By Doug Karda
Halloween is usually a time for Oren Koules to scare the wits out of the movie-going public, but this time around, it also means some of the thrills and chills will help the less fortunate.
How exactly did Koules accomplish both in one fell swoop? The owner and CEO of the Tampa Bay Lightning played to his strengths — which are making horror movies and running a successful business.
Koules’ latest installment of his SAW horror franchise — SAW V — recently hit theaters to give horror-movie fans their latest fix. For the uninitiated, SAW V revolves around Jigsaw, a vigilante mastermind who offers redemption to those who have erred significantly in life, using gut-wrenching and mind-blowing rehabilitation methods.
SAW V, like the previous installations of the Saw franchise – has played to packed houses across the country since its release last week, grossing $30.1 million.
As the new owner of the Lightning, Koules saw the opportunity to marry his passion for hockey with his love of horror, while raising money for charity. He approached current Lightning and former ECHL goalies Mike Smith and Olaf Kolzig, broaching the idea of the goalies wearing commemorative masks to promote the movie and raise money for charity.