Pink sticks to honor moms, raise cash to fight cancer

Updated: March 16, 2006, 9:58 AM ET
Associated Press

WALLACEBURG, Ontario -- Some NHL players will be in the pink this weekend on the ice.

In a tribute to hockey moms and to raise awareness of breast cancer, hockey players such as Tie Domi, Mats Sundin, Steve Yzerman, Sidney Crosby and Ed Belfour will use pink sticks during games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Chatham Daily News reported Wednesday.

Equipment manufacturer TPS Hockey is spending an estimated $50,000 for the initiative, which sprouted in the Gretzky family home in Brantford, Ont., shortly after the death of Wayne Gretzky's mother, Phyllis.

"It's a tribute to hockey moms," said Brad Janson, TPS' director of pro hockey.

Janson said the deaths of Phyllis Gretzky to lung cancer, and TPS' new owner Paul Walker's sister to breast cancer motivated the charitable effort.

He said most of the players know someone who has been affected by breast cancer. It will definitely be unique to see "a tough and rough player using a pink stick," Janson said.

"Pink is not usually synonymous with hockey," said Gary Ireland, a supervisor at the southwestern Ontario plant where the 75 workers have been busy painting the sticks.

TPS is picking up the tab for the $300 cost of each stick and its painting.

Janson estimates more than 400 pink sticks will hit the ice this weekend.

Each player, and goalie, has his name inscribed on the stick, which will later be autographed and auctioned to raise money for breast cancer research.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press