Montreal Canadiens defenceman PK Subban is donating $10 million to the Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation.

The star player is also making a seven-year fundraising commitment to the hospital, and has been named as a member of the hospital's board of directors.

The philanthropic commitment is the largest ever by a Canadian athlete.

To mark the donation the atrium of the new hospital is being named after the player, and a sign for the Atrium P.K. Subban was installed earlier this week.

The entire Subban family attended the ceremony, and his older sister Nastassia, the first family member to speak, opened with some remarks in French.

"We strongly believe that through service to others, children can maximize their potential and create a better world," she said.

Last year Subban signed an eight-year, $72 million contract with the Canadiens.

"Last year Montreal made a long-term commitment toward me. Now it's my turn to make an engagement to Montreal," said Subban. “My love for Montreal is why I wanted to make a significant contribution to this city and this province.

"Montreal has become my second home. Montrealers have taken me into their hearts for the past five years that I've been here... and I hope to remain here for a very, very long time."

Speaking in French, Subban said he was inspired by another famous Canadien, Le Gros Bill.

"I idolize Jean Beliveau. I want to walk in his footsteps," said Subban, telling his widow Elise that he hopes his acts would make her husband proud.

"I am proud to walk in the footsteps of my idol Jean Beliveau by giving back to the community and feel privileged to be able to help transform the lives of sick children and their families."




Subban said his donation is not about hockey, but about his goals in life and making a larger mark upon the world.

"I'm not a hockey player, I'm just a guy who plays hockey, and someday I won't play hockey anymore," he said.

"Every time you walk into this hospital, you'll know what I stand for.”

Subban’s father Karl agreed the donation falls in line with his son’s goals.

“PK has two goals every day; to be a better hockey player and to be a better person,” he said.

Montreal’s Children’s Hospital Foundation chair Greg Rocos said the donation will help the hospital substantially.

“This is big for us this allows us to do a lot of the extras that are needed to become world class,” he said.

Subban said he will also sit on the foundation's board and become the spokesman for it.

“I have made a promise to these kids. You'll be seeing a lot more of me,” he said. “Everybody needs the help, right? That's all I'm trying to do – help as much as I can.”

Hockey players in Montreal have a history of making donations to hospitals, and taking other actions to cheer up sick children.

Former team captain Saku Koivu, and current player Max Pacioretty have both made donations to the Montreal General Hospital.

In addition, every year players from the hockey team visit children in hospitals.