OTTAWA -- Frontline hospital staff in Ottawa received a generous surprise from an NHL star on Friday.

P.K. Subban, the former Montreal Canadiens defenceman now with the New Jersey Devils, sent lunch over to the ICU staff at the Ottawa Hospital Civic campus through his charitable foundation.

"I just want to thank the medical heroes at Ottawa’s Civic Hospital, specifically the team in the ICU, for all the hard work that you guys have done helping patients, especially the patients that can’t see their family,” Subban said in a video.

“Thank you so much for everything that you guys have done and continue to do.”

The food from La Bottega Nicastro in the ByWard Market arrived at the Civic late Friday morning.

“It really means a lot to our staff,” said Dr. Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, a critical care physician at the Ottawa Hospital. ““They’ve been working so hard for over a year now. … All these kind gestures matter. It really makes a huge difference.”

Kyeremanteng described the current period in hospitals as “the worst part of the pandemic.”

There are 29 Ottawa residents in ICU being treated for COVID-19. An additional 36 patients have been transferred from other regions.

“We’re getting a lot of patients from outside our area, so we know those are challenging times for the patients and their families,” Kyeremanteng added. “We’re stepping up as best we can and hopefully making a difference.”

Subban is known for his generosity toward hospitals. In 2016, he donated $10 million through his foundation to the Montreal Children's Hospital.

- With files from CTV News Ottawa's Tyler Fleming