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Islanders skate with visually-impaired kids at Northwell Health Ice Center

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Smiles everywhere.

Johnny Boychuk and friend.

After today’s practice at Northwell Health Ice Center, the Islanders skated with a group of visually-impaired students from the New York Institute of Special Education and Third Eye Insight.

The enjoyment and enrichment felt by both the players and the kids is evident in the photos, videos and quotes from the event. I’m smart enough to know when to shut up and let pictures and words speak for themselves.

via the Islanders:

But after the skate, Bailey, who became a parent before the start of training camp, went into the Islanders' lockerroom, grabbed a pair of sticks and came back out onto the ice for a one-on-one session with the 13-year-old [Brady Koehler].

"This is everything, the big moment, so to speak," his mom, Monique Koehler said. "He's a huge Islanders' fan, loves hockey and his vision has made life a little harder for him, so for that to turn into a really exciting big day is a nice turnabout."

"This is probably the coolest thing we've ever done," Thomas Hickey said. "It's something we do every day and you take for granted, but it's a privilege to play hockey every day like we do. When people think it's cool and a privilege for themselves to be on the ice, it puts it in perspective. It's fun to share it with other people."

via Islanders Insight’s Christian Arnold:

“Sometimes it’s a good thing,” Josh Bailey said. “It helps put life in perspective for you. A chance to give back is always good and kind of refresh the brain.”

via NHL.com:

The New York Institute for Special Education, based in the Bronx, a borough of New York City, provides programs for blind and visually disabled children. Long Island-based Third Eye Insight offers physical fitness classes, including martial arts/self-defense and yoga for blind or visually impaired people.

via the gallery of photos at the Islanders’ site. Lots more where this came from:

Johnny Boychuk and friend

Tremendous job by the Islanders players, coaches, organization and, of course, the kids of NYISE and Third Eye Insight on this special, unforgettable moment.