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Prince Harry drops ceremonial puck for Canucks as lead up to 2025 Invictus Games

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, drops the puck for San Jose Sharks' Tomas Hertl, left, and Vancouver Canucks' Quinn Hughes during a ceremonial faceoff prior to an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Monday, November 20, 2023. The Invictus Games, founded by the Duke of Sussex, are scheduled to be held in Vancouver and Whistler in 2025. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER — Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, performed the ceremonial puck drop at the Vancouver Canucks game on Monday night, as part of the lead up to the 2025 Invictus Games.

The Canucks were hosting the San Jose Sharks.

Harry is the founder and the patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, which runs the international multi-sport event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.

Harry attended the game alongside his wife Meghan Markle, local Indigenous leaders, B.C. Premier David Eby and Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sports Minister Lana Popham.

Rogers Arena will be the host venue for the closing ceremony of the 2025 Invictus Games, which will be held in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C. The games will take place from Feb. 8 to Feb. 16 in 2025.

Sharks captain Tomas Hertl spoke after the game about the experience.

"I actually had to tell him (to drop the puck) because he keeps holding and smiling," Hertl said. "I'd say 'it's time to drop it' but it's a cool moment. For sure I will remember that one."

Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet said he too had a brief interaction with the royal.

"I gave him a fist bump, I don't know if you're allowed to do that. I did it, he did it. He kind of looked at me but he did it," Tocchet said.

Prince Harry is the second royal to attend a Canucks game.

Queen Elizabeth II, Harry’s late grandmother, graced a pre-season match between Vancouver and San Jose in 2002.

The Queen dropped the puck in a ceremonial opening faceoff, then retired to a special box to watch the first period along with her husband Prince Philip, NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, then-B. C. Premier Gordon Campbell and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 20, 2023.

Nick Wells, The Canadian Press

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