Two-year-old Nate Bell cried throughout the duration of Evgeni Malkin’s visit to his grandparents’ house this afternoon, something his family said he’s ‘never going to live down.’
Everything started out okay. After season ticket holder John Bell and his family invited Malkin into their home and exchanged greetings with him in the foyer, the group went into the basement where a net was set up. Nate’s parents asked Malkin if he would play mini-sticks on the carpeted floor with their future hockey player,who had his own little set of gloves and a goalie stick.
Nate was wearing a James Neal jersey, and Malkin said to him, ‘Come on James Neal, let’s go!’ However, as soon as Malkin knelt down to play, the little guy burst into tears and ran into his mother’s arms (which, to be fair, is probably the same reaction a lot of us would have if we had the two-time NHL scoring champ shooting on us). ‘When you’re 25, you’ll be hearing about this,’ Nate’s grandmother joked.
Nate did calm down enough at the end to give Malkin a high five and then a fist bump, but was still too scared to get in close for a picture. ‘He didn’t play hockey with me, but it’s all right,’ Malkin smiled. ‘Maybe next year.’