Friday, 7 August 2015

Tough Guys Are Gentle

The helmetless man to the left? That's Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond. Yes, that's quite a name, but the big winger is one tough hombre when it comes to the fisticuffs. Not known as an adept scorer, he does have 35 career goals since his early days in junior with the QMJHL's Baie-Comeau Drakkar. His career-high in one season was eight goals in 2010-11 with the Albany Devils when he also set a career-high for penalty minutes in one season with 334! Needless to say, Monsieur Leblond is never going to be questioned when it comes to being the toughest kid on the playground.

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.
Monsieur Leblond found a rather young bird who had ended up in the drink, and was looking for advice as how to help the fledgling out. I piped up and told Mr. Leblond to put the bird near its nest once more to ensure that it was safe and felt safe. As you can see in Mr. Leblond's video, the young bird found its way to the top of a warm roof where it could sun itself in terms of getting warm while resting up for its next flight attempt.
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.

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 "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!

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