In conjunction with the National Hockey League’s “Hockey Fights Cancer” initiative, several Blue Jackets players visited patients receiving cancer treatment and cancer survivors at four OhioHealth hospitals on Wednesday.
Blue Jackets captain Adam Foote, defenseman Luke Richardson and forward Jason Chimera paid visit to the Riverside Methodist Hospital at 3535 Olentangy River Rd., while defensemen Rostislav Klesla and Radoslav Suchy and forward Jaroslav Balastik visited Grant Medical Center located at 111 South Grant.
In addition, goaltender Marc Denis and defenseman Bryan Berard visited Doctors Hospital, Hobbs Oncology at 5200 West Broad St., and finally winger Steven Goertzen, and defenseman Cale Hulse visited Grady Memorial Hospital at 561 W. Central Ave in Delaware.
"This was fun, it was just a small group of patients that we met up with and they were excited to talk to someone and have some visitors," Richardson said. "We were happy to go and talk to people whether they were hockey fans or not.
"We had one character there that was a huge hockey fan. Apparently he was not much of a Sergei Fedorov fan, though, as he kept giving him a hard time. He kept calling him 'pretty boy' and we all thought that was pretty funny."
The players spent an hour, from 3 – 4 p.m. on Wednesday, signing autographs and visiting with patients at each hospital.
"We really enjoyed the visit, to put a smile on someone's face when they are going through a rough time is a big thrill," Richardson said.
Hockey Fights Cancer is a joint initiative founded in December 1998 by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association to raise money and awareness for hockey's most important fight.
To date, more than $6.8 million has been raised to support local cancer research organizations as well as the American Cancer Society and Canadian Cancer Society national organizations.