Kris Letang and teammates deliver Christmas presents at the Children’s Hospital
Kris and his teammates delivered Christmas presents to patients at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC after practice this past Thursday. A team tradition started in the 70s, the Pens make the annual visit where they meet and chat with the patients and their families; signing autographs, handing out gifts, and taking photos.
One group of Penguins featured Nick Spaling, Blake Comeau, Kris Letang, Paul Martin and Evgeni Malkin.
Before the group went out they started in the children’s playroom. Spaling and Letang took turns playing “Minecraft” with a boy named Chase. The two Pens were very confused on how to play, but luckily Chase was an expert and helped them figure out the maze.
Seven-year-old King showed off his racecars. Comeau and Spaling argued over whose car is faster. So clearly a race needed to take place. Comeau edged out Spaling by a healthy distance.
“That blue car drives like Nick,” Comeau chirped.
“Yeah, slow and safe,” Spaling asserted.
Later Letang shared a slushy – or “slush puppy” as Letang said – with a patient named Justin. The group signed preteen Meghan’s cast. Meanwhile, 12-year-old Kaitlyn made sure to comb her hair before the players arrived. And she was sure to send a photo to her jealous uncle, who is according to her the team’s No. 1 fan.
“It’s fun for us to walk in there and put a smile on their face,” Letang said. “Make sure they’re having fun. We’re lucky to do what we do. I have a son and he’s healthy. It puts things in perspective. I just want to put a smile on their faces.”