A positive tweet from the son of Barrie Colts head coach Dale Hawerchuk has many breathing a sigh of relief for the Ontario Hockey League bench boss after recent surgery as he battles stomach cancer.
On Friday afternoon, a tweet from Eric Hawerchuk, Dale’s son, stated that his dad was doing well following surgery.
“My dad is recovering in hospital from a successful gastrectomy," he said. "Thank you to everyone who has been asking about/thinking of him. I can’t believe how great his fans are.
"I’ve been showing him all your messages and tweets," Eric Hawerchuk added. "He is so thankful."
On Sept. 3, 2019, it was announced that the 56-year-old Hockey Hall of Famer was taking a leave of absence from the Colts for what were unspecified health reasons at the time.
Just over a month later, news broke about what was keeping Hawerchuk from hockey: stomach cancer.
On Nov. 23, 2019, Hawerchuk also took part in an on-ice ceremony at a Barrie Colts game and received a loud ovation from the fans as the team honoured some of its former players, including his son, Ben.
Dale Hawerchuk has been the coach of the Colts since 2010, making him the longest-serving coach in franchise history.Former NHLer Warren Rychel has taken over the reins as interim head coach while Hawerchuk is away from the team.
On Oct. 31, the OHL team put together a GoFundMe page that raised $5,355 of their $5,000 goal, with money going toward stomach cancer research.
Hawerchuk had 518 goals and 891 assists over 1,118 career NHL games with Winnipeg, Buffalo, St. Louis and Philadelphia.