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Charlotte Checkers Raise Money for Biggest Fan

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This was too good a story not to share, and it reaffirms my belief that hockey players have been and will always be the best athletes in professional sports.

Zach Bennett, an 11 year old boy from Albany, NY, was born with neurofibromatosis, a degenerative disease that causes tumors to grow on his legs, and eventually led to both of his legs being amputated. Facing an uphill battle every day of his young life, Zach drew strength from his favorite team, the Albany River Rats, the former AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils, and more recently, the Carolina Hurricanes. The players on the River Rats heard about Zach's story at the time, and befriended Zach, often visiting him and staying in contact with him.

When the River Rats left Albany to move to Charlotte and become the new Charlotte Checkers of the AHL (you'll remember that the former Checkers team was a Ranger affiliate in the ECHL), it left Zach without his hockey team, and without inspiration.

From there, I will let ABCNews.com tell the story.

Make sure you check it out, and pass it along to every hockey fan you know.