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Hometown of ailing ex-NHL player Odjick to rename local arena after him

Friday, 07.11.2014 / 5:55 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Hometown of ailing ex-NHL player Odjick to rename local arena after him

MANIWAKI, Que. - Gino Odjick's hometown is naming an arena after the ailing former NHL player.

The rink will be called the Gino Odjick Sports Centre in honour of the 43-year-old Odjick, who has been diagnosed with a rare heart condition. Doctors say he might have only weeks to live.

Director general Daniel Mayrand says the arena will officially be renamed on July 19, and the town is working on getting Odjick to make an appearance by video conference. Odjick's family has been invited to attend the ceremony.

Mayrand says Odjick was born on the nearby Algonquin reserve of Kitigan Zibi, and he played atom and peewee hockey at the arena.

Odjick, an NHL player from 1990-2002, is being treated at a Vancouver hospital, where dozens of cheering supporters held a recent rally to support him.

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He's, believe it or not, actually one of my favorite guys, and I've ended up trading him twice. I appreciate what he's done. He was one year away from being an unrestricted free agent, and I felt with this opportunity, that it was a chance that we were able to get somebody for him in Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening.

— Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on forward Brandon Sutter