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Senators' Hammond honors young fan with mask

NHL.com @NHL

Ottawa Senators goalie Andrew Hammond will honor a young fan with a butterfly on his mask this season.

The red butterfly with the initials "JP" represents Jonathan Pitre, a 15-year-old who has the skin disease Epidermolysis bullosa (EB).

"I think Senators fans attached themselves to Jonathan and his story because he teaches us all a lesson, a reminder that we are only given this one chance at life and we have to enjoy the moments we have," Hammond told the Ottawa Citizen on Tuesday.

The Ottawa Sun said, "The butterfly symbolizes children suffering from EB, who are called 'butterfly children' because their skin is said to be as fragile as a butterfly's wing."

EB causes skin to blister, shear and scar. Pitre's case is severe, making it difficult for him to walk, eat and breathe.

"I had no idea any of it was going to go down ... I'm very honored," Pitre told the Ottawa Sun. "Just knowing that many players will be seeing that mask ... and many people will be interested in EB. The whole thing is just very amazing."

Hammond told the Citizen he first read about Pitre while playing for Binghamton in the American Hockey League. Pitre accompanied Hammond to the NHL Awards in Las Vegas in June, when Hammond was a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

Jason Bartziokas painted the mask for Hammond, which portrays his "Hamburglar" nickname.

Last season, the Senators gave Pitre a one-day ceremonial contract to join their scouting staff.

"Everytime we see [Hammond] play, we'll be looking for the butterfly," Tina Boileau, Pitre's mother, told the Sun. "It's very moving."

Jonathan Pitre. An inspiration to us all. @ahammy88 2.0 #preview

A photo posted by Jason Bartziokas (@jaybartziokas) on

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