Fans certainly remember Steve Webb for his gritty, physical play and his teeth-rattling hits during the seven seasons he played for the Islanders, but the 35-year-old has found a new passion since hanging up his skates:
Giving back to the Long Island community he calls home.
Webb is currently in training to complete his W20Foundation's 2nd annual "Spinning a Web of Leaders" charity bike ride. Two weekends from now, Webb will embark on a 650-mile trek that will take him from Long Island to his hometown of Peterborough, Ontario.
With a year of cycling experience under his belt and a newcomer along for the ride (old buddy and TSN personality Dan O'Toole), Webb hopes to expand on last year's success, when his foundation raised almost $10,000 for youth hockey on LI and Alzheimer's research.
"I really like seeing kids going after what they want to achieve and I want to help them in the process in any way I can," Webb said of his inspiration for the event. "By supporting Long Islanders, we hope to foster a culture of support and mentorship. Hopefully when these kids come back they want to give back and do it in a way that isn't for money but rather to lend support."
Webb, who received the Bob Nystom award in 2002 for his community philanthropy, didn't want just any type of fundraiser. Instead he conceived the idea of a ten-day (this year it will be nine) bike ride "from home to hometown."
"I just wanted to try something and push myself," Webb said. "I wanted to push and show that when you set a goal it's a little overwhelming, but there is usually a pretty strateigc gameplan for accomplishing what you want."
Which isn't to say there were not some bumps along the way for Webb during his inaugural ride. Besides the times he got lost, blew a tire and had to battle through inclement weather, there was the pure mental and physical exhaustion he faced on the back end of his journey.
"That was fun for me because it was a challenge and I knocked it off with small milestones. I was talking to myself, referring back to my training as a hockey player and an athlete. I was able to break everything down whether it was setting a goal to ride to the next pole, driveway, or fence. I just put my head down and pushed. To me that was the rewarding side."
To learn more about Webb's foundation or donate visit W20Foundation.org