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Short Shifts

Patrik Laine gives fan belated birthday visit

Jets forward spends time with 8-year-old after getting party invitation on social media

by Daniel O'Leary @DanOLeary25 / NHL.com Staff Writer

Some kids write letters to Santa Claus, but one young fan decided to write to Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine and it couldn't have worked out better.

It was on Christmas Day that 8-year-old Lucas Bydak's letter to the star forward was shared with the world by his uncle on Twitter.

Tweet from @marcopolo_1979: My nephews note to Patrik Laine...Worth a shot #nhljets @NHLJets #GoJetsGo @PatrikLaine29 pic.twitter.com/04e57v1rZT

The letter was an open invitation for Laine to attend Bydak's birthday party Jan. 7.

Laine's mother, Tuija, got word of the invitation and contacted Bydak's mother, Nicole Berube. She apologized that Laine would miss the party (the Jets played in Buffalo that night), but asked for the family's address. Perhaps to send a gift?

Nope.

Thursday afternoon, Laine showed up in person to wish Bydak a happy birthday.

Tweet from @marcopolo_1979: Special delivery by a special hockey player for a special nephew! @PatrikLaine29 wasn't able to make his party but this will do �� #GoJetsGo pic.twitter.com/4wLAHPm1IZ

"Big surprise," Bydak told CBC News. "I was really excited. I never really thought he would ever come. … It ended up really well." 

One bag of Finnish candy and a few autographs later, one young fan had a birthday memory he never will forget.

Tweet from @marcopolo_1979: Meet and greet,signed jersey,chocolates from Finland and a signed picture from @PatrikLaine29 @nhljets #BestDayEver and a #VeryJealousUncle pic.twitter.com/sqqkH23ASB

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