Saluting First Star Performers in 2020-21: NHL Gives Thanks to Frontline Healthcare Heroes Across North America

NEW YORK (May 19, 2021) – Throughout the 2020-21 regular season the NHL has been celebrating the remarkable efforts of the off-ice stars who have made it possible for us to play our games amid a pandemic by honoring frontline healthcare heroes from the regions represented by the League’s weekly and monthly “Stars.” Players winning the NHL’s First Star of the Week, First Star of the Month and Rookie of the Month awards have shared those honors with frontline healthcare heroes from their teams’ communities.

This esteemed group has included doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, food service technicians, and emergency medical technicians, among others. They have helped to safely deliver babiesmobilize vaccination efforts, and thoroughly clean rooms and common areas. They also have picked up extra shifts and have provided comfort and support to patients as well as mentorship and support for their colleagues. They have brought critical aid and assistance to remote and at-risk communities and have worked in busy hospitals with some of the hardest hit intensive care units (ICUs).

“The ICU is like bamboo in a typhoon. We may bend, but we have not and will not break,” said Missouri Baptist Medical Center St. Louis Dr. Nitin Anand.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, these individuals have made many personal sacrifices to serve others. Dr. Simon Demers-Marcil, a respirologist working as a critical care fellow in the Calgary area, said, “I always wanted to help people going through hard times, this gave meaning to my own life.”

In advance of the conclusion of the regular season, the NHL again recognizes and thanks:

Anaheim: Dr. Susan Huang

Arizona: Bruce Culbertson

Boston: Meaghan Quinn, Cathy Draine, Amy Ginter

Buffalo: Michaela Pastorius

Calgary: Dr. Simon Demers-Marcil

Carolina: Johnna Sharpe, Deepika Malhotra

Chicago: Qudus Rabiu

Colorado: Alyssa Laabs, Gina Minert, Maria Saavedra

Columbus: Dr. Laurie Hommema

Dallas: Heather Newby

Detroit: Joanne MacDonald

Edmonton: Aleem Rajani, Fathima Aranha, Renee Herman

Florida: Crystal Wimmer

Los Angeles: Dr. Maurice O’Gorman

Minnesota: Brittany Hutchinson

Montreal: Virginie Hébert

Nashville: Dr. Alex Jahangir

New Jersey: Indu Lew

NY Islanders: Kelly McLaughlin

NY Rangers: Deena Trupkin

Ottawa: Michèle Taché

Philadelphia: The Hatheway family

Pittsburgh: Darby Scarantine

San Jose: Jane Vergara, Martha Godinez

St. Louis: Dr. Nitin Anand

Tampa Bay: Glenda M. Wright

Toronto: Sarah Rumbolt, Natasha Salt, Elisa Simpson

Vancouver: Alim Somani

Vegas: Dr. Claudia Mejia

Washington: Mary ‘Dani’ Dell’Isola

Winnipeg: Melanie MacKinnon and members of Manitoba’s First Nations Pandemic Rapid Response Teams

Teams with multiple honorees are those whose players won weekly and monthly awards on multiple occasions. For more on these dedicated professionals, click here.


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