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Spreading The Spirit

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild

With the exception of one day, the Minnesota Wild spent the first two weeks of December away from home, playing games on the East Coast. That means that Wild players had some catching up to do as far as spreading Holiday cheer to our local youth.

As soon as the Wild returned home from a victory in New York on Tuesday night, the players wasted no time getting out in the community to share in the Holiday Spirit. On Wednesday morning, center Pierre-Marc Bouchard and defenseman Nick Schultz joined Wild television broadcaster Mike Greenlay at the Wild Teen Room at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in downtown St. Paul.

 Nick Schultz gets schooled in a game of Bubble Boy on Wednesday morning. (cr. Bruce Kluckhohn)
Upon arriving, the players visited with families and patients in the Teen Room, where some spirited games of Bubble Hockey took place between players and kids. Schultz and Bouchard also signed autographs and posed for pictures in the Teen Room.

Tom Marsolais, the Child Life Activities Specialist at Children’s said a visit from Wild players can mean the world to a sick child.

"It’s great for the kids," he said. "They just light up when the players come by. They just really enjoy meeting them, and parents and siblings get to take part too."

Following that, Bouchard and Schultz split up to visit the rooms of some children who were unable to make it down to the Teen Room.

"It’s tough when they’re at that age and they’re going through tough times, and it’s tough for the families too," said Schultz. "It’s really rewarding to go in and make their day so they don’t have to worry about everything else at this time of year. It’s worth it if you can bring a smile to their faces."

The holiday cheer will continue on Friday, when defensemen Kurtis Foster and Willie Mitchell will be making a visit to another local hospital.

"The hospital can be a lonely place," said Mitchell. "If we can brighten their day in some way possible, it’s worth it for us."

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