Close-up with the Crunch- Eric Neilson the Teddy Bear Maker

Syracuse Crunch forward Eric Neilson may drop the gloves and fight a lot on the ice, but as the holidays approach, it's all about the teddy bears off the ice. Neilson found himself at "Build-a-Bear" this week at Destiny U.S.A., making teddy bears with his teammates to be used this Saturday when his team takes on Wilkes-Barre Scranton, a game featuring the "Stanley Steemer Tired Teddy Toss". Fans are encouraged to throw their own stuffed animals on the ice when the Crunch score their first goal in that game, where they will be collected and refurbished by Stanley Steemer to be donated to the Salvation Army.

"Any time you're given the opportunity, or are in that situation to give back or give anything, it's huge. It means a lot to me and I know the way I was brought up it's all about giving and not receiving, and it's special for me to do this and just help out any way I can."

Fans can also bring new and gently used stuffed animals to the Crunch office through December 15th.

**Click on the video link to hear more from Neilson, and to watch him make his Teddy Bear.