Fourteen cancer survivors and 40 hockey players took the ice before the Lightning's game against Edmonton on Hockey Fights Cancer Night, each holding a "I fight for" card.
It was a nice moment, a tribute to the survivors and the many different ways cancer touches so many people.
Typically, just the starting lineups are on the ice pregame, for the national anthems. On Tuesday, both entire teams lined up, each holding his own card.
Some of the Lightning players wrote specific names – Bo, Casey, Dalton – others held signs that said things like "Papa, "my dad" and "all the children." Survivors held signs reading "all the other kids with cancer," "my hero, my daughter Jordyn" and more.
Also, the Lightning brought out three honorary captains for the ceremonial puck drop. H. Lee Moffitt, who helped create the Moffitt Cancer Center; John Cullen, former Lightning player and cancer survivor; and Tom Miracle, Lightning ice maintenance manager, all were recognized.
Miracle is currently battling cancer and Tuesday was his first day back in the building. Many of the building's staff assembled at the employee entrance to welcome Miracle back, and the ice maintenance staff lined the carpet as Miracle took the ice.
It was a very nice touch to include one of their own in the ceremony.