NASHVILLE - Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher and defenseman Roman Josi weren't too busy with their pursuit of the Stanley Cup to make a surprise visit to 2-year-old Trip Phinney at his home in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on Friday.
Phinney is battling cancer and is in hospice care after recently being sent home from Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. Josi and Fisher posed for photographs with Phinney and his 1-year-old brother, Keldan, and gave the family some autographed Predators paraphernalia, including some sticks.
"Me and Mike just wanted to be there for his family," Josi said Saturday. "They're such a wonderful family and for us it was just important to be there and make sure they know we're thinking about them."
[RELATED: Complete Stanley Cup Final coverage]
The Predators returned to Nashville following their 6-0 loss to the Penguins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final in Pittsburgh on Thursday. They trail 3-2 in the best-of-7 series, but with the teams having two off days before Game 6 at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday [8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports], Josi and Fisher were able to find some time to go see Phinney and his family.
Nashville area photographer Stephanie Mullowney told the Tennessean she sent Josi a Facebook message to see if he would be willing to visit Trip, and he not only agreed but brought Fisher with him.
"It's always tough," Fisher said. "The little boy, Trip, is a week apart from my son [Isaiah], so if that doesn't hit home. … We were happy to just be there. We didn't know it was going to be in the news or anything, but all we can do to help that family … We're praying for him and recovery, too."
Phinney's mother, Theresa, told the Tennessean the family has become big Predators fans and attended four of their games with tickets donated to the Pediatric Cancer Fund by goaltender Pekka Rinne.