By Bruce Berlet
Talk about a tough act to follow.
Yes, even Connecticut Whale wing Brodie Dupont admits he doesn’t know what he can do for an encore as defending money-earning champion in the eighth “Tip-A-Player” Dinner and Sports Carnival at the XL Center on Sunday from 4-7 p.m.
Dupont put himself over the top when he agreed to allow several fans to clip and then shave his head as the coup de grace of the 2010 event, which raised $41,000 for Gaylord Specialty Healthcare at Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford.
“There probably won’t be another shaving of the head, but I guess anything is possible,” a smiling Dupont said Wednesday after a brisk, one-hour practice at the XL Center in Hartford. “I really don’t have any story for this year. I’m just going to go in with an open mind like I did last year. It’s one of those fun events that you actually look forward to. It’s for a good cause, and I have a good time playing with some of those inflatable things.
“I don’t think I’m cut out to be a server, but the inflatables are fun. Playing with and racing the kids, just kind of having fun and enjoying yourself, is what it’s all about. This year I don’t have anything exactly planned, but I’ll have an open mind.”
Last year, Dupont had about as open a mind as you could imagine after several fans began pooling their “Puck Bucks” to get right wing Dale Weise, now on recall to the New York Rangers, to shave his head.
“Weisie was kind of on the fence, so I asked what was going on, and someone said the fans were trying to get someone to shave his head,” Dupont recalled. “I said, ‘I’ll do it,’ and started laughing, but I was pretty serious.”
The fans collected about 8,000 “Puck Bucks” ($800), which is the most any player has raised for one “dare.”
“That’s pretty cool,” Dupont said.
During the collection, one man climbed on the stage and told the crowd that Dupont wanted more “Puck Bucks” or the shave wasn’t going to happen.
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