BOSTON -- Chris Wagner doesn't score a whole lot. He scored 12 goals last season for the Boston Bruins, an NHL career high, and came into their game against the San Jose Sharks on Hockey Fights Cancer Night at TD Garden on Tuesday without one this season.
And then Wagner scored, giving him the opportunity to draw attention to his friend Tom Budreau, a high school classmate who was recently diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, and started treatment at Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute four days earlier.
"You don't have that platform if you don't score, and then it's pretty cool to score on that night, especially when something like that is happening," Wagner said. "It also puts it into perspective, the stuff we go through and then that's real -- real big stuff. You hate to see anyone go through it, but when you know the person, it definitely hits home."
Video: SJS@BOS: Wagner goes backhand for breakaway goal
Wagner had heard the news only recently, via group chat text message.
"We were all kind of like, 'Wow, that's shocking'," Wagner said. "He's always been in really good shape, works out a ton."
According to toughtom.com a website created for donations to help Budreau, a spinal tumor was found on an MRI on Oct. 21 after he had experienced severe back pain for two weeks. Eventually, the diagnosis was of Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare cancerous tumor that affects bones or the tissue around bones, with treatment beginning Monday.
As of Thursday, the GoFundMe page for Budreau had raised $62,912 of a $100,000 goal.
A group of friends, including Budreau and Wagner, started a golf tournament about five or six years ago, which grew from three to approximately 18 groups. Wagner said they were going to dedicate the tournament to Budreau in the spring.
"Someone's struggling, and you want to help them out," Wagner said. "I texted [Budreau] two weeks ago, like, let me know if I can do anything. We do affect a lot more people than we think. I've found that out more and more playing at home. There's so many people watching."