More information came to light on Monday after a Twitter user shared his awkward experience at a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
Canadiens fan Steven Beauparlant and his son Hunter caught the Habs’ loss at Scotiabank Arena, with the boy enjoying a nice pre-game exchange with Nick Suzuki that saw him receive a hockey stick from his favourite player.
#NickSuzuki #14ClassAct @CanadiensMTL
Thanks Nick for taking a selfie & making sure Hunter was ok after he didn’t catch the puck you tossed him😂He loves the stick, puck autograph & Fat Lip😉A memory that will last a lifetime. Had to leave the game cause the stick wasn’t aloud🤣 pic.twitter.com/jtUoWRGxjM
— Steven Beauparlant (@SBeaups4) April 10, 2022
Beauparlant also claimed that he and Hunter were asked to leave the arena because they could not hold on to the stick for the duration of the game. The anecdote caused a stir online, with many wondering why arena staff would not allow the pair to enjoy the game with the stick in tow.
In a statement issued to TSN’s John Lu, a Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment official cleared up the situation, saying that the fan was asked if he would like to check the stick and that the pair left the game by their own volition.
“In this case, with 10 minutes remaining in the game, a fan was notified by security as he was walking in the concourse with a hockey stick, that due to fan safety protocols, MLSE’s fan services would assist them to check the stick until the end of the game as it poses a safety hazard for other fans,” the statement read. “The fan in this case did not want to check the stick, and instead made their own decision to leave the game.”
On top of going home with the stick, a signed puck and a selfie with his idol, Hunter was also offered a Suzuki jersey by the Canadiens and an invitation to attend Saturday's game against the Washington Capitals. He may have missed the final 10 minutes of Montreal's 3-2 loss to Toronto, but the amount of cool gear he received surely made up for it.
Hello, we're glad to hear Hunter is doing well!
Our friends @TricoloreSports would like to send him a Nick Suzuki jersey! Could you please open your direct messages so we can get your contact information?
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 11, 2022
As we just shared on the broadcast both Nick Suzuki and the Canadiens connected with the family and will have them as guests at the game Saturday when the Capitals come to town.
Stick taps to Suzuki and the team for making a feel-good story even better @Sportsnet https://t.co/EGBKnv7OQu
— Kyle Bukauskas (@SNkylebukauskas) April 12, 2022
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