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Ping pong

Peter Power/Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

Dominic Moore is using a favourite behind-the-scenes activity in NHL dressing rooms to team with the NHL Players' Association to raise money for concussion research.

The ping-pong table is as ubiquitous in player lounges around the league as massage tables, so the Thornhill, Ont., native figured he would use it to connect with hockey fans and collect funds for one of his favourite causes. Thus was born Smashfest!, a table-tennis tournament set for July 12 at the Steam Whistle Brewery in Toronto that will allow fans to compete against NHL players.

"Ping-pong tables have been staples of NHL locker rooms for decades," Moore said in a press release. "Before games and on practice days, players battle for bragging rights with the same intensity that they put forth on the ice.

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"We thought why not let fans into the locker room to see this side of the players, a side they've never seen before?"

Moore, who plays for the San Jose Sharks, will be joined by fellow NHLers Jason Spezza, Vincent Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos among other players. Also participating are some retired stars such as Eric Lindros and Mathieu Schneider.

Fans can play against the NHL players as well as place bids in a silent auction. All of the proceeds go to research for traumatic brain injuries. The tournament starts at 7 p.m. and is limited to those 19 years of age and older. Tickets are $200 each and available at www.Smashfest.ca.

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