Teddy Bear Toss after the home team's first goal at a Vancouver Giants game, 15 Dec. 2006. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Photo: iwona_kellie