Montreal Canadiens Spread Holiday Cheer For Kids In Local Hospitals

It may have been a frosty and snow-choked day on the road in Montreal, but some members of the Montreal Canadiens braved bad traffic and worse weather to visit with kids at both the Ste-Justine Hospital and the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

At the Children’s Hospital, star goalie Carey Price, centre Paul Byron and winger Ales Hemsky dropped in to hand out autographs and visit with patients, like the infant son of Arif Sheikh.

Billy Shields/ Global News
Billy Shields/ Global News

“I was really happy myself,” Sheikh said. His son had been admitted to the hospital with respiratory problems.

“I was sitting here doing nothing when a PR person came by and asked if we’d want someone to see us. I said ‘yes’ without realizing it would be players from the Canadiens.”

“It tugs a deep emotional string for sure,” Byron said to reporters during the visit. “It brings me back to when my kids were that young. It brings back memories of when I had to care for them.”

Players have done such visits during the holidays as an annual tradition. Byron told reporters that last year he missed the team Christmas party because he had to take one of his own children to the hospital.

“We all have our experiences in life,” he said. “It can happen to anybody.”

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