Hockey fan's teary-eyed feel-good moment with Carey Price recognized at NHL awards
Canadiens goalie comforts sobbing Anderson Whitehead, 11, on stage as he hands him a signed Canadiens jersey
Young Montreal Canadiens fan Anderson Whitehead was moved to tears when he was reunited Wednesday with goalie Carey Price, on stage in front of thousands during the NHL awards gala in Las Vegas.
Before the 11-year-old lost his mother to cancer in November, she had promised to do anything she could to help him meet his idol Price, a multiple winner in past awards ceremonies.
After her death, Whitehead's aunt took up the task and arranged for the young Ontarian to meet Price during a practice in February in Toronto. Whitehead tearfully asked for an autograph and Price offered the boy more than just a signature — he gave him a hug as well. The boy broke down in tears, and their time together was widely shared on social media.
Fans voted the exchange, captured on camera, as the NHL awards' feel-good moment of the season.
So Whitehead was called on stage during the ceremony in Las Vegas.
At first, Price appears on a video screen behind the boy. But then, he surprises him in person.
Watch the emotional moment:
"I have two things for you," Price said. "One is this jersey, and the other is a question, 'Do you want to go to the all-star game?' about the game in San Jose in January.
"Yes," Whitehead said, standing on tiptoes to speak into the microphone, his eyes wet and the audience cheering.
Anderson raises thousands for hospice
Anderson has been busy since he first met Price months ago.
He has devoted his time and energy to fundraising for the palliative care centre that took care of his mother, the Stedman Community Hospice in Brantford, Ont., according to the NHL.
Anderson participated in the centre's Hike For Hospice on May 5 and won the prize for top youth fundraiser after pulling in $5,800.
Anderson has already started raising money for next year's hike, with the aim of doubling what he earned in 2019.