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Short Shifts

Anthony Duclair gets wedding proposal from 4-year-old

Gracie Hernandez popped the question in a letter to her favorite Coyote

by Cristina Ledra @cledra / Staff Writer

Jenny and Rafael Hernandez took their two little daughters to Arizona Coyotes practice Thursday and came back with forward Anthony Duclair as a son-in-law.

Well, sort of.

Tweet from @aduclair10: Got engaged today ����

Tweet from @hernandezcoups: Gracie got engaged to her favorite player @aduclair10 today �� and we couldn't be happier for them! �� @ArizonaCoyotes

The Hernandez family from Glendale, Ariz., Jenny, Rafael, 6-year-old Mia and 4-year-old Gracie, are all huge Coyotes fans, but the girls are the biggest of the bunch.

Jenny saw their love for the team as a learning opportunity and has encouraged her daughters to pen letters to players to help with their writing skills.

"For me as a mom to see progression in my kids' writing, it's really cool, it's really helping them out a lot to practice," Jenny said.

When the family went to the Coyotes' open practice at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, Gracie had a letter ready to give to Duclair, her favorite player, welcoming him back to the team after his stint with the Tuscon Roadrunners.

"Normally they don't really read them in front of the kids, it's like 'OK, thanks,' which is great" Jenny said. "But he was just there and very open and talking to us for a minute and I said 'Oh, you know, you should read the letter.'"

Jenny scrambled to get her phone to capture the moment and caught most of it, and was surprised Duclair shared it on social media after she sent it to him.

"I'm a huge fan too, so I still get excited when they come over and talk to us," she said.

Last season Mia wrote letters to 10 players, Howler the mascot, and coach Dave Tippett, and Duclair wrote back.

"It's just really cool," Jenny said. "He's obviously a phenomenal person to take time out of his busy schedule to do that."

Mia referenced his Super Bowl picks video from a year ago where teammates Shane Doan and Max Domi razzed him for his inability to pronounce Cam Newton, the Carolina Panthers quarterback and wanted in on the joke too.

Gracie, however, now believes 100 percent that she and Duclair are married.

Watch: Youtube Video

"We've been really blessed by how amazing the Coyotes organization is to their fans as a whole," Jenny said. "There's a lot of opportunities for their fans to get involved and a lot of players have sponsored events or done charity things and it's just really wonderful to see a sports organization that's so great to their fans, and we really appreciate it."

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