However, what makes the dichotomy of hockey tough guys so great is that they're gentle giants off the ice. Bob Probert, Georges Laraque, Tie Domi, and all the other big names you can think of were generally the nicest guys once the final whistle went and they blended back into society. Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond is no different as this video from Twitter today proves.
Mr. Leblond did the right thing, folks. That baby bird now has a chance at flight once more, meaning it has a better than good chance of survival. For a guy everyone fears on the ice, this little bird found a helping hand in some of the most feared mitts in the AHL.
@TeebzHBIC I put him back by his nest in the ground for now.. drying off or tanning I'm not sure what he's doing..— Pierre-Luc L Leblond (@PLLeblond) August 7, 2015
For those out there shaking their heads and thinking, "He touched the bird. The mom won't take it back. She'll smell him", I want to point out that this myth has been perpetuated for a long time with no scientific basis. "Birds don't have a very strong sense of smell ," Miyoko Chu, biologist at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, told Rose Eveleth of livescience.com. "so you won't leave a scent that will alarm the parent. Usually, birds are quite devoted to their young and not easily deterred from taking care of them."
Now don't go out there and start just grabbing at baby birds, readers. But if you see one that seems to be struggling like Mr. Leblond did in the water, go ahead and put your Superman or Wonder Woman costume on and pick the little bird up. You're doing it no harm in terms of its mother not feeding it or abandoning it altogether.
Today's Superman? Mr. Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond. Gentlest hands of all.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!