The Grande Prairie Storm is paying tribute to those who have fought and are still fighting cancer. On Friday, the team will host its Storm Hockey Fights Cancer game.

Business Manager Eric Hein says this event is special to all the players and staff because cancer is something that touches everyone.

“We have staff and players that have gone through some really difficult challenges with loved ones and cancer so it’s really personal for us.”

“We have a player who lost his dad at 13 to cancer and he’s moved out to come to Grande Prairie to play hockey. He’s moved out of his home to come here and play hockey,” he adds.

While the team has hosted games like this in the past, this year’s event will be the first time the team has partnered with the National Hockey League initiative Hockey Fights Cancer. Every year, each NHL team holds a special game with the proceeds going to help fund things like housing and transportation for people going through cancer treatment.

During the game, the team will be auctioning off the player’s jerseys from the night with the proceeds going towards Hockey Fights Cancer and the Canadian Cancer Society. Hein says an event like this shows that hockey is more than a sport.

“Hockey has the potential to affect great change; to rally a community and to really change perception and rally behind a great cause. That’s really what we’re aiming to do with this game is to generate some real support for the community and also for this charity.”

The Storm will take on the Bonnyville Pontiacs with puck drop set for 7:30 p.m.