BARRIE, Ontario (AP) — Hockey Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk is fighting stomach cancer.
The 56-year-old former Winnipeg Jets star is getting chemotherapy treatment after taking a leave of absence as coach of the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League in September.
“The chemo has hit me pretty hard,” Hawerchuk told NHL.com. “I do it one week and it breaks the body down and then the next week I take a break and build my body up so I can do it again. I have to do that for two months. I really struggle to eat and have a feeding tube, but the last few days I’ve been able to eat a little bit, too. You’ve got to keep your nutrition up.
“For some reason the Lord put me in this kind of fight and I’m ready to fight it. I want to live to tell the story.”
Hawerchuk has coached Barrie since the 2010-11 season. He had 518 goals and 891 assists in 1,888 regular-season games with Winnipeg, Buffalo, St. Louis and Philadelphia. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.