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One Good Thing: Hockey Fights Cancer

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Some things are bigger than the wins and losses.

Erik Karlsson, Marcus Sorensen, Melker Karlsson and Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks stand with kids on the ice during Hockey Fights Cancer Night against the Vancouver Canucks at SAP Center on November 2, 2019 in San Jose, California Photo by Kavin Mistry

Welcome to One Good Thing, a new weekly feature where we take stock of the last week in San Jose Sharks hockey and find something that just lifts our spirits. Whether it’s a performance on-ice, or a player’s Instagram post, we’re here to talk about the reasons we love this team. Winning or losing, let’s take the time to bask in these small moments.


The Sharks have not been very good this season, but let’s not let the team’s on-ice performance take away from what they have done off the ice. They put up buddy benches for each playoff win last season, they have helped to build parks in the San Jose area and have raised funds for the victims of the Gilroy shooting already this season.

Adding to that list, during Saturday’s Hockey Fights Cancer night against the Vancouver Canucks, they had their very own Graysen Rhea drop the puck.

If you have not heard Graysen’s story, she was diagnosed with Leukemia last November. Both of Graysen’s parents are Sharks employees and the organization gave both of them a leave of absence to be there for their daughter as she goes through this difficult time. The outpouring of support from not only the organization, but the players, for both Graysen and her parents shows how close knit this organization really is.

The Sharks care about their own family and the community, as well. Brent Burns was coming off a difficult game where the entire team was outplayed, but he made a point to visit Graysen and her family and provide some small tokens to help commemorate the event. Graysen may be too small to fully remember any of this, but her family will never forget.

Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer. Battling cancer is a team effort for everyone involved. The mental, physical and spiritual toll cancer takes on a family is exhausting and having moments like this help during those darkest hours when the family needs it the most. While the Sharks may not always play their best on the ice, they are always doing their best off of it, and that is more important than wins and losses.

If you would like to donate towards cancer research in the name of Graysen Rhea, you can do that via her Go FundMe page where all the funds go towards the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.