Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask went home with the hardware Tuesday at the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas, but one person had an even better night than the newest Vezina Trophy recipient.
Rask attended the festivities with 9-year-old Will Lacey, a cancer patient from Braintree, Mass., who had the time of his life hanging with the best players in the game in Sin City. Lacey, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma — a rare childhood cancer — when he was just 2, was Rask’s guest at the annual event.
The young Bruins fan walked the red carpet with the B’s goalie, tried on P.K. Subban’s Olympic ring commemorating Team Canada’s gold-medal win at Sochi and joined Cuba Gooding Jr. and Adam Graves on stage to introduce the winner of the NHL Foundation Player Award. It went to Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, who also took home the Frank J. Selke Trophy.
Lacey received a standing ovation as he made his way up to the podium, but out of all the wonderful moments of the night, none topped one that all of his pals back home definitely saw.
“The NHL Network stop right at the end of the red carpet,” Lacey told NHL.com was his favorite part of the night. “My friends probably have it on right now.”
Rask also went above and beyond to ensure Lacey had the best night of his life. The goalie introduced Lacey to his hockey heroes, made sure he was in photos on the red carpet and included him in all of the interviews he gave.
“We’re both shocked because we have never doing anything like this before,” Rask said. “We’ll get through it together.”