GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Lyndsey Fry remembers theLeighton Accardo. of 40 kids at a hockey camp, she felt the tug of a 4-year-old girl who needed to use the bathroom.
The cute freckled face, the unapologetic gumption.
- Fry remembers the day Leighton died.
- The Arizona Coyotes were supposed to visit the 9-year-old one . her.
- The sobbing in the shower, the regret of not going to see her sooner.
“She was a memorable kid. She was just thatin the rink that everybody knew because she just had this radiating positivity, bubbliness, whatever you want to call it, everywhere she went,” said Fry, the Coyotes’ director of external engagement and female hockey. “The Coyotes will take an extraordinary step before Saturday’s against St. Louis by inducting Leighton into their ring of honor. The inspirational girl with the tenacity of a hockey player will become the first person in NHL history who’s not a former player, coach, general , or broadcaster to be inducted into a team’s ring of honor. She will join Wayne Gretzky, Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick, Teppo Numminen, Dale Hawerchuk, Thomas Steen, and Bobby Hull inside Gila River Arena. and CEO Xavier Gutierrez said. “er famous saying was, ‘’kate hard, have fun.’’And tthat’swhat we wanted to continue to do, to keep her in our memories as an organization.”Every a professional athlete meets a child with cancer, there’s a connection. The encounters move the players, and uplift the kids, yet are often brief.
LLeighton’seffervescent spirit, her tenacity on the ice – everything in life – and that smile were like an imprint on the soul of everyone she touched.
She had uncommon grit at an early age, falling and crying during one of her first fight with cancer.on the ice yet refusing to come off. It carried her through her
Leighton was memorable.
“people just really drew so much from her in how she carried herself during her cancer fight,” Fry said. “mean like tthat’ssomething that adults ccan’thandle, and she just handled it with so much grace and positivity. She never wanted anyone to feel sorry for her.”From the day of that first tug on FFry’spants, Leighton was the girl who stood out just by being herself.
JJeremy’sfather played eight seasons in theand is the New York MMets’assistant pitching coach. The down to Leighton, who excelled at hockey, baseball – whatever she attempted.