Adorable kid gets hockey stick from Habs player at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena
Saturday night's Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadiens game was especially exciting for one little kid who seemingly had his night ruined, made, and then ruined once more, ultimately causing him to miss the end of play.
It all started when young Hunter Beauparlant and the sign he made was noticed by his favourite player, Habs centre and alternate captain Nick Suzuki.
Nick, clearly wanting to make the kid's night, tried to gift him a puck, tossing it over the barriers. Mortifyingly, it ended up hitting Beauparlant in the face, busting open his lip and bringing the boy to tears.
As any good person would do, Suzuki ended up apologizing to the young fan in-person, making his way over to him for an autograph and photo op, the result of which show Hunter adorably performing the best smile-cry he could muster.
#NickSuzuki #14ClassAct @CanadiensMTL— Steven Beauparlant (@SBeaups4) April 10, 2022
Thanks Nick for taking a selfie & making sure Hunter was ok after he didn’t catch the puck you tossed him😂He loves the stick, puck autograph & Fat Lip😉A memory that will last a lifetime. Had to leave the game cause the stick wasn’t aloud🤣 pic.twitter.com/jtUoWRGxjM
The player also gave the child a once-in-a-lifetime memento: his broken stick. But again, Suzuki's good intentions led to an unfortunate outcome when Hunter and his father were told they would have to leave the game if they wanted to hold on to the stick, as it posed a risk to public safety.
The elder Beauparlant confirmed in a response to one of the many Twitter replies to the story — his original post has garnered nearly 3,500 likes and more than 500 retweets and quote tweets altogether — that Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment staff said the stick could be considered a weapon.
People generally seem unimpressed with the venue's move after Hunter's whole ordeal, and TSN Montreal reporter John Lu stated on Monday the Habs are apparently addressing the issue.
Indeed, the team's official Twitter account reached out to Hunter's dad, asking for an address to send a free Nick Suzuki jersey to.
Ya it was kinda brutal, they said it’s considered a weapon 😂 poor kid had a busted lip and didn’t wanna lose his stick so we went back to hotel— Steven Beauparlant (@SBeaups4) April 10, 2022
MLSE clarified to blogTO that they did offer to safely hold the stick for the Beauparlants until the end of the game, but their offer was declined.
"With 10 minutes remaining in the game, a fan was notified by security as he was walking in the concourse with a hockey stick that due to fan safety protocols, MLSE's fan services would assist them to check the stick until the end of the game as it poses a safety hazard for other fans," a representative said.
"The fan in this case did not want to check the stick, and instead made their own decision to leave the game."
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