CHICAGO — The Blackhawks honored broadcaster, Chicago native and 16-year NHL veteran Eddie Olczyk before their Sunday game against Minnesota with a "One More Shift" pregame ceremony on Hockey Fights Cancer night.
"When I played my last game in the NHL, I wasn't really allowed to say thank you," Olczyk said later, saying he wasn't allowed to hold a press conference to thank the team, the fans and the city. "I feel like there's closure in getting one last shift."
The 52-year-old Olczyk was Chicago's first-round draft pick (third overall) in 1985, and underwent surgery and follow-up treatment for stage three colon cancer last year.
Olczyk and former Blackhawks forward Adam Burish hosted the Purple Carpet ahead of the game in honor of fans who are battling cancer, have lost a loved one to the illness, and those who are in remission. During a touching moment in the game, fans in the stadium held up signs saying who they are fighting for, paying tribute to their friends and loved ones with cancer.