Hockey Community Mourns Loss of Unborn Baby

FILE - In this March, 3, 2018, file photo, Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson pauses on the ice during the second period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz. The Senators say Karlsson's son has died. Erik and Melinda Karlsson were married last year and announced in November they were expecting their first child in the spring. Karlsson had been posting on social media about his son’s upcoming birth, most recently sharing a photo of him and Melinda on Feb. 19 with the caption “just me and my little family.” (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

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:

The pair were thrilled to be expecting.

Here is Karlsson finding out it was a boy in a perfectly hockey gender reveal.

Condolences came in on Twitter from around the hockey community:

They also came in from players and former players:

And this sweet fan:

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.