One of the reasons I'm a fan of hockey is that hockey players seem to be a little more connected to their fans. I think they realize that their game isn't as popular as the other major sports, and so they appreciate those fans who stick with them year in and year out.
Like the other sports, they also reach out to those less fortunate. The Montreal Canadiens invited a group of children with disabilities to a recent game, and put them up in one of the luxury boxes that Jose Theodore keeps for such occasions. They also invited one of the boys, Jeremy Gabriel, who had been deaf since birth to sing the Canadian National Anthem before the game.
After receiving a standing ovation for his rendition, Jeremy spoke to Saku Koivu, one of the Canadiens, and asked him to score a goal for him. Koivu obliged, scoring the first goal of the game 8:26 after the puck drop. "It was very emotional and very touching," Koivu said. "He did a great job on the national anthem and he asked me before the game if I could score a goal for him, and I was lucky enough to get that one tonight. We'll find him and get him that puck."
That is the essence of the purity of sports, something magical that has been lost on an entire generation of football and basketball players, who participate because they have to, but stop at doing that extra step. Although, I must say Priest Holmes does well in Kansas City, where plays chess with kids regularly, something else I advocate. Good job, Mr. Holmes.