October is Hockey Fights Cancer Month in the NHL. Every team around the league has taken one game during the month to focus on fighting cancer. The Ducks will have their night on Friday evening against the Dallas Stars.
The Ducks have partnered with the Orange County/Inland Empire chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) to help raise awareness for LLS. Both Saku Koivu and Jason Blake are leukemia and lymphoma survivors, so this really hits home for Anaheim.
Lots of activities and opportunities for giving are planned by the organization.
The first 3,000 fans in attendance will receive lavender HFC awareness ribbons to show their support of the cause.
Coaches, management, broadcasters and staff will wear lavender HFC ties and ribbons. Lavender is the designated color for the HFC initiative.
Ducks player’s hockey sticks will be wrapped in lavender tape during the pre-game warmup and in-game. These player used sticks will be available for purchase through the team’s online auction following the game.
Ducks players will wear lavender decals on their helmets.
Throughout the game (and the entire month of October), fans can text “HFC” to 90999 for a one-time $5 donation to LLS.
The silent auction, held every game, will have all proceeds donated to LLS.
Blake’s wife, Sara, will sell “Wrap and Remember” bracelets for $45 (plus tax) at Section 212. A portion of each purchase will be donated to LLS. The bracelet will come with a photo autographed by both Blake and Koivu.
LLS representatives will be part in the in-game activities, such as the Zamboni rider, Honorary Duck, Honorary Power Player, Honorary Stick Boy and Honorary Broadcaster.
The team will recognize Daniel Wu , this year’s winner of the Community Hero Award. Wu began his involvement with LLS last year after his wife, Anita, lost her battle with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. He has raised more than $78,000 for the LLS “Man & Woman of the Year” campaign and was named “Man of the Year” for the Orange County/Inland Empire chapter.
Hockey Fights Cancer is a joint charitable initiative founded in December 1998 by the NHL and the National Hockey League Players’ Association. To date, the program has raised more than $12 million.
Mind you, there is also a game to be played, and it should be a good one. The Ducks and Stars have a nice division rivalry and both teams have started off the season well.
The Ducks are 4-1-0, having only lost the first game of the season. It is their second best ever start and they want to keep the momentum going in the right direction.
The Stars are also on a four game winning streak and are 5-1-0 to start the season. Like the Ducks, they are finding ways to win games.
“It will be a true test for us,” coach Randy Carlyle said. “Their hockey club is playing very well. The important thing for us is to play our style of hockey. Any time we play Dallas we know the games are intense. That physical aspect will be there. There have been some real tough games played in both rinks. It’s a divisional game. These are four-point hockey games and big games within your conference. These are difference makers at the end of the year.”