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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 - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80