- NHL star Joe Pavelski feels at home on the ice... but he also enjoys hitting the links. The combination of the two sports led to his annual charity event.
Marisa Silvas caught up with the former Badger in this week's Northwoods Spotlight.
Joe Pavelski returned home to many smiling faces. The Plover native reconnected with his roots for his 6th annual charity golf tournament.
"When I can come back to Plover and Stevens Point and see friends and everyone that traveled for the event it's always special," Pavelski explains.
The event's a great opportunity for the community to get to know the two-time Olympian off the ice.
"Joe is a fellow that's easy to meet, easy to talk to," golfer Richard Wnek adds.
"I was a hockey player as a child and played in the same conference as Joe," Joe Flanders from Rhinelander explains. "It's a good time to get out and play some golf and see some old friends. It's for a good cause and it's hockey related so that's cool."
The money raised will stay right here, where Joe grew up. It's funneled back into the Stevens Point Youth Hockey Association.
"We do have a long term goal of putting a second sheet of ice in," Nicki Gulan - the tournament coordinator said. "But for right now it goes to the general fund and helps purchase equipment for kinds just getting started in hockey and other costs associated with running the rink."
Pavelski's list of hockey accomplishments continues to grow. Last week he was named as a second team NHL All Star.
"You always look to get better in certain areas of your game," Pavelski points out. "You know it's nice to be able to score goals the way you think you should be able to and hopefully that continues."
Joe's coming off his strongest season yet. He was the NHL's third-leading goal-scorer with 41. But the Sharks year ended in heartbreak, losing in the first round of the playoffs to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Kings.
"The disappointing end to the season is tough," Pavelski explains. "It's one of the hardest ones we've had to deal with. You see other teams win and you want to be that, so you're a little jealous. But that'll be one of the driving forces to push us farther."
Moving forward, it's clear Joe will always have support and fans back home.
"He's one of the top players in the NHL and he brings a lot to Stevens Point," golfer T. Gulan said. "He donates a lot here and we love him."
Written By: Marisa Silvas