The New Jersey Devils auctioned off their “Better Halves” baskets this year to raise money for Hockey Fights Cancer, the Valerie Fund, and Boston Children’s Hospital. Hockey Fights Cancer partners with the American Cancer Society, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the Movember Foundation to raise money and awareness. The Valerie Fund, named for Valerie Goldstein, who died at the age of nine from cancer, operates centers which provide families with social workers, psychologists, and specialists to help families fighting cancer and blood disorders not only physically, but emotionally. Boston Children’s Hospital was chosen as a recipient, even though the Devils are New Jersey’s team, because their specialists have handled the care of Brian Boyle’s son, Declan.
Better Halves baskets are a fun tradition because sometimes they’re filled with some honestly weird things (which we’ll get to) and other times have some really cool themes (nothing is going to top the time Taylor Winnik put together a basket full of signed liquor, okay?).
I bought Marcus Johansson’s Better Halves Basket. The Devils dumped it in a box and shipped it to me and it arrived on my porch on a date unknown to me because the NHL Auction site still says “Shipment Pending” and my roommate said “yeah, I didn’t want to tell you it came,” so I had a VERY exciting Christmas Eve of opening “presents.”
So what did Amelia Johansson lovingly (?) gather up and bully her husband into signing and stuff into this basket?
A bottle of Glögg, which is mulled wine (this one is non-alcoholic), a coffee mug with Swedish Dala horses on it, and a Devils snapback.
Chocolate bars and granola, which I’m told are Jojo’s favorite (by the description on the auction site) and a copy of NHL 18.
A book called How to be Swedish (in 55 steps!), a can of Nocco, which is probably going to kill us, and some autographed golf balls (the second silliest thing in the basket, after the granola).
The mini-bobble from last season (somehow the hockey stick was still in its hands, which is a miracle, because it does NOT fit at all), two of these cookies and cream protein bars, and a Tre Kronor t-shirt.
The cutest thing in the basket was this little book about Fika, which had a bunch of dog-eared pages and notes in it on the recipes.
And of course, a puck and jersey.
100% worth it unless the Nocco kills us.