BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - As the NHL lockout drags on, players apparently are looking for things to do so they don't go stir crazy.
Toronto Maple Leafs forward James VanRiemsdyk stands as exhibit A.
Shoppers at the Mall of America were either startled or befuddled Wednesday when they came upon VanRiemsdyk perusing the stores for holiday merchandise - dressed completely in his on-ice hockey gear.
In truth Mr. VanRiemsdyk has not lost his mind due to frustration over the lockout and not being able to play hockey - He simply lost a bet to fellow NHL'er Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers.
The two made a bet over who could raise more money for relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy, and as you can tell VanRiemsdyk lost.
To pay up, VanRiemsdyk had to fly into Bloomington and go shopping for Hartnell's Christmas presents in full playing gear, minus the skates.
VanRiemsdyk filled out Hartnell's list and then freelanced a bit, stopping in The Art of Shaving store to buy Hartnell a special kit to take care of his "long, grungy beard."
Bottom line, there are no losers in this bet, as the two players raised more than $40,000 for victims of Hurricane Sandy, and gave a bunch of harried holiday shoppers a chuckle in the process.
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