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Notable sports deaths in 2016

NHL player chokes up about his son seeing him score a goal

Edmonton Oiler Patrick Maroon helped his team get a win Monday night against the St. Louis Blues.

What happened after the game melted the hearts of even non-hockey fans.

After Maroon scored the game-tying goal, a camera caught Maroon's son celebrating his dad's shot, according to Bleacher Report.

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Maroon's hometown is St. Louis, but he plays for Edmonton.

Many fans don't realize that while players are traveling across North America playing 82 games a season, they're away from their families for months at a time.

That fact hit home for Maroon during the after-game interview.

The interview started out like any after-game interview, rehashing the big plays and the win, but the tone quickly changed when the reporter asked Maroon about his son seeing his goal.

Watch the whole interview below, or click here for the emotional segment.

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Steelers, Penguins spread cheer in holiday videos

Tis the season for Pittsburgh sports teams to get into the holiday spirit. The Steelers and the Penguins have released videos that are sure to bring a smile to fans' faces.

Steelers players donned their best ugly team sweaters to give a performance of "Frosty the Snowman" like no other. 

The Penguins' holiday e-card features their re-enactment of "Elf."

Hockey legend Gordie Howe dies at 88

Legendary hockey player Gordie Howe has died. He was 88.

Howe, known as "Mr. Hockey," was born in Canada and played 26 seasons in the National Hockey League, 25 of those seasons with the Detroit Red Wings.

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Howe set many records during his lengthy career, including being a 23-time NHL All-Star. He was the recipient of the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.  

Howe is the only player to have actively played the sport professionally in five decades and technically, stretched his playing time to six decades when he signed a one-game contract with the Detroit Vipers of the IHL in 1997.

According to WWJ, Howe suffered a significant stroke in October 2014. He received stem-cell treatment in Mexico as part of his recovery process.

Fans took to social media to pay their respects.

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/fans-remember-hockey-legend-gordie-howe/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/fans-remember-hockey-legend-gordie-howe.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script>[View the story "Fans remember hockey legend Gordie Howe" on Storify]

Vincent Lecavalier retiring after 17 years in NHL

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Los Angeles Kings forward Vincent Lecavalier still plans on retiring this summer after 17 seasons in the NHL, The Associated Press reports.

The 36-year-old, who was the No. 1 draft pick in 1998, spent most of his career with the Tampa Bay Lightning, winning the Stanley Cup in 2004. He also was awarded the Maurice Richard Trophy for being the league's top goal-scorer in 2006-07.

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But things changed in 2013 when he signed with the Philadelphia Flyers, where he struggled. According to the Sports Quotient, he appeared in only seven games this season and said he planned to retire before he was traded to the Kings. There, he did well, with 10 goals and seven assists.

"I always had that confidence deep down that I could still do well, so it was great," Lecavalier said.

The Kings' season ended last week with a first-round playoff loss to the San Jose Sharks.

"It was a great team, and I know they're going to win again, just by the way they act and by the leadership group and the talent they have," he said.

Lecavalier said he plans to head back to Tampa with his wife and children. 

Read more here.

Hockey fan scores $100K shot at game

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A lucky hockey fan with good aim left $100,000 richer after Thursday night's Solar Bears game.

Nick Giovaneilli was picked out of 8,000 fans to hit a puck into the goal through a tiny hole, 115 feet away. 

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Giovaneilli nailed the shot. The Solar Bears mascot, Shades, gave him a big congratulatory bear hug. 

The Solar Bears won 4 to 3 against the Florida Everblades in overtime.

The Solar Bears are part of the ECHL,  a mid-level professional ice hockey league.

 

Malfunctioning escalator sends hockey fans tumbling, causes pileup

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A malfunctioning escalator at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia unexpectedly sped up while people were traveling to a lower level of the building.

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The glitch happened Saturday night after the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Ottawa Senators.

Cheering hockey fans were exiting the building and using the escalator when the staircase suddenly started to accelerate.

People were thrown from the speeding escalator and crashed into each other as they reached the bottom floor. Some jumped over the side of the escalator. 

"(The) escalator got a little excited about the Flyers win too," Meghan McGreevy wrote on Facebook after posting a video of the human pile-up. 

Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.  

Ike Richman, owner of the Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center, issued a statement to WVIT:

“We immediately closed it down to protect our patrons and notified the operator. We are working with the operator on investigating this incident. We did not use that particular escalator during (Saturday's Philadelphia 76ers) game. We expect it to be working in time for Tuesday's Sixers game, which is our next event.”

Escalator got a little excited about the flyers win too...#flyers #philadelphiaPosted by Meghan McGreevy on Saturday, April 2, 2016

New York Rangers help fan get a date to prom

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A New York Rangers fan enlisted the help of his favorite NHL team Monday night to get a date to prom.

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The fan, identified by the Rangers as Vinny, wanted to take a girl named Catherine to prom. During Monday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, he held a sign that said “Zucc! If you give me your stick, she'll go to prom with me!”

He was asking for help from Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello. The player didn't disappoint. He signed his hockey stick and gave it to Vinny.

“Have fun at prom,” he wrote. “Treat her right!”

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>A great night gets even better for Vinny and Catherine thanks to #NYR Mats Zuccarello! First they get the stick pre-game then Zucc signs the stick and sign!!Posted by New York Rangers on Monday, February 29, 2016

After the Rangers beat the Blue Jackets 2-1, the team shared news of the successful matchmaking attempt on social media.

“Catherine said yes to Vinny!” the team said on Twitter.

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