GLENDALE – This Saturday night will be a special one at Gila River Arena as the Coyotes host "Hockey Fights Cancer Night" to honor those whose lives have been affected by cancer and to show support for the organizations that help battle the disease.
Hockey Fights Cancer is a joint initiative started by the NHL and NHL Players Association in 1998 to raise awareness for organizations involved in cancer research and care. Each NHL team hosts one "Hockey Fights Cancer Night" per season.
The Coyotes will take their turn on Saturday as they play the New York Islanders. The highlight of the night will be a moment of silence for the NHL’s "I Fight For" initiative, and 10,000 fans in attendance will receive placards and be asked to fill in the name of a special person in their life who is battling cancer and/or has battled cancer in the past.
The show of support will also extend to the ice where Coyotes players will wear special purple sweaters during warm-ups that will be auctioned by the Arizona Coyotes Foundation. Coaches will wear special ties and pins behind the bench.
The show of support on the ice will carry a lot of meaning for the Coyotes players.
Defenseman Keith Yandle, for example, has lost several family members to cancer.
"It’s great that we do this every year," Yandle said. "Cancer is one of those things that affects everybody in some way. To show our support and help out means a lot."
Forward David Moss will honor a cancer survivor in his family.
"My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago. She had surgery and she’s healthy today, so I’m really thankful for that," Moss said. "She was great. She had a positive attitude and was really tough. It’s hard when you first hear about it but her attitude was so good."
For more information about Hockey Fights Cancer, please visit hockeyfightscancer.com.