Hockey-playing girls get free camp from ex-NHLer Brent Sopel

A group of hockey-playing girls is getting a free hockey camp from a former NHLer with a Saskatchewan connection.

Brent Sopel played with the Saskatoon Blades and the Swift Current Broncos in the Western Hockey League before launching a 13-year career with the Vancouver Canucks, the Chicago Blackhawks and other NHL teams.

This week, the former defenceman held his first-ever all-girls camp in Saskatoon and then told families of the 30 players that the $950 registration fee would be refunded to help promote future camps.

"Essentially, what I want them to go back and build this camp little by little, year by year, just by the word of mouth, that they had a great time," he said.

Sopel says people had been after him for the past four years to start an all-girls hockey camp. He doesn't understand why there aren't more of them.

"They can spread the word that it was a great camp, that they were treated with respect, they learned a ton," he said.