Photos by Norm Hall
On Tuesday afternoon, the entire Phoenix Coyotes team made a special trip away from the rink to visit the patients and families at the Phoenix Children's Hospital.
Upon arriving at the hospital, the Coyotes players broke into groups of four and taken on tours of the hospital where they had the opportunity to meet and spend time with children of all ages who are bravely battling to return to health.
"The kids that are here are going through a tough time right now, as are their families," said Mike Johnson. "Plus, this time of the year is an especially tough time to go through something like that. So if we can come in and spend some time with the families, make the kids smile and brighten their day for a while, it is a great thing to do."
In addition to spending time with the children, the Coyotes gave each child a personally designed gift bag, which included a miniature Coyotes helmet, autographed by the players among other gifts.
While it is difficult to see children battling illness, every member of the Coyotes knew that their visits helped bring hope and fun into the lives of those kids and their families.
"There is no doubt that it is tough to see kids going through things like this," said Johnson. "Kids shouldn't have to worry about their health. But that is what makes these visits all the more important. It is good for them and good for us too."
For many of the Coyotes players, Tuesday's visit was especially touching as they reflected on the health and wellbeing of their families.
"I have kids and so visits like this really hit home and remind you of what is truly important," said Shane Doan
Howler, the Coyotes mascot who also met with the children and their families, brought smiles and laughter to every room he visited on Tuesday.
To learn more about the Phoenix Children's Hospital and how you can help, visit www.phxchildrens.com.
(Curtis Joseph, Mike Leclerc, Mike Ricci & Jamie Lundmark visit with a family)
(Mike Comrie talks hockey with a patient at Phoenix Children's Hospital)
(Jamie Lundmark shares a toy with a young boy)
(Zbynek Michalek, Shane Doan, David LeNeveu, Denis Gauthier & Howler
pose for a picture with a young patient at Phoenix Children's Hospital)