A SMALL STORY ABOUT A SMALL GESTUREThat speaks volumes about Josh Bailey

Dave Seibert is a 37-year old native of Commack, Long Island now living in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. His love for the Islanders and the game of hockey has remained. Dave coaches a squirt team in nearby Franklin and gets his taste of the NHL with the Predators.


When Nashville hosted the Islanders in December, Dave took his 9-year old son Ryan to the game. They dressed in Islanders gear head-to-toe and stood as close to the ice as possible during warmups.


Near the end of the Islanders’ warmup, rookie center Josh Bailey spotted the father and son in their blue-and-orange jerseys and figured he should thank them personally for the support. So the 19-year old Bailey scooped up a puck from the ice, skated over to the boards and tossed it to Ryan Seibert.


Of course, Ryan is now a Bailey fan for life – as is his dad. “Josh took a brief moment to make a life-long impression on a young hockey player and Islanders fan,” said Dave Seibert. “Talk about a pro athlete who ‘gets it,’ and he’s still a teenager.”


The courtesy did not end in Nashville. Ryan wrote a thank-you note to his new favorite NHL player, never for a moment expecting to hear back. But yesterday Ryan got a package at the house in Murfreesboro, air-mailed from Canada.


Inside was an Upper Deck special edition “Young Guns” hockey card, hand-signed by Josh Bailey. “It would be an understatement to say my boy went a little nuts,” said Dave.


The envelope was addressed by hand with a postage stamp affixed. To his father’s eyes, it was not processed through a machine or came from a corporate office. “The card is signed by Josh and he included his #12,” said Dave Seibert.


Forget about steroids and PSLs for a moment. This small gesture with the personal touch results in a young hockey player having two fans for life.


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