We all know that the Toronto Maple Leafs are good at one thing: Losing. But it turns out they’re good at other things too, like making people cry. No, we’re not shedding tears because they’re a terrible hockey team (although some Leaf fans might be doing just that). We’re reaching for a box of Kleenex because these guys did something so nice, something so touching, we think it should count as a legit win on their NHL record.
The Leafs teamed up with the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada to give one very special kid a treat of a lifetime. They signed an 11-year-old to the team on a one-day contract.
So who exactly is this cool pre-teen? His name is Garrett Gamble Jr. and he’s from Saskatchewan. Young Garrett was born with a rare disease called Morquio Syndrome, which affects his bones, his heart and his hearing.
Two years ago, Garrett sent a wish to Children’s Wish letting them know that he’d love to meet his hockey heroes. Late in March, he finally got to hangout with them and sign-on as a legit hockey player with the team.
We can confirm Garrett signed for the maximum contract under the cap. He also negotiated a bonus of unlimited Coca-Cola. #TMLtalk
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 28, 2015
The Saskatchewanian First Nations kid got his own jersey, chilled with the team in the locker room before their big game against the Ottawa Senators and cheered them on once the game started.
“He’s got a great energy and he definitely has a positive outlook,” goaltender James Reimer told CTV News. “To see a kid who obviously has some struggles come in here with a big smile on his face and just be pumped about life, it definitely is uplifting.”
So uplifting, in fact, the Leafs managed to beat the Senators in overtime. Yes, some of Garrett’s goodness rubbed off on them. What else could it have been?
Want to more of Garrett? On April 1, the Leafs released this behind-the-scenes video that’s sure to make you cry again:
Garrett Gamble from Duck Lake, Saskatchewan was diagnosed with morquio syndrome in 2004. He had a wish to meet the #Leafs and drop the puck in Toronto. Thanks to The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada and the Leafs he became part of the team.
Posted by Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, 1 April 2015