MONTREAL - Jeff Petry and the Canadiens are breaking out the clippers for a good cause.
After hosting families from Leucan during the organization's annual Hockey Fights Cancer game at the Bell Centre on November 25, Habs players are going a step further in December, raising money as part of the Canadiens' Shaved Head Challenge in support of Leucan.
"It's something I had been thinking about for a couple of years," explained Petry, who rallied seven of his teammates to join him in shaving their heads for the cause. "When I was in Edmonton, they had all the rookies do it, so I did it in my first year and it was a city-wide thing. It was just something I thought would help bring awareness in Montreal. It's a great cause."
Video: The Habs welcomed kids from Leucan to the Bell Centre
Karl Alzner, Jordie Benn, Ales Hemsky, Charles Hudon, Artturi Lehkonen, Victor Mete, and Andrew Shaw have joined Petry in the campaign and have been raising money for the past month towards a collective team goal of $20,000 - a mark they've already surpassed.
"I put it out there in our group chat to see if anyone had an interest in taking part. Karl and Benny jumped on it right away. Hemmer was one who was on the fence, but once we made the Web site he was on board," shared Petry, who has personally raised over $2,000. "Hudy took a bit of convincing - he's got a lot of hair - but he finally came back and wanted to do it."
The Shaved Head Challenge is one of Leucan's major fundraisers, helping the organization provide services to children and their families who have been affected by cancer, and generating funds that go towards clinical research. In shaving their heads, the Habs will also be showing solidarity with kids whose body images are affected after losing their hair due to chemotherapy.
"We had our Hockey Fights Cancer night a few weeks ago and we had a chance to speak with some of the kids from Leucan after the game and we had a few of them on the ice with us for the national anthem," said Petry. "When you meet them and hear their stories, it inspires you to do things like this to give back any way you can to support them.
"That we've already been able to hit our $20,000 goal is a testament to how supportive our fans and families are," he added. "But we want to see that number continue to grow right up until the day of the shave."
To support Jeff and the rest of the Habs who are taking part in the Shaved Head Challenge, visit their official page HERE.