Vancouver fans grant a former player’s dying wish


Former Vancouver Canucks enforcer Gino Odjick gets up out of a wheelchair and waves to hundreds of fans that gathered to support him outside Vancouver General Hospital. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)

Former Vancouver enforcer Gino Odjick wanted to hear Canucks fans chant his name one more time.

A few days ago, Canucks fans gave Odjick his wish.

Odjick, who spent eight years in Vancouver during his NHL career, disclosed in June that he was battling a terminal disease, and said doctors believed he could have just months — or weeks — to live.

“I feel very fortunate for my life,” Odjick, 43, wrote in a letter posted on the Canucks’ Web site. “During my career I played in some great NHL cities including, Vancouver, Long Island, Philadelphia and Montreal. In my heart, I will always be a Canuck and I have always had a special relationship here with the fans. Your ‘Gino, Gino’ cheers were my favourite. I wish I could hear them again.”

On Sunday, hockey fans made that happen when they met outside Vancouver General Hospital, where Odjick has been receiving treatment, according to the Vancouver Sun and Puck Daddy. They chanted for Odjick, who came down and thanked the crowd.


Fans cheer and wave to former Vancouver Canucks enforcer Gino Odjick as he appears at a 10th floor window at Vancouver General Hospital. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)

Former Vancouver Canucks enforcer Gino Odjick, center, waves as he’s wheeled out from Vancouver General Hospital to greet fans. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)

A fan, right, who had his jersey autographed, hugs former Vancouver Canucks enforcer Gino Odjick. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)

“It means a lot to him. It’s very touching, it definitely lifts up his spirits and shows everyone still cares for him and everyone is there to support him,” Odjick’s son Joey told the Sun. “He has always been a very tough fighter. This has been the hardest battle he’s had so far, and he’s ready to fight this. And for all of these people to come out and being chanting his name, really helps him.”

You can watch videos of the gathering below, and find more photos on Facebook and on the Sun’s Web site.

Sarah Larimer is a general assignment reporter for the Washington Post.
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