A trio of New York Islanders spent a rainy Wednesday afternoon visiting sick children at Good Samaritan Hospital, bringing gifts and joy just in time for the holiday season.
Fresh off their win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday (5-1), Michael Grabner (forward), Marty Reasoner (forward) and Mark Eaton (defenseman) were full of life as they entered the hospital. For almost three hours, the three Islanders visited children in the play room and in the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit).
"It's very nice to bring smiles to young kids faces, especially since they are in the hospital for the holidays," Reasoner said. "This is the last place you want to be, and we're just here to make them feel good."
The Islanders brought gifts to the children that were picked out at a toy shopping event last week, and signed autographs for the children and their families. They wore their jerseys and posed for pictures, spending as much time as they could with each child.
"We do this every year, and every year we're so happy to bring holiday cheer to children who really are in need of it," Eaton said.
Grabner added:"Just taking time to talk to them, sign an autograph for them, will make a difference. I'm always thrilled to be a part of it."
During their stay in the play room, Eaton played a game of foosball with one of the children. Eaton found out how good the children were pretty quickly.
"I think I've been hustled," he joked.
Parents and families of children in the hospital also shared their thanks for the teams efforts to cheer up their sickly fans.
"It really does raise their spirits and makes a huge difference," said Tom Morgan, who's son Tom Morgan Jr. in currently at Good Samaritan Hospital. "I went to Islanders games when I was a kid, and I've always been a fan."