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How Leafs' winger Mitch Marner is spending offseason helping kids in need, enjoying time with 'Zeus'

Last Updated Oct 20, 2020 at 11:33 am EST

Toronto Maple Leafs winger and alternate captain, Mitch Marner, sat down with 680 NEWS to discuss his recent partnership with Amazon, his own charity (The Marner Assist Fund), Toronto’s recent additions on the ice, and what life has been like with his dog, Zeus.

It all starts with Amazon’s Delivering Smiles Program, described as a “large-scale give-back to charity campaign globally in 12 countries, including Canada.”

With the charity, Amazon says it plans on delivering smiles worldwide for the holidays, donating millions of items through product and monetary donations to more than 1,000 global charities.

Here in Canada, that includes a $500,000 donation to the Breakfast Club of Canada for the holidays, plus a multi-year commitment of an additional $250,000 and 155,000 meals per year to ensure kids across the country have access to the nutrition they need to stay healthy and grow strong.

“That’s something that really stood out to me, something I wanted to help with and something I wanted to support,” Marner told 680’s Geoff Rohoman.

“They’re trying to get meals to all the kids in Canada, trying to make sure they’re getting the nutrition that they need. It’s something that I really wanted to be a part of and help out with.”

Marner says he knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and wanted to help spread that message to kids across the country.

 

Unsurprisingly, the talented Leafs winger also quickly touched on his loveable dog, Zeus, who went viral back in April after Marner posted a video of the pair going through some hockey drills together in his driveway.

“I had all my hockey gear out just air-drying it and yesterday he came running up the stairs with my elbow pad so I had to take that from him, then about five minutes later he comes back up with my hockey glove,” Marner said.

“I got to hide all that stuff or else he likes bringing it up and getting my attention with it. It’s been great having him for the time that we have had him (Zeus), he keeps getting bigger and bigger and keeps mooching even harder.”

Of course, no interview would be complete without a quick discussion regarding the on-ice product.

With the Maple Leafs recently announcing a one-year contract with future Hall of Fame centre, Joe Thornton – who joins the Leafs after several accomplished seasons in San Jose – Marner says he’s excited with the addition, and is looking forward to meeting and playing with new teammates such as Zach Bogosian and Jimmy Vesey, to name a few.

“Obviously Jumbo (Thornton’s nickname) I have known him for a long time. I grew up in this area (London, Ont.), I have watched him play in Junior, in the NHL,” the 23-year-old said.

 

“I am really excited to talk to him and to sit down in the locker room with him for a full season. He seems like he’s hilarious off the ice and seems like he’s going to help on the ice, as well.”

And as for Scarborough, Ont. native, Wayne Simmonds?

“Both those guys bring in an older presence that, you know, they’re not messing around. They’re here for a reason. They have belief in our team that we can do something special,” he added.

“I am excited about it, I am excited to get back on the ice to get going with everyone again.”

For more information on Amazon’s Delivering Smiles Program, visit here.

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