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Cuts For The Cause

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
Last year, Jack Skille (left) and Shawn Matthias (right) shaved their heads to help out St. Baldrick's Foundation.

In November, defensemen Mike Weaver and Erik Gudbranson, along with other teammates, raised money to fight cancer by donning mustaches. The duo will be at it again in raising money to fight cancer, but this time it will be from "losing" their hair.

Both Weaver and Gudbranson have joined the fight against pediatric cancer as they will shave their heads on February 13 to benefit the St. Baldrick's Foundation. The head-shaving event will take place at Duffy's Sports Grill in Plantation at 6 p.m. and take place prior to the final installment of Panthers LIVE! (7 p.m.)

It will be the second year in a row that Panthers players have joined the cause in shaving their heads to raise funds for St. Baldrick's. Last year, forwards Shawn Matthias and Jack Skille shaved their domes for the charity. (VIDEO). That was a plus for Weaver in determining that he wanted to join the cause (Join The Cause Yourself).

"I know that (Jack Skille and Shawn Matthias) did it last year. Hearing about that, it's obviously a pretty good cause," said Weaver who will be promoting the cause on his Defense First facebook page in hopes of raising funds. "I found out at the beginning of the year when we had the signups (for events) and I thought it was a really good cause. I think it's great.

"It's something that's a very good cause and I'm happy to do it. It's the least I can do for sure."

For Gudbranson, the cause hits home, having seen the his younger brother battle cancer.

"It's a no brainer for me, especially with my little brother and what he went through," said Gudbranson. "We're going to be able to raise a lot of money. It was a no brainer for me to volunteer to do it."


Each year, 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer worldwide. Cancer is the number one disease killer of children in the U.S. and Canada. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

Help support the cause. Join the Panthers team and raise money to fight cancer and help out the St. Baldrick's Foundation.


Those that help could win a prize.
  • Top Panthers team fundraiser: Two tickets, a We See Red t-shirt and a team signed stick.
  • Second-Place Panthers team fundraiser: Two tickets, a We See Red t-shirt and a signed puck.
  • Third-Place Panthers team fundraiser: Two tickets and a We See Red t-shirt
Help support the cause. Join the Panthers team and raise money to fight cancer and help out the St. Baldrick's Foundation.
Gudbranson's brother, Dennis, beat Acute Myeloid Leukemia after receiving a bone-marrow transplant. It was a tough thing to go through for the Gudbransons.

"It's no fun; you don't sleep at night. It sucks when you come home and your little brother's room is empty and you know that he's at the hospital tied into a bunch of chemicals and what not," said Gudbranson. "Cancer is tough especially for kids. You see little kids losing their hair and putting body weight on, losing weight and not being able to eat and what not. It's painful to watch and I couldn't imagine what it is to go through so it's a no brainer for me and to help out as much as I can."

While put through a dire time, beating cancer can be uplifting and do wonders for families. That's why Gudbranson and Weaver will get their heads shaved on the 13th.

"I look up to my little brother. It's pretty unreal. He's an amazing kid and as much as I say it's a crappy situation to be in - it really is - but at the end of the day, if they're able to beat it, it's one of the best feelings in the world to know your brother is safe and it brought our family so close," said Gudbranson. "I really hope for all the families that have to go through it, that they're able to feel the same way that my family does."

"He was telling me that his little brother actually had cancer," said Weaver. "We're so fortunate to be in our position of playing in the NHL. It's always good to give back to different causes."

Going under the clippers - so to speak - will be a change for the two defensemen. The two have shaved their heads before, but not for reasons like this.

"I had my head shaved when I was real young and I was actually looking to see if I had any pictures but I can't find any," said Weaver. "I don't know, I'm partially balding right now anyways so it will be interesting to see. My wife isn't looking forward to it but it's something that, I actually think my wife and son and daughter are going to make it out there too so have a little family affair."

"I shaved it after I had a mohawk in the playoffs," said Gudbranson. "I looked like a goof but it will work. I don't know. I'll pull it off. I'll wear a hat (laughing)."

Losing their locks might look different, but they know it's worth it to support the cause.

"On the ice, we have our hockey to focus on and everything and off the ice, it's something that little things count," said Weaver. "That's what the Panthers are all about. It's all about family and it's all about giving back to the community."

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