NEW YORK – Dallas Stars center Joe Pavelski and clinical social worker Heather Newby (Discover NHL Central Division), Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar and Dr. Maurice O’Gorman (Honda NHL West Division), Philadelphia Flyers left wing James van Riemsdyk and the Hatheway family (MassMutual NHL East Division), and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid and RN Renee Herman (Scotia NHL North Division) have been named the NHL’s “Stars of the Month” for January.
Throughout the 2020-21 season the NHL is celebrating the remarkable efforts of the off-ice stars who make 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.”
More on each frontline healthcare hero and NHL player can be found below:
DISCOVER NHL CENTRAL DIVISION – HEATHER NEWBY AND JOE PAVELSKI
More than 25 years ago, Newby decided that she wanted to become a social worker because of “how closely it tied to social justice and how giving people opportunity and support can make their lives better.” She currently works for the GENder Education and Care Interdisciplinary Support (GENECIS) Program at Children’s Health in Dallas, the first and largest transgender youth clinic in the Southwest that serves patients from all over Texas as well as adjoining states. For every family that comes through the clinic or calls for intake, Newby is the first point of contact. “I have been given an incredible privilege to support patients and families at a time in their lives when they may feel overwhelmed, particularly in the face of COVID-19,” Newby says. “I don’t take this privilege lightly and I’m greatly appreciative to Children’s Health for supporting their employees in doing what they do best: making lives better for children.”
Pavelski found the scoresheet in five of his six January appearances, totaling 5-5-10 to propel the Stars to a 4-1-1 month (9 points). Pavelski opened 2020-21 with consecutive multi-point performances and game-winning goals, notching 2-2-4 on Jan 22 and 1-2-3 on Jan. 24 – both against the Nashville Predators – to become the oldest player in NHL history with three or more points in each of his team’s first two games of a season (36 years, 197 days). The Plover, Wis., native then became the 17th U.S.-born player to accumulate 800 NHL points, reaching the milestone with an assist on Jan. 26 vs. DET. Pavelski, who shared the League lead with four power-play goals in January, has 131 career power-play tallies – good for fourth in the NHL since his debut in 2006-07 (behind only Alex Ovechkin , Steven Stamkos and Evgeni Malkin ).
HONDA NHL WEST DIVISION – DR. MAURICE O’GORMAN AND ANZE KOPITAR
Dr. O’Gorman is the chief of laboratory medicine as well as the director of the Clinical Lab and the Diagnostic Immunology and Flow Cytometry Laboratory at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). He oversees the development and operations of the more than 2 million laboratory tests performed annually at CHLA and leads the laboratory and pathology teams, which have been at the forefront of CHLA’s COVID testing and research efforts. Dr. O’Gorman’s research interests include the discovery of biomarkers related to the immunopathogenesis of immune system-related disorders and the development of diagnostic laboratory tests for the latter. He has written more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and several book chapters, lectured across the globe, and currently serves as the chair of the Duke Vaccine Institute’s Scientific Advisory Board.
Kopitar ranked fourth in the NHL with 11 assists and seventh with 12 points (1-11-12) in eight contests to lead the Kings to a 3-3-2 month (8 points). He produced five multi-point performances, highlighted by 1-2-3 (including his 54th career game-winning goal) on Jan. 24 at STL. Kopitar, who shared first place in the League with seven power-play assists, also placed second by taking 38.5 percent of Los Angeles’ total face-offs (176-of-457), ranking eighth overall with 96 wins. The 33-year-old Jesenice, Slovenia, native is 38 points shy of becoming the 91st player in NHL history to reach the 1,000-point milestone (334-628-962 in 1,081 GP) as well as the fourth to do so with the Kings, after Marcel Dionne (550-757-1,307), Luc Robitaille (557‑597-1,154) and Dave Taylor (431-638-1,069).
MASSMUTUAL NHL EAST DIVISION – THE HATHEWAY FAMILY AND JAMES VAN RIEMSDYK
The Hatheway family from Langhorne, Pa., features a pair of frontline healthcare heroes who recently were honored during a Flyers game at Wells Fargo Center. Mom Amanda works as a nurse for St. Mary’s Medical Center, where she specializes in home healthcare visits. Amanda had to take a leave from her job shortly after the pandemic began because she was diagnosed with cancer. However, she recently received a bone marrow transplant and now is recovering nicely at home. Dad Josh is an emergency medical technician (EMT) who first worked for Newtown Ambulance until recently beginning a job at St. Mary’s Medical Center in the emergency room, where he now is the clinical lead for all ER technicians. Amanda and Josh have two children: Westin (age 4) and Carson (age 2).
Van Riemsdyk shared the League lead with four power-play goals and placed sixth overall with 5-8-13 in 10 outings to power the Flyers to a 7-2-1 January (15 points), their most points through the opening 10 games of a season since 2002-03 (7-1-2, 16 points). Van Riemsdyk recorded a quartet of multi-point performances, including multi-goal games Jan. 21 at BOS (2-0-2) and Jan. 26 at NJD (2-0-2). He then capped the month with assists on all four Philadelphia goals in a Jan. 31 overtime win vs. NYI, his most helpers in a single game and tied for his most points (also Nov. 15, 2016 vs. NSH: 3-1-4). The 31-year-old Middletown, N.J., native and second overall pick from the 2007 NHL Draft sits six points shy of 500 in his career (252-242-494 in 751 GP).
SCOTIA NHL NORTH DIVISION – RENEE HERMAN AND CONNOR McDAVID
A registered nurse since 2010, Herman has been working in the Royal Alexandra Hospital ICU since 2014. 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. Along with her colleagues, Herman constantly does her best to update and support family members who cannot be bedside for their loved ones during this difficult time.
McDavid (8-14-22 in 11 GP) led the NHL in goals (t-8), points (22), power-play assists (t-7), power-play points (10), game-winning goals (t-3) and shots on goal (t-43) to guide the Oilers to a 5-6-0 January. McDavid finished the month on a seven-game point streak (5-12-17), highlighted by multiple points in each of his last five contests (4-11-15) and 1-4-5 on Jan. 31 vs. OTT – his League-best sixth five-point performance since entering the NHL in 2015-16. The 24-year-old Richmond Hill, Ont., native and two-time Art Ross Trophy winner (2016-17 and 2017‑18) reached the 20-point plateau within Edmonton’s first 11 games for the second consecutive season, following 6-14-20 in 2019-20. Only one other player in Oilers history has achieved that feat multiple times: Wayne Gretzky (6x, most recently 1987-88: 7-19-26).