San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic is preparing for his first trip to the Stanley Cup Final but found time to tip his cap to a worthy adversary and a worthy cause.
Vlasic made a $2,500 donation to Athletes for Animals, a charity started by St. Louis Blues captain David Backes and his wife, Kelly. The Sharks defeated the Blues in six games in the Western Conference Final.
Vlasic donated in part to salute Backes and the Blues for a memorable conference final and season.
The charity, which describes itself as "a united team of professional athletes with a shared passion for rescuing and protecting the welfare of homeless pets nationwide," looks to be a natural fit for Vlasic, who is an animal lover in his own right.
The Sharks face the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).