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Oilers Visit Edmonton Area Hospitals

by Jessica McPhee / Edmonton Oilers

Ales Hemsky poses with a fan at the Stollery Children's Hospital.

(photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
After practice today, the Oilers headed to the four corners of the capital region to make very special visits at seven Edmonton area hospitals. In what has become a tradition each season, the Oilers spent over an hour meeting and greeting with patients of all ages who had one thing in common – a passion for Oilers hockey.

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“Having just transferred to the Glenrose today, I was surprised to hear the Oilers were coming,” said George Breitkreuz, a patient at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital. “Tom (Gilbert) and Jordan (Eberle) were easy to talk to, easy to relate with and they wished me a speedy recovery – it definitely lifted my spirits.”

The Oilers Hospital Visits have become a busy and highly-anticipated day at local hospitals. Once again the Stollery Children’s, Cross Cancer Institute, Glenrose Rehabilitation, Royal Alexandra, Grey Nuns, CapitalCare Norwood and Misericordia Hospitals and their patients welcomed the players.

“Our patients have been very excited for the Oilers visits, there’s been lots of commotion and anticipation,” said Kim Smith, Child Development Therapist at the Glenrose. “Some of the kids have even gone as far as creating their own player cards for the Oilers to sign.”

Oilers forward, Jordan Eberle, and his teammates Tom Gilbert, Taylor Hall and Ryan Whitney met with patients of all ages who were undergoing rehabilitation treatment. After recently recovering from an ankle injury, Eberle swapped stories with the patients about their recovery.

“I met a few people today with broken ankles who are going through a similar recovery as I did earlier this season, it was great to chat with them and hear their stories,” said Eberle. “It’s a fun day and the visits always help to put things into perspective for us.”

Defencemen Ryan Whitney echoed Eberle’s sentiments.

“It’s great to see smiling faces here and these kids are always so happy to see us,” said Whitney. It’s something that brings a smile to my face and to each guy who came today.”

The Oilers, Oilers Ladies and the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation will be back at it supporting our communities on Thursday when they host their annual Puck Surprise fundraiser at the St. Patrick’s Day game versus the Coyotes.
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