Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Best Gifts Ever

I won't make any excuses for not covering the Arizona Coyotes except when times are tough. News is news, and I like to give my take on it. If you're keeping up with the theme this week on HBIC, you'll notice a lot of heart-warming stories about family and doing great things for others. Today's entry is one of those stories and it involves an amazing thing the Arizona Coyotes did for a team of amazing people about a week ago. Honestly, this is the sort of thing all professional sports franchises should be doing and certainly more often than once per year.

Before we get to what the Coyotes did, we need to meet this team of individuals who seem to love hockey more than anything else on the planet. The One Step Bobcats are a team of individuals with special needs who are breaking through walls and barriers at which most would expect them to stop only to show that they're one heckuva hockey team. They became Arizona's first special needs team to become part of the American Special Hockey Association.

I can sit here and tell you about the Bobcats all day long, but I think the following video says a whole lot more about the love, determination, and opportunity that went into making hockey dreams come true.

If that video doesn't put a bit of a lump in your throat, we might need to check your pulse. Seeing these young men excel on the ice is a tribute and a testament to the human spirit, and these are the stories that go untold when the business of sports creeps into the picture.

Now you may have noticed Howler, the Coyotes mascot, in that video and on the ice with the Bobcats. The Arizona Coyotes have been supporters of the One Step Bobcats for a while in helping them get ice-time and providing them services, but the Coyotes took their involvement one step further last week when they invited the Bobcats to Gila River Arena for an arena tour to see where their heroes play.

Or so they thought.
What the Coyotes did for these young men is extraordinary. For a team that is often mocked for its place in the standings and the news made off the ice, the Coyotes have my full respect for helping a team that never asked for help, but certainly needed it. The smiles and memories created today by the Coyotes for the Bobcats - seen throughout the video - will last a lifetime, and Matt Shott's efforts in getting the Bobcats onto Gila River Arena with their new gear and personalized jerseys makes him a hero.

Hockey is for everyone. The Arizona Coyotes are making sure of that.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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