Today locked-out members of the Montreal Canadiens took a break to visit patients at the Montreal Children's Hospital.

About six players spent part of the afternoon visiting patients in their rooms, handing out sticks and signing autographs.

Habs' defenceman Josh Gorges said he has personal experience with children's hospitals. His younger brother had a long list of illnesses for the first few years of his life.

"He's gone through more in his life than I could probably imagine in my entire lifetime … that's probably why this is so important to me," Gorges said.

Erik Cole, Canadiens forward, said today was about the kids, not NHL contract talks.

"We're here to put a smile on their face," he said.

The official Canadiens annual hospital visit will take place on Monday with Canadiens alumni, management and coaching staff. The current players will not be taking part because they are locked-out in an NHL labour dispute.

After spending most of this week at the bargaining table — and with both sides expressing some optimism — contract talks collapsed Thursday night.

The lockout is now 83 days old and no new talks are planned.