Canucks and Beyond

The NHL Playoff Beard isn't Only for Playoffs

04/06/2011 at 5:27pm EDT

From TSN:

Scott Hartnell is bringing back the beard. This time it will be for a cause close to his heart.

As chairman of the NHLPA’s inaugural beard-a-thon campaign to benefit the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Philadelphia Flyers forward will once again let his unruly facial hair grow during the playoffs.

Hartnell had a memorable playoff beard a year ago—a Facebook page was started in its honour—but that isn’t the only thing that made him a natural choice to lead the campaign. He is an eager participant in the initiative because his mother, Joy, survived a stroke in 2001.

More on Joy’s recovery. The NHLPA has created an initiative to raise money for Canadian Heart & Stroke during this year’s playoffs. You can sign up at their Beard-a-Thon website to pledge your support.

NHLPA Beard-a-thon donations will go towards the placement of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in hockey rinks, schools and community centres in provinces across Canada. Heart and Stroke Foundation’s goal is to make Canada the most cardiac safe country in the world. Research shows that the use of an AED with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before the arrival of Emergency Services personnel can increase the chance of survival by up to 75 percent. It is estimated that the first three minutes are the most important when helping someone who is the victim of cardiac arrest.

The promotion of this cause comes with some very disturbing timing, as it happens.

From CBC, two terrible incidents happened in hockey arenas only last night:

A 38-year-old man died Tuesday night after he went into cardiac arrest during a recreational ball-hockey game at an Ottawa school gymnasium.

Ottawa paramedics said the man collapsed at a Maitland Avenue school at about 6:50 p.m. Bystanders had started CPR before paramedics arrived, but paramedics were unable to resuscitate him. He was later pronounced dead.

Paramedics said an automatic external defibrillator, or AED, a device that is available at all City of Ottawa recreational facilities, was not available in this case.

The presence of an AED may have been a factor in a successful resuscitation just over an hour earlier in Hintonburg.

In that instance, a 52-year-old man was playing hockey at Tom Brown Arena on Bayview Road when he collapsed on the bench.

Best of luck to the NHLPA’s initiative. A very good cause.

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