One of the most tragic stories of the season in the National Hockey League has undoubtedly been the loss of Matt Murray's father. The Pittsburgh Penguins star netminder lost his dad at only 23-years-old, something most young men and women don't have to deal with.
He left the team to deal with the loss, and it took him some time to get back into the lineup.
Not long after that, the Penguins find themselves on the "dads trip".
The timing of this couldn't be worse for Murray, as it presents a constant reminder this weekend of what he lost. But with that being said, Murray displayed an incredible amount of strength by deviating his attention from the fathers trip by spending time with one of his biggest fans, Will Woleben.
Suffering from a terminal disease, the 6-year-old boy got to spend time with Murray, receiving one of his goalie sticks, taking pictures and just getting to talk with him. As Jason Mackey from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said, this is the kind of moment that would've made his dad incredibly proud.
Murray, in a way, acted as a fatherly figure for Will, or at least a role model.
Will's mother offered some kind words to Murray after the meet-up.
“I wish I could’ve given him a hug and told him we love him, that we are so sorry and to stay strong,” Kasey said, according to Mackey. “For him to even acknowledge with this stick and everything, this is his ultimate dream come true. We’re really appreciative that he did take the time to come out and meet with him."
Mackey revealed that the reason Will is so enamored with Murray is because of how he wears his gatorade towel around his neck in post-game interviews. It would get Will excited to see it every time, to the point where he asked for the same towel for Christmas.
Sometimes it's these small things that make the biggest difference in a kid's life - especially when it's as short as Will's will sadly be.