Maple Leafs make annual visit to The Hospital For Sick Children

One of the most highly regarded children’s hospitals in North America and the hockey team which plays in one of the NHL’s biggest markets have a special, longstanding relationship.

Toronto Maple Leafs players and staff made their annual visit to Sick Kids children’s hospital on Monday, a tradition that dates back to the 1920’s. Players took time to mingle, chat and play with kids suffering various types of illnesses.

It’s surely a very special experience for those children who get to brighten up their situation for a few hours while hanging out with some of their hockey idols. The opportunity, however, is equally valuable and cherished for the Leafs players who get the privilege of spending some time around the real heroes.

“Whether it’s a scoring slump or losing a couple of games, that’s nothing compared to what people face in the real world,” Nazem Kadri told the CBC.

Even for Auston Matthews, one of the biggest hockey stars on the planet, the experience is an exceptionally humbling one.

“Anytime you can come out here, make a kid’s day, put a smile on their face, it’s probably the best feeling you can ever get,” said the Maple Leafs sophomore.

Here are a few of the heartwarming snapshots of the day, all posted on the team’s Twitter account:

Who ya got?

Babs cooking up some cookie-derived delicacies.

Air hockey is always a hit.
Some bubble hockey for the boys.
An icon and a hero exchanging life advice.
Coach Babcock’s turn to ask the tough questions.

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