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Join the fight against cancer

Fans can support NHL campaign at Thursday game vs. Bolts

Wednesday, 10.14.2009 / 2:09 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
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Join the fight against cancer
Erin Phillips, wife of Senators defenceman Chris Phillips, and Evan Simms, a cancer patient at CHEO, share a smile while looking some photos during the team's practice Wednesday morning. Evan will be a special guest at Thursday's Senators-Tampa Bay Lighting game, which is also Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night at Scotiabank Place.
The joy in young Evan Simms' face was clearly evident as he snapped photos of some of his hockey heroes.

"Awesome," the 10-year-old cancer patient at CHEO said about taking in a Senators practice at Scotiabank Place on Wednesday morning. "It's nice."

Evan and six-year-old Jacob Randell of Aylmer, a cancer survivor, and their families were treated to a special morning at the rink by Erin Phillips and Teresa Donovan, the wives of two Sens players. Besides watching practice, they also got a peek inside the team's dressing room before they departed.

Thursday night, Evan and Jacob will attend the Senators' game against the Tampa Bay Lightning along with 17-year-old Ashley Backstrom, also a cancer survivor, and her family.

The occasion is the annual Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night, which is held each season to promote and raise funds for the National Hockey League-wide campaign. Senators wives and girlfriends will be selling autographed Hockey Fights Cancer hats ($35) and ties ($75), along with Reflections on a Hockey Season photo books ($50) at the Gate 1 and 2 entrances of Scotiabank Place, with all proceeds from the sale going to support Hockey Fights Cancer.

"Any chance you have that you can make a difference and raise awareness (is good)," said Phillips. "Recently, there have been ads saying that every three minutes, a Canadian has been diagnosed with cancer. You never know who that's going to be. Everybody seems to be affected one way, whether it's yourself or someone dear to you."

Added Donovan: "It's a small thing we're doing to help out. I think everybody in their lives has been affected somehow by someone with cancer. It's a very important cause for all of us to be behind."

"It's a small thing we're doing to help out. I think everybody in their lives has been affected somehow by someone with cancer. It's a very important cause for all of us to be behind." - Teresa Donovan
Seeing the youngsters in front of them – one whose cancer is in remission, the other in the middle of the fight – merely adds emphasis to that thought. But Wednesday morning was a time for smiles and hockey.

"This is amazing. I love it," said Jason Randell, whose son spent several months last winter undergoing treatment at CHEO for a brain tumour.

Jacob, who received visits from Senators players Brian Lee, Brendan Bell, Jarkko Ruutu and Mike Fisher during his hospital stay, doesn't have a favourite Senators player, his dad said.

"He likes a bunch of them," said Jason. "He liked it when Mike Fisher came (with his girlfriend, Carrie Underwood, in March). He enjoyed that visit."

Evan, meanwhile, has a soft spot for Chris Neil and Cody Bass, who paid him a visit at Roger's House in February, the latter doing so while on crutches. He proudly showed off the autographs he got from them on his Sens jersey and hat.

"(Neil) asked me how it was going and told me how brave I was," said Evan. "All of that."

To learn more about the NHL's Hockey Fights Cancer campaign, click here.




1 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - TBL 77 47 23 7 249 201 101
3 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
4 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
5 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
6 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
7 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
8 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50


E. Karlsson 75 20 41 7 61
K. Turris 75 22 33 -2 55
M. Stone 73 19 34 13 53
B. Ryan 71 18 35 8 53
M. Hoffman 72 26 21 18 47
M. Zibanejad 73 19 24 0 43
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
C. MacArthur 55 13 14 -11 27
D. Legwand 73 9 18 2 27
A. Chiasson 69 11 15 -4 26
A. Hammond 14 1 1 .938 1.92
C. Anderson 14 13 8 .923 2.49