NHL to name front-line worker ‘stars’ along with monthly player award – Edmonton

It’s normal in an NHL season to name players as monthly and weekly stars. But during COVID-19, so little is normal. This year, the league is honouring not only its superstar players, but front-line workers as well.

For the month of January, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid has been named the NHL North Division star. Alongside him is ICU nurse Renee Herman.

“You’re a true hero,” McDavid said in a video posted to the team’s Twitter page.

“Thank you so much for everything and thank you to all the healthcare workers across Canada and across the world for everything that you guys are doing.”

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Herman has been a registered nurse since 2010, working in the Royal Alexandra Hospital intensive care unit since 2014.

“I know you’re working in the ICU unit and obviously with everything going on, I can’t imagine what you’ve been going through,” McDavid said.

“I truly don’t know where we would be without you guys, so thank you very much.

Alberta Health Services said the team reached out to identify a “health-care hero” and Herman was nominated by managers at the RAH ICU.

“I feel honoured to be recognized by Connor McDavid, the Edmonton Oilers and the NHL for being a health-care hero during the COVID pandemic,” Herman said in a statement.

“I am humbled by the recognition, because as an RN working in the ICU, I am working as part of a team, and I feel my whole unit deserves this recognition along with me.”

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In a news release, the team praised Herman and her colleagues for updating and supporting family members who cannot be bedside for their loved ones.

“Throughout the pandemic, she has shown excellent leadership, remained positive and maintained a focus on providing patient- and family-centered care, which has been challenging for staff and physicians on the unit due to COVID-19 restrictions and protocols.”

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McDavid led the league in goals, points and power-play assists, power-play points, game-winning goals and shots on goal in January, guiding the team to a 5-6-0 record in the first month of the year.

The 24-year-old reached the 20-point plateau within Edmonton’s first 11 games for the second consecutive season. Wayne Gretzky is the only other Oilers player in history to achieve that feat multiple times.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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