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Hughes ping pong table talk

...brothers Quinn and Jack Hughes design a special ping pong table for charity

by Derek Jory @NoJoryous / Vancouver Canucks

The NHL wanted players inside their respected bubbles in Edmonton and Toronto to feel at home, which included putting framed family photos on nightstands in the players' hotel rooms.

For Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes, photos are nice, but it was the ping pong table in the Canucks players lounge that really made him feel at home.

Hughes is an avid ping pong player. So is brother Jack Hughes. And other brother Luke Hughes. Mom and Dad, Ellen and Jim, are as competitive as their boys, so family ping pong battles are a regular occurrence.

Early in quarantine, things intensified, especially in games between Quinn and Jack.

"We were addicted for a time," laughed Quinn.

"In a span of two weeks, right when we got home, we played like 10 best-of-seven hard serieses," added Jack.

"I took him to game seven in four serieses and lost every single game seven, then in the last series I beat him in game seven," said Quinn.

It's no wonder the competitive brothers were drawn to working with Smashfest, a charity ping pong challenge created by former NHLer Dominic Moore. During Smashfest, guests party with and play ping pong against celebrities and professional athletes, all in the name of cancer and concussion research.

The event, which began in 2012 and takes place every summer in Toronto, is cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To continue raising money for cancer and concussion research, Moore created a content series titled UNVEILED, where NHLers were asked to design their own ping pong tables, ones that would be auctioned off for Smashfest.

Quinn and Jack took this challenge to heart, honouring their late grandmother, who died of pancreatic cancer, with a half and half table.

Watch: Youtube Video

"A cardinal is really important to our family," revealed Quinn, when discussing elements he'd like to see on his half of the sibling table. "My grandmother passed away when I was 2 or 3 and Jack was maybe 1, and my dad has a big family - four sisters and a brother - so they all believed that when they see a cardinal fly by, that it's their mother."

Alongside the Hughes cardinal, Quinn wanted his number 43 to mark his side of the table, something for the state of Michigan, and the quote: "The fight isn't over until you win" from the novel Royal Assassin, by Robin Hobb.

Jack, on the other hand, wanted his number 86, the New York skyline, a shamrock and a pair of shoes to show off his love of fashion.

When told about all the elements the Hughes brothers wanted to incorporate into their design, street artist Alex Bacon was wide-eyed.

"It's going to be a little bit challenging to fit it all on one table, but I think I can manage it," said Bacon, who pulled it off with flying colours.

The Hughes family was blown away with the final product, a true work of art that can be bid on at Smashfest.ca, with all proceeds going to cancer and concussion research. The auction closes at 10 pm ET on July 30, 2020.

A reproduced version of the beautiful table is being created for Quinn and Jack, so the Hughes' family battles can continue for years to come.

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