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PERFECTLY PINK

Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro sports pink pads, glove and blocker to raise awareness during Hockey Fights Cancer.

Friday, 10.29.2010 / 3:39 PM / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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PERFECTLY PINK
Throughout the month of October teams across the National Hockey League have been promoting cancer awareness in many different fashions. Players across the League have taped their hockey sticks with black tape decorated in both pink and blue ribbons, they’ve used pink tape, they’ve given on-ice presentations, made donations and auctioned off game used equipment, all in support of cancer awareness.

None of those fashion statements have been as bold as Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro’s, who will make his game debut with pink pads, glove and blocker in Friday night’s matchup at the Nassau Coliseum with the Montreal Canadiens.

“It’s good for the game and for the cause,” Islanders head coach Scott Gordon said about Hockey Fights Cancer month. “There’s a lot of things that you can support, but I think everybody knows at least one person that has been affected by cancer, so the more awareness of it, the better it is.”

Like many hockey players and fans alike, the Islanders goaltender’s life has been profoundly affected by the disease and he hopes that his bold statement will promote awareness in a large way.

“My wife’s aunt passed away from breast cancer and I’ve had two grandfathers pass away from cancer, so it’s something that’s very close to my heart,” said DiPietro. “It’s a devastating disease, not only for the person who has it, but for the family members as well.”

DiPietro was very close with his grandfather William, who unfortunately lost his battle with cancer and that’s why the back of his new mask sports his grandfather’s initials, W.R.A.

“I was in Michigan playing for the U.S. team when my grandfather passed away, but that summer he was living with us and I had the chance to bond with him.”

“Watching someone in so much pain, you can’t describe it,” DiPietro continued. “We spent some of the best times we’ve ever spent together. I got to know him a lot better than I ever though I’d get the opportunity to.”

While he’s doing it for all the right reasons, his idea may seem crazy in the hockey world. Gordon even commented, “When I was playing, I had the luxury of getting one set (of pads and gloves) a year, so it certainly wasn’t going to be pink.”

Nonetheless, wearing pink pads is something DiPietro thought about after watching one of America’s favorite past times – Monday night football.

“Speaking with my wife after watching football, we noticed that tons of guys have pink cleats and everything else,” DiPietro said.

So right away, he knew what he wanted to do and decided it was time to make a statement. “I talked to the equipment manufacturer that I work with and just thought it would be a good thing to raise some money for charity.”

DiPietro plans to auction off all of the pink items he sports this month for cancer research and other charities supporting cancer, including his own foundation that he is trying to get off the ground running.

“It takes me a week to break in a pair of pads,” DiPietro said. “So if I can auction them off and raise a couple thousand dollars to help with research or anything else, it’s worth it. Doing that, it’s nothing. It’s easy.”

Going through cancer or watching a loved one suffer is the hard part.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 66 31 36 5 67
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 66 14 28 22 42
B. Nelson 66 18 20 8 38
F. Nielsen 66 11 26 13 37
A. Lee 60 22 13 14 35
J. Bailey 54 13 20 13 33
J. Boychuk 56 7 25 15 32
N. Leddy 66 9 19 17 28
T. Hamonic 56 4 21 16 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 34 13 1 .911 2.48
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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