Mandi Schwartz

Mandi Schwartz Foundation helps bone marrow recipient find donor

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After a failed bone marrow drive, Mandi Schwartz, sister of St. Louis Blues forward Jaden Schwartz, passed away on April 3, 2011 after battling cancer.

Jaden Schwartz continues to wear number 17 in honor of his sister, but that isn’t the only way that the family (and hockey world in general) have honored Mandi’s memory. The family and friends created The Mandi Schwartz Foundation in part to raise awareness for bone marrow drives, and the video above captures an absolutely touching story of one of its most heartwarming successes.

During a Blues game, bone marrow donor Michael Hellrich got to meet bone marrow recipient Regan Brown, and they both met Jaden Schwartz, along with other members of the Schwartz family. Brown’s tearful meeting could very well make things dusty/allergenic for you, too, as its a beautiful, emotional moment.

Both the Bruins and Blues have players who give you reasons to root for them, largely for what they do off the ice. As another example, Blues defenseman Colton Parayko‘s relationship with 11-year-old fan Laila Anderson has been one of the best stories of this postseason.

Game 6 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final is currently airing on NBC (stream here).

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Blues’ Schwartz is red-hot in playoffs, and easy to root for

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As a team that’s been built largely off of savvy moves rather than lottery picks,* the St. Louis Blues can point to quite a few pivotal moments that got them here. Most recently, you’d note changing to coach Craig Berube, and being wise enough to let Jordan Binnington run with his hot start.

But don’t sleep on June 25, 2010.

On that day, the Blues had picks 14 and 16 in the 2010 NHL Draft. You might say that moments like these often separate the smart teams from the slow, or at least the average. This is the part of the first round where you don’t usually have the luxury of making “no-brainer” picks.

While other teams whiffed with picks like Dylan McIlrath (Rangers, 10th), Jack Campbell (Stars, 11th), and Brandon Gormley (Coyotes, 13th), the Blues chose Jaden Schwartz with the 14th pick, and Vladimir Tarasenko at 16.

* – Alex Pietrangelo at fourth overall in 2008 being a rare exception.

Tarasenko, aka “Tank,” has been one of the most insatiable snipers in the NHL. He’s the headline-grabber, yet if you’re a fan looking for a Blues player to root for, Schwartz should hover toward the top of the list. With that in mind, his red-hot recent work during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs has been a pleasure to watch.

When you look at Schwartz’s playoff totals, they’re already impressive: six goals and two assists for eight points in nine games. He’s been especially hot lately, though, generating all six of those goals and one assist over the last five games, only failing to score a point once during that stretch.

Things really revved up late in Round 1 against the Winnipeg Jets.

Schwartz scored the game-winner with just 15 seconds remaining in Game 5, capping a rally that the Jets arguably never recovered from. Then again, maybe the Jets simply couldn’t slow Schwartz down; the 26-year-old scored all three of the Blues’ goals in a 3-2 Game 6 win to eliminate Winnipeg.

Really, Game 1 of Round 2 against the Stars was the only time Schwartz really relented, and his 2010 draft buddy Tarasenko took over that one. Schwartz scored a goal in the Blues’ Game 2 loss, and was a big part of St. Louis building its current 2-1 series lead by scoring a goal and an assist to help the Blues win Game 3. Simply put, Schwartz is one of the hottest players in the NHL right now.

[Game 4 of Stars – Blues airs at 9:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday on NBCSN (Stream here)]

Considering how stout the Stars have been for much of this postseason, it’s fair to wonder how different Game 3 might have gone for the Blues if Schwartz didn’t gift them with a 1-0 lead just 1:27 into the first period.

Schwartz has done more than scoring, too. Schwartz has been a strong possession-driver for much of his career, and that’s been especially clear during the postseason, as he’s close to 60 percent by both Corsi and Fenwick at even-strength via Natural Stat Trick, while being on the ice for nine goals for and three goals against.

No doubt about it, some of that is luck … but again, luck hasn’t always been on Schwartz’s side.

Sports Forecaster’s rundown of Schwartz’s injury history is a sobering read. Early on in his career, he missed significant time with a broken foot, and then a fractured left ankle. He was limited to 69 regular-season games in 2018-19, 62 in 2017-18, and just 33 games in 2015-16. Along the way, people (such as former coach Mike Yeo) were saddened by the thought that Schwartz had “put himself on the map” only to suffer injury setbacks.

 [NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

To some, Schwartz’s injury list boils down, in part, to playing a very aggressive, hard-working style. To his credit (yet also with increased pain), Schwartz stayed true to his style, as he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Tom Timmermann back in October.

“I don’t like to think too much when I’m playing,” Schwartz said. “I don’t like to be safe. I like to be aggressive. Going into the dirty areas and working, if you’re thinking about things like that, you’re not going to be effective, so that doesn’t bother me during the game.”

It’s unlikely that you’d catch Jaden Schwartz lingering on his own health issues for very long, though, considering the tragic death of his sister Mandi. Jaden switched his jersey number from 9 to 17 to honor Mandi, who passed away on April 3, 2011 at the age of 23.

Jaden wearing 17 isn’t the only way the hockey world continues to honor Mandi’s memory, as the ECAC renamed its student athlete of the year award after Mandi, and Yale hosted bone marrow drives in her name.

So, yes, there are a lot of off-the-ice reasons to feel good for Jaden Schwartz, yet if such thoughts are a little too deep for your hockey viewing, it’s also just a lot of fun to watch him play.

We’ll see if Schwartz and the Blues can keep things going against the Stars in Game 4 on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN; Live stream), but it’s been a delight to see this hot streak, and it might be the breakthrough some needed to realize that Schwartz has been a very good player for some time.

More on Stars – Blues: Dallas splits up top trio in hopes of boosting offense.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

St. Louis Blues prospect Jaden Schwartz hopes to honor his sister Mandi

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It was inspiring to see the hockey world get behind Mandi Schwartz and even more inspiring to read about her courageous battle with cancer. Sadly, she couldn’t win that battle with leukemia in the long run, though, as the disease caused her death in April.

One of her most passionate supporters was her brother, St. Louis Blues prospect Jaden Schwartz. The 14th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft has been forced to deal with that tragic situation and some personal hockey-related bad luck as well, as his time with last year’s Canadian World Junior Championship team was cut short last year thanks to a broken ankle.

Redemption seemed to be on Jaden’s mind when he discussed having another spot at the WJC next season during the team’s summer training camp, but honoring Mandi – and taking inspiration from her resilience – seemed like it was on the forefront. The winger said that much when he discussed his goals with the media.

“From here on out, this tournament, this camp — everything is for (my sister),” Schwartz told NHL.com following the opening day of Canada’s development camp at Rexall Place. “While I’m obviously trying to do this for me, my family and for Canada; most of all, it’s for her.”

(snip)

“She was everything to me,” Schwartz said. “She was a huge inspiration in every aspect of life, whether it was hockey or the way she treated people. She kind of touched everybody, especially when she got sick; she never complained about a thing and kept fighting. She kept believing and, every chance she’d get, she’d go for a workout or skate despite being sick — it was awesome.”

Jaden will play his second year of college hockey as well next season, where he’ll join his older brother Rylan Schwartz for another campaign with Colorado College. It might be hard for fans of Colorado College’s rivals – and maybe someday the Blues’ bitterest opponents – to root against a guy like Jaden Schwartz.

Yale hockey player and inspiration Mandi Schwartz loses her battle with leukemia at 23

Yale women’s hockey player Mandi Schwartz has lost her battle with leukemia at the age of 23.

Schwartz has battled the blood disease for the last two years and it’s a fight that has inspired hockey fans and people around North America. Schwartz’s story and the work that she and her family put into informing the public about the disease rallied support for her cause in hopes that one day help find a cure. After a recent turn for the worse, hopes reached their lowest and unfortunately Mandi’s battle ended today.

Mandi’s brothers Jaden and Rylan Schwartz currently play for Colorado College in the NCAA and Jaden is a first round choice of the St. Louis Blues in 2010. Jaden’s presence as a first round pick helped shed more light on Mandi’s story and the St. Louis Blues expressed their condolences to the Schwartz family today.

“From the entire St. Louis Blues organization, our thoughts and prayers are with the Schwartz family during this difficult time,” said Blues President John Davidson.

Mandi’s story has been an inspiring one and ultimately a heartbreaking one given her fate succumbing to the disease. Her efforts in raising awareness of her condition and trying to help those in her position with trying to fund research and search for donors have been brave and we can only hope that her efforts will continue on now with the battle that she brought attention to for others in her position.

Jaden Schwartz will miss rest of WJC tournament with fractured ankle

Sad news for Jaden Schwartz today, something that the young player and his family is unfortunately getting used to. The St. Louis Blues prospect and Team Canada player fractured his ankle, an injury that will sideline him for six weeks (which means that he will miss the rest of the 2011 World Junior Championships among other games).

It’s been a tough few weeks for Schwartz, as the family faced the tough news that his sister Mandi’s cancer returned after a stem cell transplant. The former Yale women’s hockey player has been fighting cancer for two years now, so this latest development must be hard for the Schwartz family to take.

Hopefully 2011 will bring better news and better health for Jaden and Mandi Schwartz because 2010 didn’t end well. Our best wishes go out to their family.