Hockey is the best sport. I will brook no argument.
Case in point: NHL player Erik Karlsson and his wife, Melinda lost their baby son just a month before he was due to be born, and the community has come out to support him as he mourns his loss.
His team, the Ottawa Senators, issued a statement in which they said:
“The collective thoughts and prayers of the Ottawa Senators organization, the city of Ottawa and entire hockey community rest with Erik and Melinda Karlsson following the loss of their son.
We ask that you respect the family’s wishes for privacy during the grieving process.”
Karlsson Tweeted a statement on Wednesday:
— Erik Karlsson (@ErikKarlsson65) March 21, 2018
The pair were thrilled to be expecting.
Here is Karlsson finding out it was a boy in a perfectly hockey gender reveal.
CONGRATULATIONS, KARLSSONS! 👶🎉 pic.twitter.com/vhDYD1JQzz
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) December 18, 2017
Condolences came in on Twitter from around the hockey community:
The players and staff of the NHLPA extend their condolences to Erik and Melinda Karlsson following the loss of their son. https://t.co/gjoLYo5Ihw
— NHLPA (@NHLPA) March 20, 2018
The entire LA Kings' organization is thinking of Erik Karlsson and his family during this time ❤️
— LA Kings (@LAKings) March 20, 2018
Nos pensées sont avec la famille Karlsson ce soir suivant la tragique nouvelle. / Our thoughts are with the Karlsson family tonight following this tragic news. Please accept our heartfelt condolences during this difficult time.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) March 21, 2018
They also came in from players and former players:
Today is a day to remember that there are way more important things in life and hockey is just a game!! Our condolences to @ErikKarlsson65 and his wife Melinda on their tragic loss!!
The Savard Family
— Marc Savard (@MSavvy91) March 20, 2018
Our thoughts and prayers are with you @ErikKarlsson65 on the sad news of your son. May he rest in peace.
Larry Robinson & family
— Larry Robinson (@19LarryRobinson) March 20, 2018
And this sweet fan:
— Wayne Cuddington (@wcuddington) March 21, 2018
Headlines also acknowledged the player’s loss. People Magazine said “Hockey Star Erik Karlsson and his Wife Melinda Lose Son One Month Before his Due Date,” and the CBC announced “Condolences pour in after son of Ottawa Senators Captain Erik Karlsson dies.”
In this tragedy, it is beautiful to see the hockey community (and even some mainstream outlets!) come together to acknowledge the loss of an unborn child. Maybe this world is a little more loving than we thought- or maybe it’s just hockey.
I’d like to add my own prayers of support for the Karlsson family.