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Pens Players Support "Hockey Fights Cancer"

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

The National Hockey League dedicates every October to its “Hockey Fights Cancer” initiative. Thursday night the Penguins did their share to help the cause.

The Penguins players wore special purple jerseys at the morning skate and pregame warmup. After warmups, the team autographed the jerseys, which will be auctioned off on starting Nov. 1.

“Every player in this room and every person is touched somehow by cancer,” center Jordan Staal said. “It’s a big thing. It’s never ending. It’s nice to be involved and help raise money.”

“It’s incredibly important,” defenseman Ben Lovejoy said. “The league has done a great job. A lot of people are wearing purple. We all have the ties and are raising a lot of money to fight cancer. It’s an admirable cause. I lost an aunt to cancer. It effects everyone. Everyone has someone that has battled it or was lost to cancer. It’s a scary disease. Hopefully, the NHL can do its part.”

The Penguins also did several other “Hockey Fights Cancer” related pieces, including purple lights on the spine of CONSOL Energy Center, giving fans a purple cancer awareness magnet, hosting young fans and cancer patients/survivors and the Penguins coaches, broadcasters and staff will wear purple “Hockey Fights Cancer” ties.

The fight against cancer has spread beyond the NHL. Many other sports are incorporating pink and purple into their uniforms and there is a unique effort by professional athletes and organizations in all sports to pitch in for the cause and show their support with pink and purple on bright display.

“It’s really cool. You see the NFL incorporate it into their uniforms,” Lovejoy said. “Some of the goalies have been wearing pink pads. It’s incredibly important. People have really embraced it.”

There were even some pink and purple on the ice even after warmups when the game started.

“Usually guys have some pink on their sticks,” Lovejoy said. “It’s woven into the uniform.”

Staal added, “There will be a little bit of pink running around the room.”
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