Former NHLer Fred Sasakamoose has tested positive for COVID-19.

The 86-year-old is currently in hospital, but the hockey community is coming together in support of Fred.

“I just wanted to let you know that just on behalf of all my teammates and organization that we’re all thinking of you through your battle,” said Connor Murphy, who is a defenceman with the Chicago Blackhawks.

“It’s an honour to wear the jersey that you once wore. It’s definitely an inspiration about the impact that you’ve made on our organization and our sport in general. I just wanted to let you know that we’re thinking of you and stay strong, get healthy soon.”

Murphy’s comments appeared in a video posted on the Fred Sasakamoose “Chief Thunderstick” National Hockey Championship Facebook page. Former NHLer Blair Atcheynum and Canadian hockey star Brigette Lacquette also shared messages on the page.

Sasakamoose was one of the first Indigenous players to suit up in the NHL. He appeared in 11 games with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 1953-54 season.

Sasakamoose was named to the Order of Canada in 2017.

(PHOTO: Fred Sasakamoose. Photo courtesy of