Coaches Bring Cheer to Children's Hospital

Hitchcock, Bennett and Brooks visited hospitalized children for the holidays

Wednesday, 12.19.2012 / 2:08 PM / St Louis Blues - Features
By Chris Pinkert  - St. Louis Blues


ST. LOUIS - Nick Peppers hasn’t had much to smile about these days.

After undergoing spinal surgery last Friday, a few complications in the recovery process have kept him at St. Louis Children’s Hospital longer than he had expected.

But Wednesday was different.

Shortly after hearing he would finally be discharged and home for the holidays, he got a visit from Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock, Assistant Coach Ray Bennett, Video Coach Danny Brooks and Blues mascot, Louie.

Now, he can’t stop smiling.

“It made me happy,” Peppers said. “You don’t get something like this very much, so it’s fun and exciting. It makes your day better.”

For nearly two hours on Wednesday, the Blues coaching staff visited hospitalized patients at Children’s Hospital, taking time to bring gifts of autographed pucks, photos and Louie tug-a-lug dolls. The coaches posed for photos with the children and their families and shared stories ranging from hockey, sports in general and even a few rounds of Civil War history trivia.

“We’re the lucky ones. We get to come and have a few laughs with people. This isn’t an obligation, it’s a pleasure for us,” Hitchcock said following Wednesday’s visit. “That’s one good thing between players and coaches and everybody, we love doing this stuff. We look forward to this. Any chance you get to give back to the community is a real beneficial day.”

Added Bennett, “It’s good to see these smiles. It’s good to see them brighten up, and it’s not just the kids, but sometimes the parents, too. If it helps a little bit, that’s good, and it’s the very least we can offer back.”

Blues coaches, players and staff visit children’s hospitals several times throughout the year, but the holiday hospital visits have become a longstanding tradition for the organization.

In fact, when Peppers was previously hospitalized when he was only 10 months old, the Blues came to visit then, too. Although he doesn’t remember the visit, he still has the Blues T-shirt and the teddy bear the players brought to him.

“This is a reality check for us,” Hitchcock said. “You go home, you’re proud at the little bit you could do, but you realize that people have it a lot worse off than you do and you feel for them. For anybody in hockey, this is a really emotional experience for us to come here.”

Added Brooks, “We’re really lucky people. We are very fortunate and I wish we could do more. To give these kids some hope and joy in their lives is the best and most important thing.

“There are things that are important than hockey.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Shattenkirk 4 1 4 2 5
V. Tarasenko 4 4 0 2 4
C. Porter 4 1 2 2 3
V. Sobotka 4 0 3 3 3
B. Jackman 4 1 1 -1 2
M. Lapierre 4 1 1 3 2
J. Schwartz 4 1 1 -2 2
S. Ott 4 0 2 0 2
A. Pietrangelo 4 0 2 0 2
A. Steen 4 1 0 -3 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Miller 2 2 1 .914 2.24

 
TICKETS
Playoff Tickets
Full Season Tickets
Half Season Plans
Group Tickets
Luxury Suites
My Account
NHL Ticket Exchange

TEAM
Team Roster
Prospects
Coaches
Front Office
Blues History
All-Time Player Roster
Chicago Wolves
Radio Network

SCHEDULE
2014 Playoff Schedule
2013-14 Regular Season
Giveaway Schedule

STATS
Player Stats
League Standings

NEWS
News
Features
Blue Note Insider Blog

MULTIMEDIA
Blues Mobile
Blues VideoCenter
Photo Galleries

FANZONE
Social Networks
E-mail Subscriptions
Bud Light Zone
Hot Deals for Cool Fans
Jr. BlueNote Kids Club
License Plates
STL Sports Hall of Fame
Youth Hockey All-Stars

COMMUNITY
Blues in the Community
Blues 14 Fund
50/50 Raffle Numbers

SHOP
Online Store
Blues Auctions
True Blues Authentics

stlouisblues.com is the official Web site of the St Louis Blues. St Louis Blues, stlouisblues.com and stlblues.com are trademarks of the St Louis Blues Hockey Club. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 St. Louis Blues Hockey Club and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

PRIVACY POLICY | ADCHOICES | TERMS OF USE | EMPLOYMENT & INTERNSHIPS | GUEST EXPERIENCE SURVEY | CONTACT US