Ex-Detroit Red Wings champ Brett Hull up for laughs to help raise money for opioid fight

Detroit Free Press

Brett Hull was known for his shot and his boisterous personality, and his tenure with the Detroit Red Wings made him a natural to be in the spotlight for the third annual Jamie Daniels Foundation roast.

The reason behind the celebrity roast, which will be telecast at 8 p.m. Monday on Bally Sports Detroit, is the tragedy of substance use disorder, a disease that continues to devastate society. The roast raises money for the cause, with a focus on prevention and recovery.

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Hull follows Scotty Bowman and Mickey Redmond in the spotlight.

“He’s a natural,” Ken Daniels said. “We told him it’s more of a tribute. I mean, nobody really gets roasted, though many of the stories on there are pretty damn good with Brett. We have Brian Burke and Garth Butcher and Kelly Chase, his uncle Dennis and Ken Hitchcock. There are many stories. Mike Modano is in there.”

Hull joined the Wings in the summer of 2001, part of an influx of elite veterans who would form the “Hockey Gods” team which won the 2002 Stanley Cup. Hull was a scorer and a talker; he’s the one who came up with the line nickname of “Two Kids and a Goat” for his team-up with youngsters Pavel Datsyuk and Boyd Deveraux.

“Brett shares his thoughts on Pavel Datsyuk and his thoughts on Steve Yzerman, especially going back to the ’02 series against Vancouver,” Daniels said. “What he says about Pavel and Steve, to hear it from Brett — it’s enjoyable.”

It’s enjoyable, but also emotionally draining for Daniels, the Wings’ play-by-play announcer. He and Lisa Daniels-Goldman established the foundation in 2018, two years after their son, Jamie, died from an overdose at 23 after ingesting a synthetic opioid.

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“We show families who have lost a loved one to SUD,” Daniels said. “In the 12 months that ended in April, over 100,000 people died from opioids.

“This is about continuing the conversation. In three yeas, we’ve raised close to $1.2 million, which is pretty remarkable.”

A silent auction on the JamieDaielsfoundation.org website offers fans a chance to bid on items including a suite for the Wings’ home game against the Colorado Avalanche, an autographed Wayne Gretzky card from the 1980s, golf outings and dining packages. The auction is live through noon Tuesday.

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail. 

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