That's what you got with a ticket to Operation Hat Trick on Saturday night in Atlantic City, a charity hockey game between a collection of the largest group of NHL players since June. The event benefited Hurricane Sandy relief in New Jersey and New York.
For a little more than 2 hours, Hat Trick was welcomed relief for everyone - the affected families in Sandy's path, the first responders who helped them, the players hungry to skate and the fans who paid to see them.
"This is all just a healthy distraction," Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds said. "That's what hockey is all about. We wanted to try and get Hurricane Sandy off everyone's minds for a little bit. Fans are the game. The atmosphere was electric. To see everyone standing there at the end, no one left, cheering the whole time, that was unbelievable. This was just a small way we could give back."
At the end, the scoreboard read Team New York 10, Team Philly 6 - otherwise known as Henrik Lundqvist's seventh straight win over Philadelphia - but the only number that mattered was the amount of money raised for Sandy victims.
The dollars were still being counted, but early estimates from organizers said as much as $500,000 could have been raised. Attendance was 10,792, the first hockey sellout at venerable Boardwalk Hall since 1933.
It's an amazing number considering the entire event was pulled together - from idea to execution - in 8 days. Former Flyers Todd Fedoruk and Rick Tocchet ran the show, with the teams being captained by Scott Hartnell and Rangers star Brad Richards.
It had to be such a strange feeling for Flyers fans, watching a longtime rival like Martin Brodeur man the crease in Flyers orange and having former players (both recent and long gone) return to play with old mates. Yes, the Flyers actually had a Hall of Famer in net and still got shellacked.
"I think that's why they scored the 10 goals," Brodeur joked. "I'm just not used to that orange."
James van Riemsdyk was just traded in June after signing a 6-year contract with the Flyers the previous year. With the lockout, he's barely had time to collect new equipment bearing Toronto's iconic Maple Leaf logo. Yet, there he was on Saturday, lacing up his skates next to Jody Shelley like he never left.
"It's always fun," van Riemsdyk said. "I made a lot of friends for a lifetime. The whole experience this weekend has been a home run."
The exhibition also featured players who have been linked to the Flyers in rumors at one time or another - Tampa Bay sniper Steven Stamkos, dazzling Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban and Cherry Hill native Bobby Ryan, of Anaheim.
On the ice, the action featured little hitting and no fighting. It was a glorified all-star game, with zero defense and fancy moves on penalty shots. It was the atmosphere that was so unique, with a mutual appreciation from fan to player.
"You couldn't ask for a better turnout," Brodeur said. "Even though it was lollygag hockey and a lot of fancy play, as far as fans were concerned, they were really into it. It was like playoff hockey in a lot of ways."
For one night, at least, Operation Hat Trick was a chance to close your eyes and forget about everything else.
"Trust me, if anyone understands what it's like to miss hockey, it would be me. I haven't played since I had knee surgery in January," said Carcillo, the former Flyer now with Chicago. "I can't tell you how good it felt just to come to the rink and go through your pregame routine. This was a great reminder, though, that there is a lot more to life than hockey, there are other things to enjoy. It feels great to help people and give them a really good, warm feeling."