The stitches Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw required after taking a puck to the face during the Stanley Cup finals this past season raised $6,500 for The V Foundation for cancer research in an online auction.
Shaw was struck on his upper right cheek by a shot during the first period of Game 6 against the Boston Bruins on June 24. Shaw immediately fell to the ice and laid still for a few seconds. He was helped off the ice, received stitches in the locker room and later returned to the game and helped the Blackhawks clinch their second Stanley Cup in four seasons.
The V Foundation will match the winning bid and donate an additional $13,000 to breast cancer research grants, according to The V Foundation vice president of communications Sherrie Mazur.
Harry Caray's Restaurant Group CEO Grant DePorter placed the winning bid on eBay late Sunday. DePorter has purchased a number of unique Chicago sports memorabilia items, including the Bartman ball from Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series for $113,824.16 and a corked Sammy Sosa bat for $14,407.
DePorter also previously offered a $50,000 reward for the game-winning puck from the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup-clinching victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 6 of the 2010 finals. The puck has never been located.
"Since I couldn't get the puck, I thought the stitches were probably the biggest symbol of the Stanley Cup this time around," DePorter said in a phone interview Monday. "When they formed up the auction, that was kind of my motivation. I'm not able to get the puck, but maybe I can get the stitches.
"[The stitches] seemed like a very meaningful symbol of the Hawks' determination. Andrew Shaw really stepped up during the whole playoff run, even when he was going against [Bruins defenseman Zdeno] Chara, who is two feet taller than him. Size, it doesn't matter. Nothing mattered. He was a real competitor. He inspired a lot of fans. We thought it was a fun thing to get."
DePorter said Shaw is expected to present the framed stitches to him in person sometime in the next few weeks. The stitches will be put on display at Harry Caray's Tavern at Navy Pier.
Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane and former Blackhawks star Bobby Hull are investors in the Navy Pier location.
"I'm very happy with how the auction ended and I'm thrilled that the stitches will be on display at Harry Caray's Navy Pier for all to see," Shaw said in a statement.
The idea for auctioning the stitches originated from a suggestion following the Cup finals.
"Immediately after the finals, I suggested to Andrew that he keep his stitches as we could use them to raise money for a good cause," said AM Sports Marketing Group owner Joel Alpert, who helped Shaw with the auction. "Andrew said he wanted to support breast cancer research, and from there we came up with the auction concept.
"I chose The V Foundation as they promised me the money would be given directly to grants supporting breast cancer research. I couldn't be happier with the charity we chose."
The V Foundation, which was formed by ESPN and Jim Valvano before Valvano's death in 1993, funds cancer research grants. According to the foundation, it has awarded more than $100 million to more than 100 facilities and awards 100 percent of direct donations and net event proceeds to cancer research.