Crushers’ Grandmaison saluted during recovery

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NEW GLASGOW – A gesture to uphold injured Pictou County Weeks Crushers centre Maxime Grandmaison could not have gone better, David Whittemore says.

Whittemore ran with an idea his eight-year-old son Blair had to acquire and sell 400 of Grandmaison’s favourite chocolate bars (Mars bars) on Thursday during the Crushers’ MHL home game against the Edmundson Blizzard.

The Blizzard wound up winning the game 4-2.

Grandmaison is recovering from head injuries he suffered last Saturday during the Crushers’ game against the Amherst Ramblers. He had surgery at a hospital in Moncton and was released recently.

All but 30 of the bars were sold and the event raised $1,100.55 that is being donated to Summer Street.

“The 55 cents is amazing because Max’s number is 5,” Whittemore said. “We had people donate a good chunk of change. We’re excited, Blair is excited and Max is excited.”

Several connections drove the chocolate bar sale. Grandmaison has been billeted with the Wittemores this season, while both Blair and Max are hockey players.

Whittemore is also a member of Summer Street’s board of directors and many of its clients attend Crushers home games.

“Blair wanted to do something for Max,” Dave Whittemore said. “We talked to his parents about it and thought we would donate the money to the Moncton hospital, but Max said he wanted it to go to Summer Street.”

Summer Street clients who attend the games have an opportunity to engage with the Crushers players, Whittemore said.

It’s a win-win-win all around,” he said.

Videos of Grandmaison have shown his improvement.

“A lot of the swelling has gone down and both his eyes are open,” Whittemore said. “He looks a lot better. He has that grin he always has.”

Grandmaison is from Dieppe and will turn 19 on February 18.

He briefly played for the Blizzard when the franchise was located in Dieppe. He played two seasons with Edmundston before the Crushers acquired him in an off-season trade.

He had seven goals and five assists in 31 regular-season games before being sidelined.

Evan Gallant scored both of the Crushers’ goals to give them a 2-0 lead, but the Blizzard rebounded with four straight goals, the last one into an empty net with a minute and 11 seconds in the third period.

Marion Johnstone, left, receives a chocolate bar from David Whittemore. (Goodwin photo)