Watch the Euphoric Moment a Professional Hockey Player Surprised His Biggest Fan

Professional athletes often make headlines during the season. But this hockey player deserves some attention for his offseason activity.

Michael Del Zotto, who in the last year has gone from the New York Rangers to the National Predators to most recently, the Philadelphia Flyers, isn’t leaving his old fans behind. He proved that in the “Beyond The Offseason” segment below, where Del Zotto surprised his biggest supporter and good friend, 12-year-old Liam Traynor.

Liam, who has cerebral palsy, became well-known as a diehard Rangers fans when he appeared in an HBO documentary about the team’s rivalry with the Flyers. After meeting the team, he became particularly close with former head coach John Tortorella and Del Zotto, a defensemen. Even when the latter was traded, Liam kept in touch — the two text before every game.

Please understand, this is not a one-way street,” Del Zotto told ESPN The Magazine of the friendship. “Liam means as much to me as I mean to him. If I need some inspiration, all I have to do is call up a video the Traynors sent me of Liam working out on his treadmill.”

Below, “Beyond The Offseason” host Lisa Varga once again brought the two friends together. This time, though, Liam didn’t know about the surprise visit. The look on his face at around the 1:36 mark is priceless.

The cool thing is that Michael treats Liam like one of the guys,” Varga later wrote on her blog. “He doesn’t see the physical challenges Liam has.”

Watch the euphoric moment in the segment below:


Live Mighty. Like us on Facebook.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Supermodel With Rare Skin Disease Proves Different is Beautiful

Chantelle Brown-Young is helping to redefine the face of beauty. The 20-year-old from Toronto, Canada, has a pigmentation disorder called vitiligo. Vitiligo creates unusual looking patches of white on her skin where melanocytes, or pigment making cells, have been destroyed, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. About one percent of the [...]

Why I Stopped Trying to Make My Son ‘Typical’

When Morgan was first diagnosed with autism, my husband and I were in “fix it” mode. Our end game was that Morgan would be indistinguishable from other children. We wanted him to pass for typical. We wanted him to be happy at all costs, as long as those costs were within our scope of reasoning. [...]

Parent Like There’s No One Watching

My friend told me once that I could find the silver lining in anything. Here’s a big one that I’ve found: being a parent of an autistic child has humbled me and made me a better parent. Specifically, I’ve stopped caring about what strangers think about my parenting skills. It took me a lot of [...]

Precious Photos Show the Unparalleled Bond Between a Girl With Autism and Her Cat

We’ve read and reported on a few stories about therapy dogs. This story is about a cat, though — one who’s helping a little girl with autism connect with the world. In the photo above, 4-year-old Iris Grace, a child who’s made headlines before for her incredible paintings, snuggles up to her four-legged best friend, [...]