Showing your NHL fandom with the coin in your pocket

Showing your NHL fandom with the coin in your pocket

As the Montreal Canadiens and four other Canadian hockey teams battle it out in the NHL playoffs this post-season, fans are showing off their team pride with jerseys, flags and a host of other team gear.

For those fans who’d like play a game while they’re watching the game, and squeeze a special keepsake as the periods tick by, one entrepreneur has created something that’s catching on quickly with NHL fans across the country.

Kevin Tuohy is the founder of Adrenaline Challenge Coins, which makes, as it name suggests, challenge coins. Challenge coins are small coins or medallions emblazoned with an organization’s insignia or logo. But more than just being a small souvenir or keepsake for their recipients, there is a greater purpose to challenge coins.

“The ‘challenge’ takes place when one person slaps their coin down on a table or bar, challenging all others in the group to show that they are carrying their coin,” Tuohy said, adding that recipients should always be carrying their coin, lest they be without when challenged.

The price for not carrying your coin? You buy the next round of drinks for the group. However, if every member of the group answers with their coin, then the challenger must buy.

Although challenge coins are now being made for a wide variety of teams, groups and organizations, they initially got their start in military circles and with some saying their history stretches all the way back to the Roman empire.

Today, unit commanders typically present the coins to their troops as a symbol of membership or presented for outstanding or exemplary performance.

Kevin_TuohyFor Tuohy, as a former member of the U.S. Air Force and a retired firefighter with 34 years of service, he had been around challenge coins for quite a while. Deciding to launch a business after retiring was a way for him to explore his interest in challenge coins and help spread the challenge coin culture.

“I found the history and tradition of challenge coins to be fascinating, and becoming a provider of challenge coins keeps me in touch with my military and fire department roots,” he said.

“If it weren’t something I loved, I wouldn’t be doing it,” he said “I had 34 years as a firefighter and planned to enjoy my retirement, which is exactly what I am doing.”

Enjoying his retirement means keeping busy, as Adrenaline Challenge Coins continues to get a lot of orders from many different groups.

“We have been approached to make coins for teams from just about every major sport, as well as making them for high school and college teams,” he said.

Linking up with the league to become the official distributer of NHL challenge coins was an obvious move to Tuohy, himself a hockey player for many years.

“The sport and the people involved with it just seemed to be a natural fit for challenge coins,” he said. “They’re people with a great respect for tradition, strong loyalty to a group team, and an equally strong desire to have fun with friends while enjoying their sport.”

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