This is without question, for me at least, one of the most beautiful moments of this National Hockey League season.
As every hockey fan knows winning the Stanley Cup Championship is arguably the most difficult challenge in all of professional sports, and very few men get to have the honor of hoisting hockey's holy grail. Just making the NHL is an extremely difficult challenge in it's own right, much less having to win 16 games against the best the world has to offer, in arguably the most grueling playoff format in the world. It is for those reasons that winning the Stanley Cup is so special, so sacred, and it is what makes the time that you have to spend with that legendary trophy so precious.
That time of course is extremely limited as everyone gets a chance to have the Stanley Cup to themselves over the course of the offseason, meaning that players have a very short time to cram everything they want to do with the Cup into. That knowledge is what makes moments like the one that St. Louis Blues defenseman Vince Dunn provided a very sick man today so magical.
Dunn, just a 22 year old kid, went above and beyond the call of duty on Saturday when he stopped by at the Ross Memorial Hospital to visit a sick man by the name of Lawny Woodcock. Woodcock is suffering from colon cancer and although his prognosis is good he had just recently learned that he would be forced to stay in hospital until at least 2020 due to an infection. Needless to say the idea of spending months in a strange place while already battling a horrific disease would take a toll on anyone, and that is why Dunn came to the rescue.
Dunn stopped by while on his way to a public appearance, and the level of emotion in the face and voice of Woodcock truly displayed just how much the moment meant to him. The best part of this story is that Woodcock is not a St. Louis Blues fan, instead cheering for the local Toronto Maple Leafs, but admitted that he was rooting on the St. Louis Blues in the playoffs due to all the Canadians on their roster. The fact that Dunn would do this for the fan of a rival team makes it all the more commendable, and there's no doubt he has earned the respect of hockey fans around the world for this beautiful gesture.
Both Woodcock and Dunn are natives of Lindsay Ontario and the last words Woodcock speaks in the video shared by the Blues have really stuck with me, and may in fact explain why Dunn went so far above the call of duty to help him.
"He's a local boy, we stick behind each other," said Woodcock.