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The best deeds are the ones unseen. Unfortunately for injured Washington Capitals center Mikhail Grabovski, I was at Kettler today and totally saw this.

Grabo left the ice after a brief work-out with fellow injured teammate Jack Hillen and started walking towards the locker room. That’s when he heard around 25 children screaming his name. He smiled.

Grabovski turned around and brought some gifts along with him, two fully-taped sticks he had just used on the ice during practice. One stick he handed to a kid in the front row; the other he tossed to the back for the kids fight over.

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Grabovski, laughing, then tried going back to the locker room, but once again, his new fans would not relent. They started screaming, “Mr. Grabovski, can you sign the sticks,” in unison. So Grabo dutifully turned around again. First, he signed a Capitals jersey for a kid with his number 84 on the back. Then he signed the sticks.

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After a minute, Grabovski — dripping with sweat — retreated into the locker room to get treatment. Meanwhile, the kids — all dressed in the same colored sweats — were beaming.

I went up to them and asked them where they were from. They said New Jersey. “We play for Team Comcast and are playing the Little Caps here later,” one of the braver boys told me.

“That other kid who got the stick, he just high-tailed it out of here,” another boy chimed in, reliving the moment.

I thanked the kids for talking to me (we all high-fived), and as I started walking away, I overheard one last thing.

“Grabovski is so cool,” one of the pee-wee hockey players said. “This is the best day ever.”

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  • Ryan Kohn

    <3 you, Grabo.

  • William

    Great piece Ian. This is one of the reasons I love this site and another reason why I want grabo to stay. In fact I am going to buy his jersey right now.

    He has such a big heart

  • John Lindner

    I know some guys in Afghanistan that could use some of those Sticks.. check out Facebook.com/sticksfortroops

  • Mac

    Team Comcast kids?

  • maddyjl

    The last time I was at Kettler, Grabo was walking off the ice and was about to go into the locker room when he glanced over at the crowd gathered. I was at the front of the pack. Seizing the opportunity, I pulled out all the stops, which consisted of a dance move something like this http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view7/2590883/napoleon-dynamite-o.gif
    perhaps a little less….well, just less.
    Grabo smiled and decided to come over to greet the small crowd. Love his commitment to the fans. Also love his tantrums.
    On a related note, can someone please tell him to shave the ‘stache? He is doing himself no favors…