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Dale Hawerchuk has lost his battle with cancer, his son Eric said Tuesday.

Hawerchuk, 57, was first diagnosed with stomach cancer in August 2019 taking him from his post as head coach of the OHL’s Barrie Colts.

That September, Hawerchuk said while the battle was taking its toll he was determined to power through.

“The chemo has hit me pretty hard,” Hawerchuk told TSN’s Rick Westhead. “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.”

This spring, Hawerchuk rung the bell at Barrie’s Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre to end his chemotherapy, but in July Eric announced the cancer had returned.

Hawerchuk was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets first overall in the 1981 NHL draft and played in the NHL for 16 years. Last Thursday was the 39th anniversary of him signing his first NHL contract on the corner of Portage and Main.

Our thoughts are with the Hawerchuk family.

On Twitter: @zjlaing