Hartnell, Timonen to play in Sandy benefit hockey game in A. C.

Flyers' Scott Hartnell will be one of the participants in the benefit game. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Hockey is back.

Now before you think we're talking about the start of the NHL season, stop dreaming.

Today is the 62d day of the lockout and there is no end in sight.

But a benefit hockey game featuring several NHL players will be held in Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on Nov. 24 at 7 p.m., with proceeds aiding those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The game, billed as Operation Hat Trick because it aids three organizations, will feature all-stars Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen of the Flyers and Brad Richards of the Rangers.

Proceeds will go directly to the Empire State Relief Fund, the New Jersey Hurricane Relief Fund and the American Red Cross, aiding New York and New Jersey families affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Tickets, priced from $20 to $100, can be purchased at the Boardwalk Hall box office, ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations, or by calling 800-736-1420. For more information about the event, visit www.facebook.com/atlanticcityheroes

 “We are all overwhelmed by the damage and destruction caused to our area by Hurricane Sandy and as professional hockey players, we wanted to come together to help those who were victimized by the storm,” Richards said. “While we know the road to recovery is long, we hope a hockey game featuring some of the top players will help rally additional support for the three great organizations that are committed to helping rebuild our area.”

Richards and Hartnell will each captain a team represented by several of their professional teammates as well as other notable legends from throughout the hockey world.

 “The lives that have been touched by the devastation are people in our own communities and the communities of our fans,” said Hartnell, calling it "an honor" to participate in the event.

Those joining Richards, Timonen and Hartnell, either on the ice or in support of “Operation Hat Trick, include Bobby Ryan, Braydon Coburn, James van Riemsdyk, Simon Gagne, Ville Leino, Dan Carcillo, Steve Eminger, Jeff Halpern, Brian Boyle, Jody Shelley, John Carlson, Taylor Pyatt, Steve Downie, Wayne Simmonds and James Neal.

 “We are grateful that these athletes have come together to assist in our ongoing rebuilding efforts from Hurricane Sandy,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “I’m hopeful their efforts will be met with overwhelming support from those who are in a position to attend to help our recovery organizations.”

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.