It is moments like this that truly remind you that the hockey players in the National Hockey League are among the best professional athletes in the entire world.
On Saturday night the Colorado Avalanche were facing off against the Chicago Blackhawks in the first match up of a back to back and with both teams in theory still in contention for the playoffs their was plenty of opportunity to see sparks fly in this one. Surprisingly we were provided a highlight of a different sort however and it was one that came before the puck was even dropped onto the ice.
You see in attendance on Saturday night was a very young looking lady who happened to be sitting at rink side and who also happened to have brought a sign along with her. According to the young lady's sign this was her very first time attending an NHL game and as you would imagine that was likely a very exciting experience for such a young child. That experience was made all the better when the young lady in question received a very special surprise before the game.
Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov must have caught sight of the sign during the pre game warm ups at some point because the cameras quickly caught him signing one of his sticks while he was on the bench. Zadorov would finish autographing his piece of lumber and then proceeded to skate over to where the young lady was standing alongside an adult, presumably her father. Zadorov then proceeded to toss the autographed stick over the glass, making sure that the young lady was the one who received it, leading to one of the most adorable moments of the NHL season.
The young lady gleefully reached up to grab the stick but almost instantly after putting her hands on the piece of wood the expression on her face began to change. It was obvious that the young lady had been quite overwhelmed by the whole moment and she pulled the stick in close to her body like a child would a teddy bear before beginning to cry. It made for a truly magical moment, and one that hopefully Zadorov carries with him with pride for the foreseeable future.