Allen Harris thought he was just taking his sons Brock and Dylan to the hardware store to find materials for build a door Saturday. Instead,he and his boys got a spontaneous roadside meet-and-greet with Derick Brassard.
"It was just kind of a whole event in guessing who it might be, seeing a real player, then having him pull off," Harris told NHL.com. "There we were, four of us on the side of the road having a five- or 10-minute chat. It was unscripted, unexpected and unforgettable."
Harris, a contractor from Renfrew, Ontario, was on his way to the store in Kanata when he and his sons saw a Mercedes pull out from the parking lot at Canadian Tire Centre. Harris remembered that the Ottawa Senators were cleaning out their lockers that day, and told his boys Brock, 10, and Dylan, 13, that it might be a member of the team. Harris rolled down the windows of his truck so he could give Brassard a thumbs up and the boys could cheer for him.
To Harris' surprise, Brassard pulled up beside him and gestured that he pull over. The Senators forward asked Harris if his boys played hockey, and when he answered 'Yes,' Brassard went into his car. He gave them each a game-used stick from the bunch he had stashed in the back.
"It was funny because in the back seat of this Mercedes, he's tugging on a wad of sticks because they're stuck between the seats," Harris said.
Brassard then posed for a picture with the boys and their new lumber.
Harris first told the story to Ian Mendes of TSN 1200 in Ottawa, who helped turn it into a viral moment, but he stopped sharing the experience with friends and Senators fans since it happened.
"I was jacked about it all day," Harris said. "I told about five or six people about it Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. At the hardware store, the supermarket. If I know the people there, I start talking about it."
Harris has been a fan of the Montreal Canadiens since 1979, and his sons identify as Montreal fans too. But they cheered for the Senators in their run to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final this season, and Brassard's kindness left a lasting impression.
"Saturday was pretty cool," Harris said. "Just your run-of-the-mill trip to Home Depot."