If Colman Kuzniar could, he would play hockey. But because he lives with Common Variable Immune Deficiency, he’s unable to join a team now.
That all changed on Saturday when Kuzniar’s wish to become a Blackhawk became a reality.
Kuzniar, a Westchester native, joined the Blackhawks’ morning skate before they hosted the Vegas Golden Knights. He was just like one of the guys, sporting his own customized Hawks jersey.
Kuzniar beat captain Jonathan Toews in a faceoff battle and scored a goal on Cam Ward.
“I did a little stickhandle then I faked and then I did a wrist shot and I scored,” Kuzniar said.
It was just that easy.
Kuzniar received some souvenirs, too, including a signed jersey and several of the players sticks. He also got a signed puck from another one of his favorite players, Golden Knights star goalie Marc-André Fleury.
At the end of practice, Kuzniar’s mother, Jamie, was overwhelmed.
“It was amazing. This is his wish come true,” she said. “On average, he’s hospitalized six or seven times a year. He has treatments now every week with needles in his belly. [So] to see him have a day for himself where he gets to be in the spotlight and do something he really wants, what else could a mother want? So I’m just so appreciative to everyone for everything.”
But truly, the pleasure was all the Blackhawks’.
“We’re in a privileged position to bring a smile to their face,” defenseman Duncan Keith said. “We feel lucky to be able to do that … I always feel for the kid. Some of us have kids of our own, and it’s touching seeing that sort of thing. It’s nice to bring a smile to a face and see him happy and just excited to be out there and enjoying himself.”