NEW YORK / TORONTO – The NHL and the NHL Players' Association raised and donated more than $1.1 million to cancer organizations during Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Month in October, eclipsing last year's total and bringing the sum raised for cancer organizations to a total $12 million in Hockey Fights Cancer's 13-year history.
"The NHL's commitment to the fight against cancer is shared by everyone in hockey -- our clubs, players and fans," said Brian Jennings, NHL Executive Vice President of Marketing. "Each year, we raise awareness for this important cause by positioning it in the first month of the NHL season. Our fans recognize how important this initiative is and the $1.1 million they helped raise in October is proof of their steadfast support."
The NHL and the NHLPA launched the month-long initiative with $475,000 distributed in grants to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Prostate Cancer Canada, ZERO -- The Project to End Prostate Cancer, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and local cancer charities in all 30 NHL markets.
"NHL players are exceptionally proud to play a role, with the entire hockey community, in helping garner $1.1 million worth of support this year for national cancer organizations through Hockey Fights Cancer month," said Devin Smith, NHLPA Director, Marketing & Community Relations. "The players truly enjoy joining together with the fans, the NHL, and the teams, for such a worthwhile initiative, now in its 13th year, which successfully furthers our efforts as we continue to raise awareness."
More than 400,000 fans attended Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Nights organized and hosted by NHL clubs and more than 13 million viewers tuned in to national and local telecasts of games featuring teams taking part in Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Nights.
In addition, proceeds from Hockey Fights Cancer auctions were up, with the $25,000 raised for the initiative a 31-percent increase from last year.
One-of-a-kind apparel created for the cause has received national exposure, with "Meet the Press" moderator and Washington Capitals season ticket holder David Gregory wearing the commemorative tie during an edition of the Sunday morning news program and ESPN anchor Chris Berman doing the same for a broadcast of the network's Sunday NFL Countdown.
And NHL fans have gotten into the act, generating more than $50,000 in funds, including donations made via text message to benefit the U.S. and Canadian chapters of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and additional fan support through Twitter (@NHL) and NHL on Facebook (facebook.com/NHL).
Fans of the Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche faced off on Twitter during the first-ever NHL Hashtag Battle to benefit Hockey Fights Cancer. All tweets featuring the #GoAvs and/or #GoKings hashtags during the Oct. 23 game raised $1 for that team's cancer-related charity of choice. At the conclusion of the game, the hashtag battle netted more than $43,000 for the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and Kroenke Sports Charities. During the hashtag battle, GoKings was the top trending topic on Twitter in world.