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Hockey Fights Cancer | New York Islanders Matt Martin Fights for a Cause


Jamie Hersch of NHL Network hosts a Q&A session with Islanders forward Matt Martin. (Photo by Jackie Daly - Double G Media)

Jamie Hersch of NHL Network hosts a Q&A session with Islanders forward Matt Martin. (Photo by Jackie Daly – Double G Media)



Until November 13th the NHL is running their Hockey Fights Cancer campaign.

Each team will host a Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night during the month long fundraising efforts. Here, the home team will warmup in their lovely lavender jerseys, dedicated to the cause. As a fan of the NHL you can head to the NHL Powered by Reebok store on 6th Ave and 47th St in NYC and get your favorite team’s awesome purple gear, with the funds going to the cause. In case you guys were not aware, if you donate directly to the Hockey Fights Cancer page, Reebok and the NHL will match your donation! How amazing!

The NHL fundraising proceeds go directly to five amazing organizations who are here for one reason; to put an end to this disease. Those organizations include the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Movember Cause, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Prostate Cancer Canada, and the Zero Initiative. The NHL has raised 15 million dollars since the program started in 1998. Wow!

Islanders forward Matt Martin participated in a Q & A session with NHL Network host Jamie Hersch at the NHL Powered by Reebok Store on Wednesday evening to talk about the importance of fundraising, and to give us an insider peak at his own newly launch Matt Martin Foundation.

“The mission is to just raise as much as we can for different causes. I have been here for seven years, it is really just time for me to get involved as much as I can.”

Martin told a humbling story about growing up and looking up to Ed Jovanovski, who at the time played in the OHL for their (his and Martin’s) hometown team the Windsor Spitfires. Martin would be up at the glass before the game even started, and would pass a piece of bubble gum to Jovanovski over the glass. He would acknowledge him, make him smile, and this meant the world to Matt.

“I want to give back in that same kind of way. I remember the feeling i had when he (Jovanovski) would do something cool with me. I’m not going to be in this league forever, I hope I’m in a long time, but I want to take advantage of these opportunities to put a smile on someones face.”

Of course a chat with Matt Martin wouldn’t be complete without talking hockey. What is working for the Islanders, who have won six of their last seven games?

“Well we didn’t really make any changes. The coaching staff and management showed a lot of confidence with us as a group to leave the team alone and leave it as is. We’ve gotten off to a good start, I still think we can play better than we have. The record’s pretty good (6-2-1), we just have to keep moving forward and keep the confidence there.”


(Photo by Jackie Daly - Double G Media)

(Photo by Jackie Daly – Double G Media)


After the talk, the NHL generously donated $5000 to the Ronald McDonald House Charities. In attendance were two very young children Dylan Beach, 9, who is a 4-time cancer survivor and Leanna Pastolero, 12, who is currently receiving treatment at the Ronald McDonald House.

Take pictures of you and your newly purchased lavender NHL gear! Post to your social platforms using the #hockeyfightscancer hashtag. Every little bit of awareness can help the prognosis of eliminating this dreadful, deadly disease.

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Jackie Daly

Jackie Daly has been with In The Zone since 2012. Her contributions have been mostly in NHL and special events coverage. Jackie has been a writer, video host, and podcast host with ITZ. She currently co-hosts Tea Time with Mel and Jay. Outside ITZ, Jackie works with MLS's New York City Football Club and the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
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