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Devils make annual hospital visits

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils
Pandolfo, Langenbrunner, Elias and Rolston with a young patient at Monday's visit to St. Barnabas Medical Center.
The Devils made their annual visits to the pediatric wards of New Jersey hospitals on Monday, continuing a holiday tradition that began with the team's Garden State arrival in 1982.

"I think it’s a good thing," said Devils leading scorer Zach Parise. "It’s good for our organization to be involved. You see these kids and some unfortunate things have happened to them. If you can make them smile or brighten up their day a little bit, it makes you feel really good."

Parise joined Andy Greene and Rod Pelley for a trip to Morristown Memorial, where one youngster gave each player a handmade thank you card.

Jay Pandolfo visited St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston with captain Jamie Langenbrunner, Patrik Elias and Brian Rolston.

"It’s tough for anyone, especially kids, to be in the hospital this time of year," Pandolfo said. "It’s nice to visit and just talk to them. If it helps them out for a day, it’s nice to do that."

Langenbrunner said the players are happy to try and make a difference for those who need it the most.

"Any time you’re in the hospital for a minor thing or even for those that have been in for a long time, it’s a long and scary thing for a lot of them, so it’s just a chance to help them break up the days," said the captain.

For Mike Mottau, who traveled to Overlook Hospital and Valerie Center in Summit, the expressions on the young faces are priceless.

"It’s nice to see the reaction of the kids that you go in to see," Mottau said. "They may not know who you are; they might not be a hockey fan at all, but just to have someone visiting them at a tough time in their life, it’s real fulfilling."

Monday's visits also included:

Hackensack University Medical Center - Niclas Bergfors, Johnny Oduya, Rob Niedermayer, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond

First Children School, Fanwood - Dean McAmmond, Ilkka Pikkarainen, Yann Danis

University, Newark - Colin White, Travis Zajac, Andrew Peters

St. Joseph’s, Paterson - Vladimir Zharkov, Matt Corrente, Mark Fraser

Overlook, Summit - Mottau, Bryce Salvador, N.J. Devil
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