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Red, white and lavender

Touched by the loss of his mother, Wings' Kindl hosts those affected by cancer

Saturday, 10.26.2013 / 7:22 PM ET / News
By Andrea Nelson  - Editorial Assistant | DetroitRedWings.com
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Red, white and lavender
Peggy Togal, who was a guest of Jakub Kindl's, rode on Al Sobotka's Zamboni during the second intermission of the Red Wings' game Saturday night. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT – “This is very special,” Peggy Togal said as she fought back tears Saturday night. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience, it’s so emotional.”

Togal attended Hockey Fights Cancer Night at the Joe Louis Arena as the Red Wings hosted the New York Rangers. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2005, and was a guest of Jakub Kindl at the annual cancer night. Kindl gives two tickets to every home Red Wings game to people who have been affected by cancer. The defenseman lost his mother to cancer when he was 14, so it’s an effort that is close to his heart.

“My mom had cancer, she passed away, so that’s why I figured this would be a great opportunity for me to do something like this,” Kindl said. “I have my own program here for the whole year. I got into it more and more and it obviously means a lot. Not just me but all of the other guys are involved as well. It’s a great opportunity to show the fans that it’s not just about hockey.”

The Red Wings hosted Hockey Fights Cancer Night presented by Van Andel Institute’s Purple Community Saturday as part of a month long league wide effort. The event is part of the annual Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Month in October, an initiative founded by the NHL and NHLPA in December 1998 to raise money and awareness for hockey’s most important fight.

As part of the Hockeytown’s Hockey Fights Cancer Night, the Red Wings and Van Andel Institute hosted a “Survivor Suite” with five cancer survivors and their families, Captain Henrik Zetterberg welcomed pediatric cancer patients at Children’s Hospital of Michigan along with their families in the Zetterberg Foundation Suite, and fans were asked to write a name of someone they know who has been impacted by cancer on a sign to hold up during a TV timeout.

Both Togal and her husband wrote “Peggy” on their signs in her honor.

“It’s wonderful,” Togal said of the lavender placed on every seat in The Joe. “I’m very surprised I didn’t that this was happening tonight, it’s great.”

Saturday night was dedicated to those who have been affected by cancer, but the team’s cancer efforts started long before Hockey Fights Cancer Night, and will continue long after. Kindl will host cancer guests throughout the entire season, and even welcomed a young guest at Friday’s practice as an honorary broadcaster.

It was an interview Kindl will never forget.

“It’s great to see the smile on those kids’ faces when they come over here, like the little guy who came here yesterday,” Kindl said. “He was shy but in the end he looked really happy and fired up when he held the mic in his hand and he was asking me questions. It was definitely cool.”

On any given home game, the Joe Louis Arena is draped in red and white. On Saturday, lavender spread across the arena, recognizing those who have lost their battle, those who are still fighting, and those who have survived. It was a special night for the fans and the Red Wings, and Kindl hoped the celebration would help take the cancer guests minds off of their illnesses, if only for one night.

“We’re trying to get them to come over here and completely forget about what they’re going through,” Kindl said. “Make sure they’re enjoying themselves, something different for them. You see them coming over here and then you realize wow these people are going through cancer but they’re so happy just to be around us so that makes it really special, too.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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