NHL Alumni Tour South Mississippi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

NHL Alumni Tour South Mississippi

They marched through downtown Waveland, an area of South Mississippi still badly battered by the Storm.

"Some of the professional hockey players have come to Waveland to see how we're doing and get a first hand look, feet on the ground, a visual inspection of Waveland," said Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo.

"It's really, really sad, but I wish I could have seen this place 4, 5, 6 years ago before the hurricane, and the homes and the history that's been devastated," said Reed Larson, a former NHL player.

Gerald Diduck played in the NHL for 17 years, so he knows what it's like to take a hit and come back swinging. He says he sees that same resilience in the people he's met here so far.

"For the people who are here pushing through and trying to come out the other end, and actually are coming out of the other end, having just met the mayor and the people here and city council, they're going to come through it all right," Diduck said.

The puck will be flying this weekend, but Mayor Longo hopes these NHL Alumni will carry a powerful message home with them.

"These gentlemen are from all over the country and Canada, so anytime you get a cross section of people in town that are going to disperse when they leave here, all across the country and carry the message that things aren't finished here on the Gulf Coast, they still have a long way to go, it helps us," Longo said.

Saturday's exhibition game, "the Mississippi Coast Challenge," will start tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. at the Coast Coliseum in Biloxi.

It's free if you buy a ticket for the 7:05 p.m. game against Gwinett.

By Toni Miles

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