British Columbia·Feature

Vancouver Canucks bring smiles to B.C. Children's Hospital

The team made their first visit to the Canucks playroom at the hospital's new Teck Acute Care Centre

The team made their first visit to the Canucks playroom at the hospital's new Teck Acute Care Centre

Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin laughs with children during the team's visit to B.C. Children's Hospital. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Vancouver Canucks players brought some joy and laughter to children at B.C. Children's Hospital on Wednesday. 

It was the team's first visit to the Canucks Playroom at the hospital's new Teck Acute Care Centre. 

The playroom was created to give children a space to play between medical treatments. It's designed to mimic the experience of being at the arena, complete with a jumbotron, hockey-themed fixtures and air hockey games. 

Griffin Ployart, 8, was diagnosed with brain cancer in May. He's cancer free now but still recovering. His mother said the team's visit means the world to them. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

The team spent some time playing air hockey and getting to know the kids. 

"I think when you have kids yourself you kind of understand what these families are going through and what a visit means for them. Once you get kids, it hits you more so than before," said Canucks captain Henrik Sedin. 

Rachel Gurraschel's eight-year-old son, Griffin Ployart was diagnosed with brain cancer in May. 

He's cancer free now but is still recovering and uses a wheelchair. 

"His days are so filled with hospital visits … and poking and prodding, that something like this means the world to him, and me and my husband as well. It's fantastic," she said. 

Griffin got the chance to play air hockey against his favourite player, Brock Boeser. 

"Playing air hockey with Griffin was fun. And just getting to meet all these kids is really cool and hear some of their stories and how strong they are is really special too," said Boeser. 

The Canucks for Kids Fund donated $1 million in March 2016 to create the playroom. 

The Sedin twins cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of the Canucks Playroom, though it has been open since October 2017. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)
Before the arrival of the team, Aidan Howe, 9, told CBC News that he wanted to meet Vancouver Canucks' goalie Anders Nilsson. He was able to snag an autograph. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)
Vancouver Canucks' mascot Fin the Whale does what he does best during the team's visit at B.C. Children's Hospital. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)
Tristan Edmunds, 7, plays air hockey against his favourite player, Henrik Sedin. When CBC News asked what the two chatted about, he responded with: "He said some things to me and I said some things to him." It will remain top secret. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)
Vancouver Canucks' defenceman Alex Biega chats with a patient and his family. The team visits the hospital every year. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)
Even the staff at B.C. Children's Hospital couldn't resist peaking inside to catch a glimpse of the players hanging out with the kids. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)
Lucie Bertoli, 8, was a little shy to meet the players. Bertoli has leukemia and has been at B.C. Children's Hospital for two weeks. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)
The Canucks for Kids Fund donated $1 million in March 2016 to create the Canucks playroom. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)