Keith Olbermann, notorious TV talking head, used his position with ESPN–the “sports” network that usually mentions hockey only during playoffs– to bash a recent fundraising effort by the Chicago Blackhawks.

The team sold $99 vials of melted “home ice” from the 2013 Stanley Cup season with 100 percent to benefit Chicago Blackhawks Charities.

The glass tubes, 2,013 of them in total, enclosed in genuine puck rubber and displayed in a leather box with the Blackhawks logo. The vials are etched– Home Ice, 2013 Stanley Cup Champions, with the signature of owner Rocky Wirtz. They come with a certificate of authenticity.

The Blackhawks include a video showing how they’re made.

“Melted Stanley Cup championship ice,” Olbermann blasted in his “Worst Person In The Sports World” segment on his ESPN2 show. “Water! You’re charging fans 99 bucks for bottled water! How much more for the bottled water Patrick Kane skated on?”

The public must not have agreed, because the vials sold out in no time at all.

And the proceeds of more than $200,000 went to the tornado relief efforts following Illinois’ worst November storms in history last Sunday — when 16 tornadoes hit the state.

Washington, Illinois, was among the worst hit.

“Illinois is our home, and when one of our communities suffers a loss as tragically as the people of Washington did, we want to do all that we can to help them,” Rocky Wirtz said. “After seeing the devastation and speaking with Governor Quinn, we realized just how much this donation can help those families get back on their feet again.”

Sure, the vials of “ice” are different, but so were Andrew Shaw’s stitches. So are game-worn, sweaty, sweaters. What does it matter if it makes the buyer happy and simultaneously helps those in need?

Meanwhile, ESPN, consider revising “Worst Person In The Sports World” from the name of a segment to the title of Olbermann’s show, until he forces a lawsuit and your network ditches him like the others.

And while you’re at it, ESPN, just leave hockey alone. We’re better off without you.

Everyone else, if you’re interested in helping Illinois tornado relief efforts, here is some helpful information.

Carly Mullady grew up needing to know more about icing than its deliciousness on cupcakes. She's the lone daughter of four children, with a father who was among the last cut from the Midwest tryouts for the 1980 Miracle on Ice Olympic team. And she knows very little matches the thrill that happens from puck-drop to handshakes. A rink didn’t return to her hometown until she was gone, but she’s been able to see two younger brothers on the ice. She's their feistiest fan. Her other hockey loyalty lies with the Blackhawks--whether it's meant seeing games for $8 with student IDs when the Madhouse didn’t have much of a temper at all, or dancing to Chelsea Dagger at standing room only--there’s something magical about a roaring anthem, the Indianhead sweater, and the Original Six. A former journalist and current editor, she carries a penchant for excitement (and maybe even fighting) with a resume that includes working for Chicago-area newspapers, and television, including The Jerry Springer Show, as well as NBCUniversal in New York. After East Coast living and a return to the Chicago area, the new Mrs. is giving Graceland a go with her Southern Gent, who now shares her adoration of the game, and their rescue dog, Doc Holliday. Other interests include Cubs, Bears, Illini, Crimson Tide, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, baking a mean pineapple upside-down cake, Kate Spade accessories, and a properly coordinated cardigan for every ensemble.


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