July 11, 2014 4:14 pm

Hometown of ailing ex-NHLer Odjick to rename local arena after him

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 in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday June 29, 2014.

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

MANIWAKI, Que. – The Quebec hometown of ailing former NHLer Gino Odjick is planning to rename the local arena after him.

The director general of the town of Maniwaki says the rink will be called the Gino Odjick Sports Centre.

Odjick has been diagnosed with a rare heart condition and doctors have said he may have only weeks to live.

Director general Daniel Mayrand says the arena will officially be renamed July 19 and the town is working to get Odjick to make an appearance by video conference.

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Mayrand says town council unanimously adopted a resolution Monday to proceed with the tribute.

He says Odjick’s family has been invited to attend the ceremony.

Mayrand says Odjick was born on the nearby Algonquin reserve of Kitigan Zibi and played atom and peewee hockey at the arena in Maniwaki, about 125 kilometres north of Ottawa.

Odjick played in the NHL from 1990 to 2002, including eight years in Vancouver and two in Montreal.

The 43-year-old is being treated at a Vancouver hospital, where dozens of cheering supporters held a recent rally to support him.

Odjick’s son said at the time that the touching demonstration outside the hospital lifted his father’s spirits.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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