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NHL players, teams in mourning after tragic death of Kobe Bryant

NBA legend's passing stunned, saddened entire sports world

by Dan O'Leary @DanOLeary25 / Staff Writer

The sports world continues to mourn the loss of retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, who was tragically killed in a helicopter accident on Sunday.

The 41-year-old Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others died on their way to Mamba Sports Academy for a basketball game. The outpouring of love and support across the NHL for the basketball legend was immense.

The tributes continued on Saturday, the Columbus Blue Jackets sent just two players out to the blue line for their pregame ceremony: defenseman Zach Werenski, who wears No. 8 and forward Nathan Gerbe who wears No. 24.

Tweet from @BlueJacketsNHL: 💜💛

In Minnesota on Saturday, Wild defenseman Matt Dumba paid homage to Bryant by wearing a No. 24 jersey with "Bryant" stitched on the back during warmups before a game against the Boston Bruins.

Tweet from @mnwild: Honoring an icon.#mnwild | #MambaForever

On Monday, country music singer Karen Lee Batten performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "O Canada" while wearing a purple No. 24 jersey, which the Los Angeles Lakers retired in 2017 along with Bryant's original No. 8, before the Vancouver Canucks hosted the St. Louis Blues at Rogers Arena.

Video: STL@VAN: Canucks, Blues salute Bryant family

The Montreal Canadiens showed highlights of Bryant's 20 NBA seasons during "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Video: WSH@MTL: Canadiens honor Bryants with video tribute

The Dallas Stars, prior to hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning at American Airlines Arena, also the home of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, held a moment of silence recognizing that Bryant played plenty of games in the very same arena.

Video: TBL@DAL: Stars hold moment of silence for Kobe Bryant

Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators, also went silent in tribute to the late NBA legend.

Video: TOR@NSH: Predators honor Bryants with pregame tribute

NHL players and teams alike continued to mourn Bryant. San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane wrote the names of Kobe and Gianna Bryant on his game stick.

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: .@evanderkane_9 has a special tribute on his stick tonight.

The Los Angeles Kings, who share Staples Center with Bryant's Lakers, put together a stirring tribute in their first home game after the tragedy on Wednesday. That same night Alex Ovechkin took the ice in a jersey with No. 24 on the back instead of his usual No. 8.

On Friday, Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson wore a beautiful custom-made mask as tribute to Bryant.

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