Professional athletes can often get a bad reputation for being unapproachable and distant. But NHL players are different. Hockey players seem to be cut from a different cloth. They're humble, kind, and always willing to give.
Over the years, NHL players have proven to us that they are just big kids themselves. It's probably why they're so excited when they have the opportunity to make the day of young fans.
We compiled some of our favorite NHL player moments that are sure to hit you right in the feels.
1. When Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price took a selfie with a fan during warm-ups
2. When San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton danced with kids in the stands
3. When Chicago Blackhawks players Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw helping a girl sell her Girl Scout Cookies.
4. When Ottawa Senator's forward Zack Smith taught a young boy with Cystic Fibrosis how to celly
5. When (then) Nashville Predators player Joel Ward supported a troubled teen through high school
Check out the video here.
6. When (then) Detroit Red Wings forward Jordin TooToo gave his stick to a young fan who smiled so hard he almost passed out
7. When Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard met his biggest fan, after finding out she was undergoing a preventative double mastectomy
11. When Washington Capitals forward takes a 10-year-old fan on a 'date' after meeting at a charity event
13. When (then) Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban recognized a sick fan he had previously met at the Children's Hospital
14. When Arizona Coyotes forward Max Domi, who has diabetes, met a young fan who also suffers from the illness.
15. When Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was all too happy to play some pick up hockey with young fans
16. When Montreal Canadiens forward Dale Weise made a kid's day (maybe life?) by tossing him a puck.
And then Brendan Gallagher scared the crap out of him.
And it's not just players. Organizations are pretty great, too.
The San Jose Sharks signed 18-year-old Sam Tageson to a one-day contract. Tageson has had a heart condition his whole life and his only dream was to play in the NHL. He got to skate out with the team and stand with them for the anthems. It was truly and emotional moment.
The Ottawa Senators also signed a young boy to a contract, 14-year-old Jonathan Pitre. Pitre suffers from Epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a rare and incurable disease that has covered his body with raw, painful blisters. An avid hockey fan, the Senators signed Pitre to a one-day contract as part of their scouting staff. Pitre is currently undergoing a stem-cell transplant to try and ease his pain, a procedure that is still fairly new. The Senators have been supportive throughout his entire journey, including inviting him to the NHL awards.
Hockey: where the boys might be big, but they're definitely still boys.