On Sunday, the Blackhawks hosted their annual Hockey Fights Cancer Nightat the United Center, in support of cancer awareness and the league-wide initiative during the month of October.
Before the game, fans who are currently battling cancer or are in remission as well as those who have lost a loved one to the disease had the opportunity to walk the Purple Carpet in the United Center Atrium. The event was supported by CIBC, which also donated $20,000 to the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation for cancer-related causes.
During warmups, players wore newly-designed Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys, which will each be autographed and auctioned off online to benefit various local cancer-related organizations through the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation. Coaches and broadcasters also wore purple ties, which will also be included in the auction accompanied by an autographed photo. The auction runs through Monday, Nov. 4 at noon and interested fans can visit Blackhawks.com/HockeyFightsCancer for more information.
As starting lineups were announced prior to the National Anthem, five local children battling cancer took the ice with the Blackhawks: Garrett Glatzhofer (15), Mitch Hazan (16), Francesca Garner (10), Jackson Clark (11) and Hailee Saenger (8).
Video: LAK@CHI: Blackhawks honor brave kids battling cancer
A 12-year-old who has been battleing cancer since he was nine, Benoit Savard took the ice with the Blackhawks on Friday through the team's partnership with Make-A-Wish Illinois and Bear Necessities. Savard also dropped the ceremonial puck drop on Hockey Fights Cancer Night:
Video: LAK@CHI: Benoit Savard drops the ceremonial puck
Defenseman Olli Maatta considers himself lucky because his cancer battle was nothing compared to what others have endured. At 19 years old, doctors found a tumor on his thyroid during team physicals before his second NHL season. Here about his story from Maatta himself:
Video: Maatta's cancer story
A season ticketholder for over 20 years, Deb McKinney was diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2009 and breast cancer in 2017. Hear about Deb's story and her unwavering support of the Blackhawks through her battle:
Video: Deb's cancer battle
The first 10,000 fans who entered Sunday's game received an Eddie Olczyk bobblehead, also presented by CIBC, celebrating the longtime Blackhawk and NBC Sports Chicago color commentator and his successful battle against prostate cancer. His battle, and how he's working to advocate for cancer awareness, is a focal point in his new memoir, "Eddie Olczyk: Beating the Odds in Hockey and in Life".
Video: Eddie Olczyk: Beating the Odds in Hockey and in Life