'Are you the kid in the video?': Brantford boy surprised by Carey Price reacts to newfound fame
Following a special moment with his hockey idol going viral, 11-year-old Anderson Whitehead said he is trying to get used to being recognized as he touched back down in the Greater Toronto Area.
After landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport coming back from the NHL Awards in Las Vegas, the young boy from Brantford, Ont. said more than 10 people on his plane asked him “are you the kid in the video?”
“One person was watching it and then I walked by,” Anderson Whitehead said with a giggle while speaking with CTV News Toronto at the airport on Friday morning.
Anderson Whitehead lost his mother in November 2018 to cancer. Before she died, Laura Whitehead told her son she would do everything she could to ensure he would one day meet his hero, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price.
That dream came true by the end of February when the boy shared a hug with the seven-time NHL All-Star during a morning skate at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena.
The unforgettable moment was caught on camera and was shared many times online.
Four months later, sporting a suit and a big smile, the young boy walked up on stage at the award ceremony in front of thousands of spectators to accept his award for the best feel good moment of the year.
A video of Price began to play where he said, “Hey Anderson, hope you’re enjoying Vegas. I just wanted to say that your mother was a special person and sharing that moment with you is something I will always remember for the rest of my life – it was very special to me.”
Price then paused briefly before saying “hold up, hold up, hold up.”
Anderson Whitehead is seen looking around the venue before realizing that his idol was joining him on stage with a signed jersey in hand.
“The event organizer said he wasn’t going to be there when I asked so it was a complete surprise,” he said. “It was really cool and it felt like it was very relieving to see him.”
After video of the second interaction also went viral, the 11-year-old said he never thought he would become someone who would be recognized by strangers at the airport.
“I was pretty surprised since I was just joking with my family about it going viral at first and then it actually did.”
The boy then took a moment to thank Price.
“He’s a good person and he’s trying to make a good impact on the hockey community by putting not the sport before him, but putting people before the sport and always trying to make it so that people feel welcome,” he said. “I want to say thank you again to him for the time he spent with me.”
Anderson Whitehead’s father said he thinks Price is “genuinely a good human being.”
“I think he just wanted to be there for Anderson,” he said. “I think a lot of hockey players like to get involved in the community and he’s a big community guy so I think that this is just a way of reaching out past Montreal.”
“It was truly amazing.”
Price also surprised the boy with the opportunity to attend next year’s NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis, Missouri on January 26.