Mandi Schwartz's fight against cancer takes a big step forward as she found a donor

jadenschwartzdraftday.jpg(Jaden Schwartz, brother of Mandi Schwartz)

While discussions of ill health and death are often sobering accounts of why hockey isn’t really as big of a deal as we make it out to be, there are occasionally uplifting moments amid the doom and gloom. Take the story of Mandi Schwartz, sister of 2010 first round draft pick Jaden Schwartz.

Mandi played hockey for Yale and tried out for Canada’s national under-22 team, but what made her story stand out was her battle with cancer. She seemed to turn the corner when she found out that her cancer went into remission in June, but then found out that she needed to find a stem cell donor by September to survive. TSN reports that the 22-year-old is preparing for that surgery in Seattle right now.

Schwartz is battling acute myeloid leukemia and will undergo the transplant Aug. 26 after a desperate search by her family and doctors for a stem cell donor finally paid off.

The family’s hard-charging campaign to find a donor is a big reason why Schwartz might get the treatment (and most importantly, the right transplant) that she needs. Here’s more about the movement to find a donor.

The Schwartz family cast a wide net in its campaign — “Become Mandi’s Hero” — to find an appropriate donor. More than 1,600 people were tested at bone-marrow drives at Yale the past two years, and a Facebook page has more than 5,000 followers. For more information, visit www.becomemyhero.org.

While an appropriate donor has been found for Mandi, her family says it will continue its crusade for donors.

The best part might be that the family will continue to find donors. Celebrities – even somewhat minor ones like Mandi and Jaden Scwhartz – often fight for causes once they hit close to home, but that’s understandable. What changes that from what seems like self-service to something bigger is when they raise awareness for a cause, so if this process ends up saving more lives beyond (hopefully) Mandi’s then that’s even better.

It will be hard to root against Mandi or her brother/St. Louis Blues prospect Jaden in the future. Hopefully Mandi will get the chance to play hockey again sometime soon.

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    WATCH LIVE: Tampa Bay Lightning at St. Louis Blues

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    Corey Perry ‘week-to-week’ with lower-body injury

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    The Anaheim Ducks have started to get some of their injured bodies back lately, but they were dealt another significant blow on Tuesday, as they found out Corey Perry would be out ‘week-to-week’ with a lower-body injury.

    He’ll be re-evaluated in a week, but he was working out at the Honda Center earlier today, according to beat reporter Eric Stephens.

    Perry suffered the injury in the first period of Monday night’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Even though he isn’t as productive as he once was, the veteran is still a big part of team. He has six goals and 16 assists in 31 games this season.

    Monday’s game marked the return of forwards Ryan Getlzaf and Jakob Silfverberg to Anaheim’s lineup, which probably had the Ducks feeling pretty good about themselves. Clearly, that didn’t last long.

    It’s a tough blow for a team that’s already without Ryan Kesler (he hasn’t played at all this season), Nick Ritchie, Hampus Lindholm and Joseph Blandisi. On a positive note, it sounds like Kesler will be on the team’s upcoming six-game road trip that will see them travel to St. Louis, Washington, New Jersey, New York, Brooklyn and Pittsburgh.

    The Ducks could certainly use some healthy bodies, as they’re in a fight for a playoff spot right now. They currently trail the Flames by one point (Calgary has a game in hand) for the final Wild Card spot in the West. They’re also two points behind the Sharks (San Jose has two games in hand) for third place in the Pacific Division.

    Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

    ‘It’s just a formality’: Erik Karlsson talks about submitting 10-team no-trade list

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    There has been plenty of speculation regarding the future of Erik Karlsson over the last few days.

    On Tuesday, the speculation took an interesting twist as Karlsson spoke to the media for the first time since a report surfaced about him being asked to submit a 10-team no trade list to management.

    “That’s one of the things that’s in my contract and it’s just a formality and it’s business. I don’t read too much into it,” said Karlsson, per the Ottawa Sun.

    Karlsson might not read much into it, but the fact that the Senators have allowed this situation to get to this point is mind-boggling.

    Sure, the Swedish blue liner might not want to take a discount to stay in Ottawa, but he’s arguably one of the top three players in the game. Are the Sens really willing to make a franchise-altering trade because the face of their organization isn’t willing to take a few million dollars less?

    Of course, this might just be a negotiating tactic. Maybe they believe that the threat of trading him will scare him into taking less money, but that’s a pretty silly way of thinking. On the flip side, asking him to submit his no-trade list could theoretically turn him off, too.

    “It varies from person-to-person and from personality-to-personality,” added Karlsson. “When you’re in the situation we’re in right now, I’ve been through it before, so I’ve seen multiple different scenarios. I’m probably better dealing with it than some of the other guys.”

     There’s no doubt that the Senators are struggling mightily right now. Although it’s still early, the Matt Duchene trade has been a complete flop. Not only is Duchene not producing, the Sens, as a team, have seemingly forgotten how to win.

    Ottawa has dropped four games in a row, and since coming back from their sweep of the Avalanche in Stockholm, Sweden, they’ve won just one of their 12 last games.

    They need to shake things up, but trying to rattle Karlsson’s cage is not the way to get it done.

    Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

    Inconsistency only consistent thing about Canadiens

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    The 2017-18 edition of the Montreal Canadiens has been underwhelming at best. The only thing that’s been consistent about them is their lack of consistency.

    On some nights, they look like a team that should have no problem making the playoffs. Other times, they look like a squad that should be picking in the top five of next summer’s NHL Entry Draft.

    Through 31 games, they own a 13-14-4 record, but how they got there is the most interesting part.

    Let’s forget the fact that five of those wins have come against the Sabres (three times) and Red Wings (twice). Hey, in the NHL, a win is a win. But the Canadiens have rarely not been on some kind of positive or negative streak this season.

    After opening the season with an overtime win in Buffalo, Montreal went on to lose seven games in a row. They ended that skid at home against Florida, followed that up with a loss to the Los Angeles Kings and then went on to win five of their next contests.

    That hot run came to an end with a 3-0 loss at home to the Minnesota Wild. In fairness to the Canadiens, they didn’t have Carey Price, Shea Weber and Jonathan Drouin in that game. But after beating Buffalo in their next game, they went on to lose five in a row to Columbus, Arizona, Toronto (they were obliterated 6-0 in that one), Dallas, and Nashville before snapping the skid against (you guessed it) the Sabres.

    The game against Buffalo was the night Carey Price returned to the lineup. Price’s return sparked the Canadiens and they went on to win their next four games over Columbus, Ottawa and they beat Detroit twice, including a 10-1 drubbing at the Bell Centre.

    After the blowout win over the Wings, a lot of people thought they had turned the corner. Instead, they followed up the win over Detroit with home losses to St. Louis, Calgary and Edmonton. Saturday’s loss to the Oilers was beyond embarrassing, as they were totally dominated in front of their fans.

    “Well, if I knew, I certainly would’ve done something about (the Canadiens’ streaky play),” head coach Claude Julien said after the loss to the Oilers. “It is frustrating. We had a good stretch there, but this week has been a tough week for us. At the end of the day, you have to be better than you were tonight.”

    There’s a number of reasons for Montreal’s lack of consistency. They’ve dealt with injuries to key players like Drouin, Price, Weber, David Schlemko and Artturi Lehkonen, but every team goes through that.

    Their goaltending was brutal early on, and that certainly didn’t help during their tough start to the year. Also, the fact that 5-on-5 scoring doesn’t come easy to them is another reason why they don’t produce with any regularity. They’re also lacking some mobility on defense, which isn’t exactly ideal for today’s NHL.

    And, of course, the fact that their two streakiest scorers have been “off” more than they’ve been “on” has really hurt them. Both Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk haven’t scored nearly enough. Pacioretty has eight goals in 31 games, while Galchenyuk has seven goals in 31 contests. Both have scored 30-plus goals in recent reasons.

    The one thing going for the Canadiens is that the third spot in the Atlantic Division is up for grabs. Yes, the Bruins currently have four games in hand on Montreal and a two-point lead in the standings, but those old rivals will be going head-to-head three times in just over a week during the month of January.

    As ugly as the season has been at times, the Habs still in it.

    Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.