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“Back-check hard and shoot more.” That was the advice 9-year-old Tucker Helstrom gave me during the 2016 NHL season. I was struggling on the ice, but it was nothing compared to what Tucker was battling: osteosarcoma (a rare type of bone cancer).
For months, Tucker fought at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, undergoing chemotherapy and surgeries, including the amputation of his leg. Sadly, he passed away July 2, 2016.
After we met during a Wild team hospital visit, we became fast friends, playing NHL 15, talking hockey, and playdates with Tucker’s sisters and my stepdaughter, Sophia. Tucker encouraged me to “shoot more.” That advice is something I’ll never forget, on and off the ice. It’s become my mantra. Tattooed on my wrist and forever in my mind. In honor of Tucker, we started #GIVE16 and I hope this hat will remind you to always “shoot more.”