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NHL Fights Cancer Brings Joy to Tampa Hope Lodge

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Patients gathered outside to take photos with the league’s iconic trophy, the Stanley Cup, as well as the Bolts’ mascot Thunderbug and 2004 Stanley Cup Champion and Vice President of Corporate and Community Affairs Dave Andreychuk. Photo: Todd Grasley/Florida National News.

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) -The Tampa Bay Lightning and the NHL Fights Cancer initiative joined forces to bring joy to the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge Thursday.

Patients gathered outside to take photos with the league’s iconic trophy, the Stanley Cup, as well as the Bolts’ mascot Thunderbug, 2004 Stanley Cup Champion and Vice President of Corporate and Community Affairs Dave Andreychuk, and the man of the season himself, Santa.

Tampa Bay Lightning mascot Thunderbug (left) and Santa Claus pose with the Stanley Cup trophy. Photo: Todd Grasley/Florida National News.

Tampa Bay Lightning mascot Thunderbug (left) and Santa Claus pose with the Stanley Cup trophy. Photo: Todd Grasley/Florida National News.

 

It’s just one of the many stops nationwide and in Canada for the Stanley Cup as the NHL and NHLPA team up to share the mission that nobody has to fight this terrible disease alone. To date, Hockey Fights Cancer has raised over $30 million.

“Everyone’s been touched by cancer and our players, teams, and clubs are no different,” said Matt Langen, Manager of Community Relations for the NHLPA. “The players get a great opportunity to celebrate this great trophy that has so much history. It takes a lot of time and a lot of hard work to win this thing and when you go through treatments it’s the same way.”

It was an extra special day for those at the Tampa Hope Lodge which reopened its doors in September. The NHL Fights Cancer event marked the first of its kind for the guests, caretakers, and staff since before COVID, making a deep impact on all of those going through a cancer diagnosis and others in attendance.

“Having the Stanley Cup arrive, having Dave Andreychuk and Thunderbug, this was very uplifting, not just for our guests, and our caregivers, but also for our staff,” said Barbara Twible, Senior Manager of the Tampa Hope Lodge. “It’s life-giving, it’s hope-filled, and that’s what the Hope Lodge is all about.”

For Hope Lodge patient Reginald Andrews, the day was extra special and comes at the perfect time. Andrews was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2018 and calls the Hope Lodge a lifeline. “The doctors have come up with a diagnosis, but the Lord has come up with a prognosis,” he explained. “This is a great day for me because I finished my treatment today so for them to come on this day it’s great.”

Overall, he described the event as really special. “Just for them to take their time out and allow the patients to be able to see that they care means a lot. People are going through a lot here. A lot of times they aren’t smiling but they are smiling inside. Just for someone to show their appreciation means a lot.”

The event and hearing stories like Andrews hits home for Langen. After leaving Tampa, he and his team will continue to bring the Stanley Cup to Hope Lodge’s around the country and in Canada. “I’m a cancer survivor myself, he noted. “Back in Toronto in 1992, I had the World Series trophy come and visit my hospital. I was going through treatments. So this is kind of paying it forward to be able to bring the Stanley Cup to Tampa, which won it back-to-back years. It’s pretty special and I know you get a little uplift in your day. It’s well worth it.”


About Hockey Fights Cancer:

Hockey Fights Cancer™ is a joint initiative between the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association that unites the hockey community in support of cancer patients and their families. Since its inception in 1998, Hockey Fights Cancer efforts have resulted in donations of more than $30 million, to support cancer patients and their families every day with accommodations, meals, transportation, activities, and emotional support. To date, donations have provided more than 506,000 nights in lodges, transportation equaling more than 370,000 rides, and funding to support a 24/7 helpline for patients and caregivers.

 

About the American Cancer Society:

The American Cancer Society is on a mission to free the world from cancer. We invest in life-saving research, provide 24/7 information and support, and work to ensure that individuals in every community have access to cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. For more information, visit cancer.org.

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Todd Grasley is a contributing sports reporter for Florida National News. | sports@floridanationalnews.com

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Lightning Sign D Mikhail Sergachev, F Anthony Cirelli and D Erik Cernak to Eight-Year Contract Extensions

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Photo: NHL.

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, forward Anthony Cirelli and defenseman Erik Cernak each to an eight-year contract extension, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today.

Sergachev, 24, has skated in 362 career regular season games, 358 of them with the Lightning, notching 36 goals and 174 points. He ranks fifth all-time in Tampa Bay franchise history among defensemen for goals and scoring and fourth for assists (138). The former ninth overall pick (of Montreal) in the 2016 NHL Draft has also played in 92 postseason games and posted eight goals and 30 points. He ranks second in Lightning history among defensemen for playoff games, goals, assists (22) and scoring. Sergachev’s eight-year contract is worth an AAV of $8.5 million.

Cirelli, 24, has skated in 294 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, recording 66 goals and 159 points. During the 2021-22 season, Cirelli posted 17-26—43 points in 76 games played, one point shy of his career high 16-28—44 pts. from the 2019-20 season. He led Tampa Bay forwards for blocked shots (67), ranked sixth in the NHL for penalties drawn (42) and finished fifth in Selke Trophy voting in 2021-22. In postseason play, Cirelli has notched 14 goals and 34 points in 92 games, ranking 11th all-time in Lightning playoff history for scoring. Cirelli’s eight-year contract is worth an AAV of $6.25 million.

Cernak, 25, has skated in 226 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, posting 16 goals, 59 points and a plus-51 rating. During the 2021-22 regular season, the Kosice, Slovakia native notched a goal and 13 points and led the Lightning for hits (165) in 55 games. Cernak has played in 73 career postseason games, recording two goals and 19 points. He netted the Stanley Cup-opening goal in Game 1 of the 2021 Cup Final versus Montreal, becoming the first Tampa Bay player to net his first career playoff goal in a Stanley Cup Final. A second round selection of the Los Angeles Kings (43rd overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft, Cernak was traded to the Lightning on February 26, 2017. Cernak’s eight-year contract is worth an AAV of $5.2 million.

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NHL: Lightning Re-Sign Forward Simon Ryfors to a One-Year, Two-Way Contract

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Simon Ryfors had two goals and an assist in the Lightning’s 5-2 win over Nashville in the opening game of the NHL Prospect Showcase Saturday afternoon at Amalie Arena. Photo: Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times.

TAMPA BAY –The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Simon Ryfors to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced.

Ryfors, 24, played in 72 games during the regular season for the Syracuse Crunch, Tampa Bay’s American Hockey League affiliate, posting 11 goals and 35 points, ranking tied for seventh on the Crunch for scoring. He also skated in five Calder Cup Playoff games with the Crunch and notched a goal, assist and a plus-four rating.

The Stockholm, Sweden native originally signed with the Lightning organization on May 12, 2021. Prior to that, he skated seven seasons with Rogle BK of the SHL, tallying 41 goals and 93 points to go along with 165 penalty minutes in 250 games. He set career bests in the SHL in 2020-21 for goals (25), assists (20) and points (45).

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Lightning Acquire F Brandon Hagel, Two 4th Round Picks from Chicago

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Forward Brandon Hagel. Photo: NHL.

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: Tampa Bay Lightning // The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired forward Brandon Hagel, Chicago’s fourth-round selection in 2022 and fourth-round pick in 2024 from the Blackhawks in exchange for forwards Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk, Tampa’s first-round selection in 2023 and first-round selection in 2024, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today. Both first-round picks the Lightning are sending to Chicago are top 10 protected.

Hagel, 23, has played in 55 games so far this season for Chicago, recording 21 goals and 37 points. Hagel ranks second on the Blackhawks for goals and game-winning goals (3) and fourth for scoring and power-play goals (4). In 108 games with Chicago over three seasons, Hagel has posted 30 goals and 61 points. He made his NHL debut March 11, 2020 versus San Jose, the only game he played during the 2019-20 season. Hagel is under contract through the 2023-2024 season with a salary cap number of $1,500,000.

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