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New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils put rivalry aside for a special photo

New York Rangers winger Brendan Lemieux and New Jersey Devils goalie MacKenzie Blackwood share a photo for their former coach.

New York Rangers winger Brendan Lemieux shared a photo with New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood to honor their former coach, Dale Hawerchuk.

Hockey Fights Cancer has been celebrated throughout the month of November, so it was fitting that two rivals in the tri-state area put their differences aside for a moment to pay homage to a former coach and veteran NHL Player.

Preceding the Rangers’ 4-0 victory over the Devils at the Prudential Center on Saturday, Lemieux tweeted a picture of himself with Blackwood, which said:

“Being #hockeyfightscancer month in the NHL
@MacBlackwood1 [and] I thought we would take the opportunity to thank our former coach Dale Hawerchuk for everything he did to help us live out our NHL dreams. He is in the fight of his life and we ask you to keep him in your prayers”

Both players played for Hawerchuk with Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League.

Hawerchuk coached the Barrie Colts beginning in 2010 until September of this year when he was forced to step down due to his stomach cancer diagnosis.

Talking to Tim Campbell of NHL.com last month, Hawerchuk spoke about how he has been dealing with the treatment.

“It really strips you down,” Hawerchuk told NHL.com earlier this month. “You feel like, man, you don’t know if you’re going to make it, the chemo hits you so hard. But I’m still young and they’re telling me everything else is good, all my organs are good, so I should be able to fight this.”

Hawerchuk played 17 seasons in the NHL for four different organizations, Winnipeg, Buffalo, Philadelphia and St. Louis.

He was named NHL Rookie of the Year (Calder Trophy) in 1981-82 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.

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A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at Nyrfc12@gmail.com