Friday afternoon, two dozen cancer survivors filed into the Capitals locker room, taking a seat at their corresponding player’s stall. The following evening, the Caps were hosting Hockey Fights Cancer Night at Verizon Center. Each Capitals player would wear a lavender jersey with the last name of the Wish Kid they were playing for stitched on the back. The players and cancer survivors were to first meet face-to-face that Friday after the Caps finished practice.
Seven-year-old Connor Durgin, not one for following directions or the cards he’s been dealt in life, stood in the middle of the locker room with excitement.
When his player, future Hall of Famer Alex Ovechkin, walked in, Connor held up his sign and let out a large coo. He almost fell over.
The two hugged. Connor, grinning from ear-to-ear, only stood up to Ovechkin’s waist.
On Saturday, the Washington Capitals hosted Hockey Fights Cancer Night at Verizon Center. There were so many great moments that evening that it’s hard to cover them all. But here’s another one.
Nicklas Backstrom’s Wish Kid for the evening was five-year-old cancer survivor Maeve, who is currently in remission. Before the game, Maeve and her newfound friend Addy, stood by the glass during warmups. It was at that moment Maeve first met hunky forward Tom Wilson.
Her reaction is priceless.
During the second intermission of Hockey Fights Cancer Night, Caps TV announcers Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin said who they fought for.
“My mom and my dad and Courtney Druce,” Laughlin said. “And I’m fighting for everybody out there. It’s something that we’ve got to be aware of. It’s great awareness tonight and we should fight for everyone who gets this disease.”
Joe B took a moment to share some warm wishes for Dallas Stars play-by-play man Dave Strader. In June, Strader — one of the most talented broadcasters in the league — was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer in his bile duct. He was forced to take a leave of absence from the team.
Coming back from commercial while the Caps were down 1-0 to the Florida Panthers, CSN’s Jill Sorenson conducted a short interview with a short, tough, special little girl named Addy Flint. Addy was enthusiastic about her favorite player, one Trance Jazz Oshie. The interview concluded and we returned to play.
Then TJ Oshie scored.
After Friday’s practice, Caps players — including Alex Ovechkin — met the Wish Kids they are playing for on Hockey Fights Cancer Night. Judging from the photos and video on social media, Nate Schmidt definitely had the most fun.
The Human Emoji first met with seven-year-old Amanda, who is battling leukemia, at his locker stall. The two chatted and then Schmidt worked the room. It was at that point, CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Jill Sorenson, noted that the magnetic Caps defenseman had become a “human jungle gym.”
Watch as several kids lay on top of him playing. It’s the best.
Friday afternoon after practice, each Washington Capitals player met with the Make A Wish cancer survivor they are playing for November 5 on Hockey Fights Cancer Night. Each Capital will wear a special lavender warmup jersey which bears the name of their tiny hero. The jerseys will be auctioned off during the game Saturday.
For Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, he will be playing for Connor, an adorable 7-year-old hockey player.
Photo: Patrick McDermott
Wednesday, the Washington Capitals hosted Hockey Fights Cancer night at Verizon Center. They had 11-year-old blood cancer survivor Ryan Darby participate in the ceremonial faceoff (which was adorable). They also wore purple-colored warm-up jerseys with lavender highlights, colors that represent all forms of cancer.
During the game, the Caps auctioned the signed jerseys off (which were signed with a purple sharpie) and Chris Gordon reports they raised over $55,000 for charity.
Chris took photos of the sweaters with his iPhone 6. Check them out. We even have an Aaron Volpatti jersey sighting!
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