NEWS

Elias leads charge for UNICEF outreach

Devils' forward making progress, eyes a return to practice

Wednesday, 10.28.2009 / 7:45 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Elias leads charge for UNICEF outreach
Boys and girls from Newark pose for a photo with Patrik Elias (far right),  Devils Chairman/Managing Partner, Jeff Vanderbeek (Right) and Newark Mayor Cory Booker (Center) during Trick or Treat for UNICEF night prior to the game between the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. October 28, 2009. (Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
He's nearing a return to regular practice, but the biggest Patrik Elias news on Wednesday concerned his ongoing charity work with UNICEF.

Elias spoke before the Devils-Sabres game about his involvement with the humanitarian organization, which works to provide children with health care, nutrition, clean water, and emergency relief in more than 150 countries.

Part of Wednesday's "U.S. Fund for UNICEF Night" at Prudential Center featured "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF", one of the longest running volunteer movements in America. In attendance were Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and president of the Newark Municipal Council, Mildred Crump.

"It's getting closer to Halloween, so it's a trick-or-treat theme: 'Trick or Treat for UNICEF,'" Elias, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, said. "It has quite a bit of history here in the States, where a lot of kids have been a part of this program. Just to have this organization be involved in such a way is great, and I'm very proud of it. For me it's a little bit closer because I've worked with this organization for five years, mainly in the Czech Republic. Hopefully this is the start of something more here in the States and in the NHL. For the Devils organization to start it, I'm proud of it."

The Mystery Pucks Table at Prudential Center
Fans attending the game were able to purchase an autographed “Mystery Puck” in "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" boxes. Every puck was signed by a Devils’ player, coach, or alumnus, and wrapped individually so the identity was a surprise until after purchase. Net proceeds of the puck sale went to benefit UNICEF.

Elias, who traveled to Belize on a UNICEF mission in 2008, said UNICEF's representatives have met with Devils' Chairman and Managing Partner Jeff Vanderbeek in the hopes of strengthening their partnership. Fans looking for more information on the program can visit unicefusa.org/trickortreat.

Elias also reported that he is getting closer to full-strength. He has been skating on his own while rehabbing from September groin surgery and hopes to practice with the team as soon as next week.

"I am getting better, feeling much better," said the all-time leading scorer in franchise history. "Getting stronger on the ice, so hopefully I'm on the right path."

He's still dealing with some soreness, but indicated that's to be expected.

"I think anybody that has any kind of surgery, you're still going to have that," Elias said. "There comes a point that you just play through it. You'll get over it, but age doesn't help."

Said Elias: "I'm making progress every day, and that's a good thing."

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59