Jeff Carter's ceremony for reaching 1,000 regular-season NHL games had all the elements typical of such occasions, plus one adorable twist.
The Los Angeles Kings honored the forward for reaching the milestone before their 5-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. Carter was joined by his family, then Kings president Luc Robitaille, general manager Rob Blake and Shane Doan, who was representing the NHL, came out for the ceremony with gifts.
Mysteriously, Robitaille entered the festivities carrying a puppy who appeared to take quite a liking to him. Soon, it was explained to the crowd that Robitaille's little friend was a 9-week-old puppy named Birdie from the Wags and Walks adoption center, which Carter and his wife, Megan, actively support.
Megan helps run the foster program at the center, and the Kings made a donation to the organization. The Carters also got a crystal sculpture from Doan on behalf of the NHL, a silver stick from Blake, and a vacation to a five-star resort in Georgia from Robitaille on behalf of the team.