NHL team's 160-mile roundtrip to honor memory of player's sister

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The St. Louis Blues are planning a 160-mile roundtrip in order to show support to one of their players, and help raise awareness for a good cause.

With two games in New York in the space of three days, against the Rangers Jan. 23 and the Islanders Jan. 25, the NHL team had originally scheduled a practice session followed by free time for the Friday in between games.

But then word spread about Jaden Schwartz and the tragedy that had befallen him and his family.

Jaden's sister, Mandi Schwartz, contracted Leukemia during her junior year at Yale, and died in April 2011.

In honor of Mandi, herself a keen hockey player, there is an annual "White Out For Mandi" game held in New Haven, Conneticut in connection to the Mandi Schwartz foundation.

With the Blues set to be in the area, the 21 year-old left wing had asked the staff if he could take time out to make the trip to Yale. A request that was immediately granted by the team.

But when Schwartz mentioned his plans to a couple of teammates it didn't take long for an idea to form.

Hearing the news, general manager Doug Armstrong figured why not send everybody? 

And after suggesting the idea to a few team leaders, the Blues will now bus to New Haven to hold a 3 p.m. practice open to the public, then take their places to watch some of the White Out game, before heading back to NYC. 

With the blues in town the charity is sure to get a welcome boost in exposure, and donations, and Aleca Hughes, a former Yale hockey captain and founder of the Mandi Schwartz Foundation, can't thank them enough:

"It's such a wholesome, family thing to do.

"In pro sport, that isn't always the first thing people think about. We're all just wowed."

As I am sure is Jaden Schwartz as he looks to pay tribute to his sister this Friday.

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