ST PAUL, Minn. — What started as an on-ice incident has ended with a generous donation and giant check.
On Wednesday, representatives from the Minnesota Wild, including mascot Nordy, donated more than $30,000 to Children's Minnesota.
The gift came together after fans donated to right winger Ryan Hartman's Venmo account to help him pay a fine levied by the NHL following an altercation during the Minnesota Wild-Edmonton Oilers game on April 12.
Hartman was fined $4,250 for "unsportsmanlike conduct" flipping off Edmonton's Evander Kane after Kane got into a scuffle with Kirill Kaprizov.
Hartman was quick to tell fans that he'd pay the fine out of his own pocket, but pledged to donate all the money sent to his Venmo account to Children's Minnesota.
"Wow… overwhelmed by the amount of donations I have received to help pay for my fine. You fans are amazing," he wrote on Twitter last Thursday. Hartman also encouraged fans to donate directly to Children's instead of sending him the funds.
In total, the "fine fund," or "bird fund" to some, amounted to $30,877.05. According to the Wild, $26,637.05 came from donations to Hartman's Venmo account, and the other $4,250 came from Hartman. Fans also donated another $9,000 directly to Children's.
“We are so grateful for our partnership with the Minnesota Wild, they’ve been a generous donor for a long time," said Jenny Soderholm, senior vice president and chief development officer at Children’s Minnesota, and president of the Children’s Minnesota Foundation. "Moments like this also show the generosity of the Minnesota sports community, and we’re incredibly grateful to the fans for donating to Children’s Minnesota."
Hartman joined the Wild prior to the 2019-2020 season, but has become one of the more popular players on the roster amid a season where he's tallied career high goals and assists. The former first-round selection for the Chicago Blackhawks back in 2013 also had stints with Nashville and Philadelphia before signing with the Wild in 2019.
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