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Hockey Fights Cancer

Hockey Fights Cancer daily digest

Latest news, images from around NHL in November @NHL

Welcome to Hockey Fights Cancer, a joint initiative between the NHL Players' Association and NHL as well as a program of the NHL and the NHL Foundation.

The campaign, which unites the hockey community in support of cancer patients and their families, will feature ceremonies, observances and fundraising efforts throughout the month of November. All 31 NHL teams have designated one home game as their official Hockey Fights Cancer night, with unique programming and partnerships with local cancer organizations.

Here is the latest Hockey Fights Cancer news from around the League.


Dec. 1
Hutton honoring St. Louis-area cancer patients with mask

Blues goaltender Carter Hutton will wear a special Hockey Fights Cancer-themed mask when they play against the Los Angeles Kings at Scottrade Center on Friday (8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-W, NHL.TV).

The lavender and white mask is covered with names of cancer patients, many of them children, from the St. Louis area that Hutton said he will represent Friday.

"It's a cool honor to wear for sure," Hutton said. "It's just people from St. Louis. I'm just able to wear it. The team designed it.

"It's great to wear. It's obviously an honor. Tonight should be a special night for sure for everyone affected by cancer."

Tweet from @lkorac10: Carter Hutton said he's representing cancer patients of St. Louis. #stlblues


Nov. 29
Red Wings, Rangers, Flyers, Golden Knights each do their part

For Noah Gochanour, Tuesday was a day he will never forget.

Gochanour, 11, was an honorary puck drop captain when the Detroit Red Wings conducted their Hockey Fights Cancer Night against the Los Angeles Kings at Little Caesars Arena.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: ���� #WingsFightCancer

Gochanour, who has Ewing's carcoma, read the starting lineup in the Red Wings locker room before their 4-1 loss.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Tonight���s honorary puck drop captain, Noah Gochanour, gives the boys the starting lineup prior to #HockeyFightsCancer Awareness night. columnist Nick Cotsonika chronicled Noah's experience.

The Red Wings also gave back earlier Tuesday, when defenseman Jonathan Ericsson hosted luncheon for 100 cancer patients following the morning skate.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: #RedWings brighten the spirits of cancer patients: | #WingsFightCancer

As part of the New York Rangers' Hockey Fights Cancer Night against the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk showed how the Rangers honored those they were fighting for.

Tweet from @NYRangers: #NYR @shattdeuces shows off a new feature of this year���s #NYRHFC jerseys where players share who they fight for. Auction to benefit @gardenofdreams starts tonight

The lavender jerseys and sticks the Rangers used prior to 5-4 loss against the Florida Panthers are being auctioned, with net proceeds benefiting the Garden of Dreams Foundation.

Tweet from @NYRangers: #NYRHFC warmup ��Bid on jerseys now to benefit @gardenofdreams:

The Philadelphia Flyers were graced by the presence of Maddie Swenson, 10, during their Hockey Fights Cancer Night against the San Jose Sharks at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday.

Maddie, who has leukemia, got to read the Flyers starting lineup in their locker room before the game, then took part in the ceremonial puck drop before the Flyers' 3-1 loss.

Tweet from @NHLFlyers: Maddie & DJ, both who are battling cancer, read the starting lineup to the team tonight. We fight for you, Maddie & DJ! #TogetherWeFight

Tweet from @NHLFlyers: We had a very special puck drop tonight with Maddie Swenson, who is currently battling leukemia. We fight for you Maddie, (Happy 10th Birthday!) ��

The Vegas Golden Knights held their Hockey Fights Cancer Night against the Dallas Stars at T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday. The lavender jerseys they wore during warmups prior to their 3-0 loss were auctioned, with all proceeds benefiting the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Tweet from @GoldenKnights: Closeup of our warmup jerseys that are being auctioned off to benefit the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation.More:

Earlier Tuesday, Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt showed who he was fighting for.

Tweet from @GoldenKnights: Nate Schmidt is here to support #HockeyFightsCancer. 

Nov. 28
10-year-old to drop puck at Sharks-Flyers game

Madeline Swenson will get a pretty cool 10th birthday present: She'll get to drop the first puck before the Philadelphia Flyers play the San Jose Sharks at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday.

Swenson, from Warminster, Pennsylvania, will be honored on the Flyers' Hockey Fights Cancer Night. She had her final chemotherapy treatment Nov. 25 after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia about 2 1/2 years ago.

Flyers players previously had invited Swenson and her family to watch practice, and afterward captain Claude Giroux presented her with a personalized jersey autographed by every player on the team.

As part of HFC night, players will wear lavender jerseys during warmup and use lavender stick tape, and the coaching staff, broadcasters and in-arena staff will wear lavender attire and lapel pins during the game. Pucks with a lavender Flyers logo will be used during the game, and the ads on the boards will be tinted lavender.


Nov. 27
Red Wings goalie Howard to auction off mask

Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard will wear a special mask on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings, which will be auctioned off for Hockey Fights Cancer night.

The mask, which is lavender, has the Red Wings logo and the Hockey Fights Cancer logo of two hockey sticks along with a cancer ribbon on each side and the Hockey Fights Cancer logo on the back.

More than 100 cancer patients, survivors and care takers from American Cancer Society will be honored as guests of the Red Wings. The first 5,000 fans who attend the game will get a lavender colored baseball cap with the Red Wings logo.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Jimmy Howard���s #HockeyFightsCancer mask to be worn and auctioned off tomorrow. #WingsFightCancer

Rangers blogger raising money for cancer research

The New York Rangers' 9-2-0 record this month has done more than just help them surge back into Stanley Cup Playoff contention.

Their success has helped raise money for cancer research because of a pledge made by Tom Urtz Jr., a Rangers blogger for Blueshirt Banter on SB Nation.

Urtz Jr., 25, pledged at the beginning of November to donate $10 for every Rangers shutout, $5 for every Rangers power-play goal, $1 for every point scored by the top forward line of Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich, $1 for every point scored by defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, $1 for every one of forward Mats Zuccarello's assists and $0.25 for every one of forward Rick Nash's shots on goal.

His tab is up to $113.25 entering the Rangers' final game of the month, their Hockey Fights Cancer Night game against the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, MSG, FS-F, NHL.TV).

In addition, Urtz Jr. said five of his Twitter followers have pledged to match his donation and more have said he has inspired them to make their own donation. His hope is at the end of it, at least $1,000 will be donated to cancer research because of his initial pledge.

"This is something I wanted to do with my money, but I never expected it to get as big as it has," Urtz Jr. said. "I never expected people to reach out to say they wanted to donate to this or match. It's just something I thought was important and wanted to do because it was a way to do it for people I care about. I'm thrilled that it's had a much larger impact than I thought it would."

Urtz Jr., who lives in Highland Mills, New York, and works full-time as a social media specialist for Shop-Rite Supermarkets, said he and his family have been impacted by cancer on multiple occasions.

His maternal grandparents had cancer. His maternal grandfather passed away at the age of 57 from stomach cancer. His fraternal grandmother had breast cancer, and recently his best friend's aunt, Lisa Maskara, was diagnosed with breast and liver cancer.

Urtz Jr. said Maskara was like a second mother to him growing up in Yonkers, New York, because he and her nephew, Rob, were so close. She will pick one of the charities that gets part of his donation. The donation will be made in her name.

"I thought this was a way to watch the games with some positivity and some meaning and try to raise some money along the way," Urtz Jr. said. "It was a fear that I was putting up this thing and what if they laid another stinker of a month. It was going to be such a letdown. But I'll take a 9-2-0 record so far. I'm glad they've played well and in the process helped raise some money."


Nov. 20
Peel among referees to take part in Movember

Tim Peel, an NHL referee since 1999, is one of 19 on-ice officials taking part in Movember, a campaign in which men grow moustaches to raise cancer awareness. Here he shares with why Hockey Fights Cancer is so important to him: 

My mother Barbara Joyce Peel was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in December of 1989.

My mother had always been a healthy woman and enjoyed going for walks and playing golf. She was a wonderful mother to me and my older sister, Deborah. Her favorite time of the year was Christmas. We lived a very modest life and both of our parents worked so that my sister and I, who both played sports, could have everything we needed. 

Christmases at our house were the best times in my life and I cry now thinking about these times, as Christmas would never be the same again with my mother fighting for her life with this deadly disease.

My mother received chemotherapy for the next year and it was extremely difficult and saddening to see the mother who once was a very hard working and proud woman become helpless to the disease that was stealing the life from her right in front of my eyes.

The last few months of my mother's life was very difficult for my sister and I, as she was hospitalized and in and out of a coma a few times. We had received a few phone calls from the hospital leading up to my mother's death telling us they did not think she would make it through the night. So my sister and I would rush to the hospital and she would live to fight another day.

But on Oct. 17, 1992 our lives would change forever. I was in Fredericton, New Brunswick and my sister called as she just received one of those calls from the doctors telling us they did not think my mother would make it through the night. She was at a hospital in Saint John which was an hour and a half away. I got in my car immediately and drove to Saint John arriving around 9 p.m. 

I went into my mother's room where my sister was sitting with her but at this time, I am not sure she knew we were there, but I like to believe she did.

A few hours later as me and my sister held her hands she took one last breath and passed away at the young age of 50.

Christmases in the future would become fun again for my sister and I as we both would have children and seeing their excitement makes everything good again.

But I would do anything to be able to share one more Christmas with my Mom!

Thank you for sharing my story.


Nov. 19
Blues goalies unveil masks for Hockey Fights Cancer Night

St. Louis Blues goalies Jake Allen and Carter Hutton will wear masks honoring children who have cancer for their Hockey Fights Cancer night against the Los Angeles Kings on Dec. 1.

Allen's mask, painted by Jason Livery of Head Strong Grafx, has names of children who have cancer. It was inspired by Alex Pietrangelo's niece Ellie Kannel, who has Wilms tumor, a form of kidney cancer.

Tweet from @StLouisBlues: Caleb.Ellie.Seth.Ari.Those are just some of the names you'll see on @34jallen & @CarterHutton's masks for #HockeyFightsCancer night.

"They've been around the Blues and we've interacted with some of them a lot," Allen told the Blues website. "It's a small world when you think about it, but it means a lot to wear this mask for one game."

Hutton's mask, painted by Jesse Acciacca, will resemble an "I Fight For" card that has become so common during Hockey Fights Cancer month, surrounded by the nearly 400 names of children who have been affected by cancer.

"It's definitely powerful," Hutton said. "For them to be able to individualize it withe every kid on there, they've been through so many battles in their life, it's going to be a great honor to wear their [names.]"


Nov. 18
Sabres sharpen up for Hockey Fights Cancer Night

The Buffalo Sabres, in partnership with the Courage of Carly Find at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, will conduct their Hockey Fights Cancer Night against the Carolina Hurricanes at KeyBank Center on Saturday.

All fans attending the game will receive a co-branded Sabres and Courage of Carly Fund scarf, and will have the opportunity to purchase autographed Hockey Fights Cancer hats, donated by New Era Cap Company, for $20.

Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: We're ready for you, Buffalo.The @CourageofCarly Fund scarves are placed on every seat for #HockeyFightsCancer �� Night! @RoswellPark

Raffle tickets will be sold by Roswell Park volunteers, including chances to win Sabres experiences and autographed items, and lavender jerseys worn by Sabres players during warmups will be auctioned following the game at

Flashes of Hope, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for children's cancer and honoring the unique life and memories of every child with cancer will give cancer survivors an opportunity to have their photos taken professionally. 

Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: We're all in this fight together. #HockeyFightsCancer ��A message from Karin Housley:

Karin Housley, wife of Sabres coach Phil Housley, wrote about what Hockey Fights Cancer means to her on

Phil Housley's mother, two members of goaltender Chad Johnson's family and defenseman Marco Scandella's father each died of cancer.

"My mother passed away when she was 59, glioblastoma [brain cancer], and she died at young age," Housley said, "so it's really important to recognize this cause, and it's a great cause, and we're still fighting."

Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: Coach Housley says #HockeyFightsCancer �� has special meaning to him. He lost his mom to cancer when she was just 59. He has fond memories of her bringing him to hockey & supporting him over the years.@KarinHousley wrote about the topic here:

Said Scandella: "Cancer affects everyone. I'm no exception; I lost my dad a couple years ago so it's a special night for me. ... Everyone knows somebody who's affected by it; it's a terrible disease and that's why it's great to have this month and try to find a cure and do everything we can. ... It's a terrible thing, and it's a part of life, though, so we've got to acknowledge it."


Sharks Foundation set to auction Jones mask

The Sharks Foundation will auction a mask signed by Sharks goaltender Martin Jones as part of San Jose's Hockey Fights Cancer Night presented by Kaiser Permanente against the Boston Bruins at SAP Center on Saturday. Fans not in attendance will still be able to bid on the mask by texting SHARKS to 52182.

Tweet from @SharksCare: This custom #HockeyFightsCancer goalie mask signed by #SJSharks #31 Martin Jones will be a part of tomorrow's in-game mobile auction! Won't be there? No problem! Txt 'SHARKS' to 52182 to sign-up for the auction now. #SharksBiteCancer

Mystery pucks will be available for $20 at the north and south entrances at SAP Center.

Tweet from @SharksCare: #hockeyfightscancer Mystery Pucks will be for sale tonight for $20 at the North and South Entrances. Get them before they���re gone! #sjsharks

All fans in attendance Saturday will receive a Hockey Fights Cancer rally towel.


Nov. 16
Anderson, Boyle greet each other

Two brave survivors at the center of the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative had the chance to say hello before the morning skate at Canadian Tire Center in advance of the New Jersey Devils' game at the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

Nicholle Anderson, wife of Senators goaltender Craig Anderson, spent a few moments with Devils center Brian Boyle

Tweet from @NJDevils: Two of the toughest people we know. @xonichollexo and @BriBrows22. #HockeyFightsCancer #BoyleStrong ��

Anderson, a Hockey Fights Cancer ambassador, was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a rare form of throat cancer, last October and was declared cancer-free on May 25. She is writing a blog for on Wednesdays throughout November to help spread awareness during Hockey Fights Cancer month.

Boyle, an 11-year NHL veteran, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia two months ago, and after undergoing treatment, returned to the Devils lineup on Nov. 1. His first goal since his return, against the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 9, was an emotional one for him.


Hurricanes offer discount tickets, beanies on Hockey Fights Cancer Night

The Carolina Hurricanes will conduct their Hockey Fights Cancer Night, sponsored by UNC REX Healthcare, against the New York Islanders at PNC Arena at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Tweet from @NHLCanes: [NEWS] #Canes #HockeyFightsCancer Game This Sunday ��� Details:

The Hurricanes will team with Love Your Melon for a special ticket package available for Sunday, including a discounted game ticket and a special, limited edition Hurricanes Love Your Melon beanie. The discounted ticket package will include a donation to pediatric cancer research, and the beanie will support Love Your Melon's mission to give a hat to every pediatric cancer patient in America.

Tweet from @NHLCanes: Support @LoveYourMelon's mission to give a hat to every child battling cancer in America ���

The Hurricanes will wear lavender Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys during warmups, which will then be included in the Kids 'N Community silent auction, with proceeds split among the cancer organizations in attendance. The baskets for Carolina forwards Sebastian Aho and Justin Williams will feature a "jersey off the back" experience, including a meet-and-greet with them after the game.


Nov. 15
Wild honor six courageous children

As part of the Minnesota Wild's Hockey Fights Cancer Night at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday, the Wild saluted six youngsters and the cancer charities each represented, and each was named a Hockey Fights Cancer All-Star.

Tweet from @mnwild: Tonight���s game roster cards featuring #HockeyFightsCancer All Stars.

The six children were invited to a photo shoot earlier this month, when each wore hockey gear and lavender capes. Posters were produced from the photos, and delivered to each of their homes. 

Tweet from @mnwild: We invited 6 children affected by cancer to a photoshoot. These are our #HockeyFightsCancer All Stars. They are why we fight.

The honorees included Drew Giuliani, representing the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; Grant Klein, representing the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; Emma Dodge, representing the Movember campaign; Griffin Dahmen, representing Team Tucker; Noah Miller, representing the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota; and Olivia Adams, representing the Pinky Swear Foundation.

Before the Wild defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0, former Minnesota North Stars forward Jack Carlson, a throat cancer survivor, made the Let's Play Hockey call.

Tweet from @mnwild: Former North Star and cancer survivor, Jack Carlson made the Let's Play Hockey call prior to tonight's #HockeyFightsCancer game.

Golden Knights to hold Hockey Fights Cancer Night on Saturday 

The Vegas Golden Knights will conduct their Hockey Fights Cancer Night when they host the Dallas Stars at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday.

During warmups, the Golden Knights will wear Hockey Fights Cancer lavender jerseys, which will then be auctioned during the game, with all proceeds benefiting the Golden Knights Foundation. A portion also will be donated to the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation, where Golden Knights players will visit patients earlier Saturday.

Tweet from @GoldenKnights: NEWS: We will be hosting our inaugural Hockey Fights Cancer Night on November 28 against @DallasStars.More:


Hats off to Subban 

Before the Nashville Predators' 6-3 victory against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, Predators defenseman P.K. Subban did his part to raise awareness when he wore a Hockey Fights Cancer cowboy hat during warmups. Similar hats will be available when the Predators host the Colorado Avalanche at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

Tweet from @PredsNHL: Howdy, y���all ��Pick up your #HockeyFightsCancer cowboy hat on Saturday outside Section 106 for a $5 donation. #SmashCancer


Nov. 14
Predators set for Hockey Fights Cancer Night

The Nashville Predators will hold their Hockey Fights Cancer Night against the Washington Capitals at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday.

The Predators will auction several items, including jerseys worn by players during warmups; plates painted by patients and autographed by players; a lavender hockey stick used by center Ryan Johansen during warmups; and coach Peter Laviolette's 2017 Hockey Fights Cancer tie, autographed by defenseman Roman Josi and Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin. To bid, text preds to 52182.

Tweet from @PredsNHL: The room is set. �� #HockeyFightsCancer

Proceeds will benefit the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Twice Daily, which works with Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt to raise funds and awareness for cancer research.

Donations can be made here.


Nov. 10
Penguins, Wild to hold jersey auctions

The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation is auctioning lavender jerseys worn by the Penguins during warmups prior to their 3-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday.

The auction runs through Nov. 20, with proceeds benefiting research at UPMC Cancer Center and the Mario Lemieux Foundation.

Tweet from @penguins: Join the fight. ��Autographed #HockeyFightsCancer jerseys are up for auction:

The Minnesota Wild will conduct their Hockey Fights Cancer Night against the Philadelphia Flyers at Xcel Energy Center on Nov. 14.

The Wild will wear lavender jerseys during warmups prior to an auction of their own, which will begin on Nov. 15.

The Wild are hosting a pajama drive to benefit patients at local pediatric hospitals. Fans attending the game on Nov. 15 are asked to bring new, unused pajamas of all sizes to Gates 1-4 at Xcel Energy Center from 5:54 p.m. CT through the end of the first period.

Hockey Fights Cancer blankets will be sold on the main concourse at each Wild home game in November. For each blanket purchased for $40, one blanket will be donated to local cancer centers.

Tweet from @mnwild: #mnwild announces #HockeyFightsCancer details for the Nov. 14 game, including these �� lavender sweaters ���


Nov. 9
Battle has personal meaning to Trocheck of Panthers

For Florida Panthers center Vincent Trocheck, Hockey Fights Cancer Month hits very close to home; his mother, Rita, was diagnosed with colon cancer shortly after last season ended.

Rita Trocheck went through six months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, before surgery to remove the cancer that still remained. There is a happy end to this story; last month, she was declared cancer-free.

Throughout her treatment, she insisted on living life as normally as possible, which left a huge impression on her son.

"Honestly, you wouldn't have even known there was an issue with her," Trocheck told the Panthers website. "Throughout the whole summer she acted like nothing was wrong. … She made it easier for us.

"It definitely puts things in perspective. It showed us a lot. It showed us how tough she could be and kind of what you have to do to be a leader. She's like the leader of the house. It would have been easier for her to back down and want sympathy from everybody, but she still took charge of everything and was still taking care of all of us."

Taking an active role in the fight against cancer is nothing new for Trocheck, who partnered with candy company IT'SUGAR to create "Trochex Mix," with 20 percent of the sales benefiting Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, in his hometown.

"The money goes toward a section of the hospital that gives [the patients] somewhere to go whenever they're at the hospital, where they teach music classes and things like that. It gives them something to look forward to and a place to be happy at the hospital."


Nov. 8
Sharks spread 'joy' to help kids smile

San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones and defenseman Dylan DeMelo made 400 special deliveries to pediatric cancer patients at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara on Tuesday, as part of the NHL's Hockey Fights Cancer Month.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Today Martin Jones and @ddems2 delivered JoyJars to deserving kids at @KPSantaClara. #HockeyFightsCancer

Jones and DeMelo distributed JoyJars - plastic jars filled with small toys and Sharks items - to the wide-eyed children during their visit. The event took place in partnership with the Sharks Foundation, All Nippon Airways and the Jessie Rees Foundation.

Tweet from @SharksCare: Lots of "joy" when these jars were delivered by #SJSharks Martin Jones & @ddems2 at @KPSantaClara today! #HockeyFightsCancer #SharksBiteCancer

The jars were assembled by 40 volunteers at Solar4America Ice San Jose, the Sharks practice facility, each one stuffed with goodies and notes of encouragement to send support to the children and their families.

Jones and DeMelo also took time to take selfies with some of the patients.

Tweet from @KPSantaClara: They're Sharks w/big ������: M Jones & @ddems2 share joy/selfies w/our children. Thanks @SharksCare & @TeamNEGU for the #JoyJars


Nov. 7
Landeskog, Avalanche make big impact in Stockholm

Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog didn't mind not being the center of attention on Monday in Stockholm. As he said, "I think Bernie [the Avalanche mascot] has been a bigger hit than I was."

Landeskog, along with some of his Avalanche teammates, was visiting with a group of children at an event hosted by the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, Bauhaus and the NHL after Colorado's first practice in Stockholm at Ericsson Globe, where the Avalanche and Ottawa Senators will face off on Friday (2 p.m. ET; NHLN, ALT, TSN5, RDS, NHL.TV) and Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, RDS, ALT, NHL.TV).

He wasn't wrong; the kids seemed equally enthralled with Bernie as they were with the players, or with Swedish legend and NHL Hall of Famer Peter Forsberg, who joined the contingent. Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf and goaltender Craig Anderson, whose wife, Nicholle, went through cancer treatments last season, also visited with the youngsters.

There were 11 families at the event, each affected by childhood cancer.

"It means a lot," Landeskog said of participating in the event. "I think the NHL always does a great job of giving us an opportunity to get out in the communities, whether it's talking to kids or other charities or other events. I think they do a great job of giving us that opportunity and that platform.

"I think it's our duty and our responsibility to make sure that as public figures we do what we can do. … Just take five minutes out of our day to talk to them, I think that means a lot to both parties, both to me as well as them, hopefully."

The kids got to talk to the hockey players, to ask them questions and interact with them. One little boy claimed defenseman Patrik Nemeth's hat as his own, an Avalanche cap with its Hockey Fights Cancer logo on the back. They got autographs, and got to take in practice and have lunch.

"I've met some of the girls and boys before," Forsberg said in Swedish. "It's always tough but still positive to meet them. You know that they are going through treatment and that both them and the family is going through a hard time.

"You try to lift the positives, talk hockey and make some jobs. Just trying to get them to smile."

-- Amalie Benjamin


Maatta glad to take part in Hockey Fights Cancer night with Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta faced surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his thyroid gland three years ago.

Since having that tumor removed on Nov. 4, 2014, Maatta, 23, has won the Stanley Cup twice in three seasons. The Penguins will air public service announcements including Maatta and forward Phil Kessel, who was hospitalized for testicular cancer on Dec. 11, 2006, during their game against the Arizona Coyotes at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday.

"I've said it many times," Maatta said. "I can't really compare what other people are going through. For me, it was easy. We caught it early, so that was good. But I can kind of relate to how scary it is to hear about it. It's not easy. Your whole family, close friends, they're definitely affected by it too."

Because of his personal experience, Maatta feels fortunate to participate in Pittsburgh's Hockey Fights Cancer night, when all Penguins players will wear purple warmup jerseys.

"I think it's a big part of just raising awareness and knowing about what's going on," Maatta said. "It obviously means a lot."

Sidney Crosby's and Evgeni Malkin's charity suites will host cancer patients from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Cancer patients and survivors will ride on Zambonis between periods, and each fan will receive a Hockey Fights Cancer knit hat.

Along with awareness, Maatta hopes the Penguins can provide some joy.

"Just seeing the kids happy is probably the best part," Maatta said. "It's pretty crazy how mentally strong these kids are."


Nov. 5
Islanders honoring Hockey Fights Cancer

The New York Islanders are holding their annual Hockey Fights Cancer night when they play the Colorado Avalanche at Barclays Center on Sunday.

The players will wear a special lavender jersey during warmups that fans had a chance to bid on in an auction prior to the game. The auction for the jerseys ran from Oct. 9-24, with all proceeds benefitting the cancer campaign.

Tweet from @NYIslanders: We all stand up for someone. �� #IslesFightCancer

In addition to the specialty jerseys, the Islanders will wear Hockey Fights Cancer pins and ties. The coaching staff and MSG Network on-air talent will wear the same ties and pins during the game. Players will also tape their sticks with lavender tape in honor of the night.

The game Sunday will include a ceremonial puck drop with young children currently in the middle of their cancer battles.

The Islanders held two Childhood Cancer Awareness Nights on Oct. 7 and 9, Breast Cancer Awareness on Oct. 21 and Blood Cancer awareness night on Oct. 24.

Fans in attendance Sunday will have the opportunity to tell everyone who they "Stand Up For" during an in-game place card recognition presentation.

The Islanders will also host children with cancer at each game throughout the entire Hockey Fights Cancer campaign.


Nov. 4
Anderson takes part in puck drop

Nicholle Anderson, the wife of Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson and a Hockey Fights Cancer Ambassador, participated in a ceremonial puck drop with Ryan, 10, prior to the Senators' 5-4 loss against the Vegas Golden Knights at Canadian Tire Center on Saturday.

Video: VGK@OTT: Hockey Fights Cancer ceremony in Ottawa

Anderson was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a rare form of throat cancer, last October, and was declared cancer-free on May 25. She is writing a blog for each Wednesday in November as part of Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Month.

Ryan, who was treated at Ottawa Hospital, is also cancer-free.

The two stood at center ice and staged a face-off between Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson and Golden Knights forward David Perron.

Before the game, Ryan visited with Ottawa coach Guy Boucher and addressed the Senators in a pregame speech.

Tweet from @sensfoundation: What an incredible moment for this little guy. Way to go Ryan! #HockeyFightsCancer #pregamespeech

Tweet from @xonichollexo: Can���t thank you all enough for the outpouring support. #liveforthenow #HockeyFightsCancer

Boyle takes spotlight in Edmonton

New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle helped the Edmonton Oilers and the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation start the annual Hockey Fights Cancer game at Rogers Place on Friday.

Boyle, diagnosed six weeks ago with chronic myeloid leukemia, was playing his second game of the NHL season. He was cleared to return to practice on Oct. 22.

Boyle and Oilers captain Connor McDavid took the ceremonial opening faceoff, performed by Edmonton-area cancer patients Reid Huscroft, 5, and Chantal Kerr, 10, prior to the Oilers' 6-3 win.

The Hockey Fights Cancer theme included the customary lavender color throughout Rogers Place, including the rink boards, and was the backdrop for multiple fundraising efforts by the Oilers Community Foundation and Oilers Ladies.

That included the sale of limited-edition orange Oilers mittens.

Tweet from @EdmontonOilers: #HockeyFightsCancer mitten sales start at 5pm inside @RogersPlace's Ford Hall, $20 with proceeds benefitting @kwcsyeg & @Oil_Foundation!

The Oilers used lavender tape on their sticks for the warm up and wore special Hockey Fights Cancer helmet decals during the game.

Oilers staff and game broadcasters also wore official lavender Hockey Fights Cancer ties and pocket squares for the game.

In Edmonton, all net proceeds from fundraising activity will benefit the Kids With Cancer Society's BrainWorks program and the Oilers Community Foundation. The Society helps children diagnosed with cancer and their families throughout Northern Alberta handle various issues through support of clinical programs and research.

The Kids with Cancer Society is also holding a Hockey Fights Cancer online charity auction, Nov. 3-16.


Nov. 3
Panthers defensemen spread smiles at hospital

Florida Panthers defensemen Mark Pysyk and Alex Petrovic visited patients at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in Miami on Thursday, in advance of the Panthers' Hockey Fights Cancer night against the New York Rangers at BB&T Center on Saturday.

Pysyk and Petrovic, along with the Panthers' mascot, Stanley, spent time in the chemotherapy ward and children's ward.

Panthers players will wear purple Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys during warmups Saturday, and coaches and broadcasters will wear lavender official Hockey Fights Cancer ties.

Video: Sylvester Comprehensive Research Center


Nov. 2
Savard of Blue Jackets puts bounty on his beard

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard has one of the best beards in the League, but he is willing to sacrifice it to raise funds for Movember, a public-awareness movement to help change the face of men's health.

The Blue Jackets published a video on their official Twitter account Thursday that has Savard challenging fans to join the Movember movement.

Tweet from @BlueJacketsNHL: It's #Movember!There's a bounty on @DSavy58's beard and he has a message for you.��� | #HockeyFightsCancer

"There's a bounty on my beard," Savard said. "If the fans help me raise $2,000 by Nov. 15, I'll shave my beard."

Donations can be made here.

Savard wasn't the only player looking for help with Movember. Check out what Minnesota Wild forward Daniel Winnik asked fans to do.


Cally stands up for Boyle

Ryan Callahan of the Tampa Bay Lightning is standing up to cancer for a former teammate. In a video on the Lightning's official Twitter account, Callahan sends a message to New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle, who played his first game of the season Wednesday after being diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia on Sept 19.

Tweet from @TBLightning: .@therealcally24 with a special message for @bribrows22. ��Who do you fight for? #BoltsFightCancer

Boyle and Callahan played together on the Lightning for three seasons and the New York Rangers for four.

The Lighting also showed off the jerseys they will be wearing in warmups on Thursday.

Tweet from @TBLightning: Fresh threads for tonight. ��#NYRvsTBL | #BoltsFightCancer


Panthers pinning their hopes

The Florida Panthers will sell Panthers Hockey Fights Cancer pins at Pantherland, the team store at BB&T Center, for a $10 donation, beginning with their game against the Blue Jackets on Thursday. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Florida Panthers Foundation. The pin has the Panthers emblem on it, surrounded by a purple ribbon.

Tweet from @FlaPanthers: Cats fans! These one-of-a-kind #FlaPanthers Hockey Fights Cancer pins will be available in Pantherland for $10 starting tonight! ��


Nov. 1
Backstrom, Capitals surprise 11-year-old

Dariush Namin arrived at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday knowing he was going to meet the Washington Capitals and watch their practice. The 11-year-old from Bethesda, Maryland, who was diagnosed with leukemia last year, had his wish granted by the Capitals and Make-A-Wish's Mid-Atlantic chapter.

Tweet from @Capitals: Dariush meets @backstrom19 and gets his jersey signed! @WishMidAtlantic #CapsFightCancer #ALLCAPS

The surprise came when coach Barry Trotz introduced him to the team prior to practice and announced Namin will drop the puck for a ceremonial opening face-off between his favorite Capitals player, Nicklas Backstrom, and New York Islanders captain John Tavares before their Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night game at Capital One Center on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, MSG+, NHL.TV).

"Dropping the puck was very surprising when coach Trotz told me," Namin said.

Namin said it was "pretty awesome" to meet Backstrom and watch practice from the bench alongside his twin brother, Dara. He expects it to be nerve-wracking to be at center ice for the ceremonial faceoff, but Backstrom assured him. "I'll be right out there. That will be cool, right?" -- Tom Gulitti

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