NEWS

Devils spread cheer with annual hospital visits

Thursday, 12.9.2010 / 11:48 AM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Devils spread cheer with annual hospital visits
A young fan with Jamie Langenbrunner, Patrik Elias and Martin Brodeur.
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During this season of giving, Devils players eagerly give back where it matters most.

The team made its annual hospital visits on Wednesday, bringing holiday cheer to the pediatric wards of eight New Jersey hospitals.

Groups of players signed autographs and delivered team calendars, pucks and Devils-themed silly bands to St. Barnabas, Livingston; Hackensack University Medical Center; Robert Wood Johnson, New Brunswick; Holy Name Medical Center, Teaneck; University, Newark; St. Joseph’s, Paterson; Morristown Memorial; and Overlook, Summit.

“It just makes you, I think, give back to the kids and to the nurses and doctors that are working so hard to try and help people out,” said Martin Brodeur, who traveled to St. Barnabas with Patrik Elias and Jamie Langenbrunner. “For us, it’s such a small thing to do, but I think it means a lot. Sometimes people don’t even know who we are, but just the fact that you go there, it puts a smile to their face.”

As a father of five, Brodeur appreciates the chance to make a difference for children and their parents.

“I think it’s something that, for us, is a fun thing to do, especially when you have kids,” Brodeur said. “It makes you realize how lucky you are. Especially this year, maybe it erases, just for a day, what we’re thinking about our jobs.”

David Clarkson feels strongly about community participation, and remains actively involved with Clarky’s Kids, a charity he started with his former junior team, the Kitchener Rangers.

There’s no question about what he enjoys most about the visits.

“The smiles on the kids faces,” Clarkson said. “To me, I think it’s something we should do. I think it’s something that, when you see those kids, an hour of our day, bringing them a hat or a jersey or something little, it just means the world to them. It’s very special.”

Clarkson visited Overlook Hospital in Summit with Jason Arnott, Henrik Tallinder and Bryce Salvador. It takes little time from a player’s day to impact the lives of those who need it most.

“Sometimes you bring their spirits up; you make them feel a little bit better just for that hour or that couple of hours,” Clarkson said. “I think there’s nothing that makes you feel better than after you leave the hospital. And it’s hard, it’s hard sometimes you go in there and see some of these kids and people the way they are – it’s very tough to do. But I think you have to remember what you’re doing and how excited some of them are to see you.”

Some Devils veterans return to the same hospitals year after year, developing a connection with patients and hospital staff. They’ve been known to receive letters from parents thanking them for their support.

“That sometimes means a lot to you when people say nice things and you can build a relationship with people that way,” Clarkson said.

The yearly tradition has endured for more than a decade. Brodeur’s favorite memory from previous visits was a playfully stern message delivered to hospital staff from a former teammate.

“One moment,” Brodeur said. “Bobby Holik telling a nurse, ‘I’m not here for you, I’m here for the kids!’”

Full list of player groups:
St. Barnabas, Livingston- Patrik Elias, Jamie Langenbrunner, Martin Brodeur; Hackensack University Medical Center- Andy Greene, Dainius Zubrus, Anssi Salmela; Robert Wood Johnson, New Brunswick- Stephen Gionta, Alexander Vasyunov, Anton Volchenkov; Holy Name Medical Center, Teaneck- Mark Fayne, Mattias Tedenby, Matt Taormina; University, Newark- Colin White, Travis Zajac, Ilya Kovalchuk; St. Joseph’s, Paterson- Olivier Magnan, Matthew Corrente, Mark Fraser; Morristown Memorial- Rod Pelley, Adam Mair, Johan Hedberg; Overlook, Summit- David Clarkson, Henrik Tallinder, Jason Arnott, Bryce Salvador

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59