This father-son hockey hug is going viral, and it's a great example of male affection.

Hockey player Bobby Butler never thought he'd have a shot at making the U.S. Olympic team.

Typically, those coveted spots are reserved for America's top NHL stars. But a surprising announcement from the league — this year, they've decided not to allow rostered players to compete in the Olympics — has opened the door to lesser-known players like Butler.

Butler during his time in the NHL with the Nashville Predators. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images


The 30-year-old Butler was, at one point, a journeyman NHL player, bouncing from team to team due to cuts and trades. Today, he plays for Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL (American Hockey League — sort of like the NHL's minor leagues). Butler represented America in the 2013 World Championship, where the U.S. team took bronze, but the Olympic team would be, without a doubt, the biggest stage of his career.

While the lack of NHL star-power meant more opportunity for greener players, competition was fierce: Team officials searched high and low for talent to join the squad — the college ranks, Americans in foreign hockey leagues, and players from the AHL — before putting their recruits through an intense trial period.

Butler made the cut. And while he was overjoyed, there was one person in his life he hoped would understand his intense flurry of emotions: his dad.

Team cameras were filming practice when Butler's dad stopped by, and the newest member of the U.S. men's hockey team got to give his old man some good news.

Butler's dad swelled with pride and wrapped his son in a bear hug as teammates cheer. The heartwarming video gives major feels:

Dads have a reputation for often being stingy with displays of physical affection. But that might all be changing.

That's not to say that fathers don't love their kids! They do. But it's been suggested that, generally, men prefer to show affection (particularly to other men and their sons) by bonding over shared activities or doing something nice. Hugs, kisses, and "I love you's" can be few and far between.

That kind of bonding has its place, but studies show that kids really benefit from a lot of warmth and physical affection from their parents. The good news is that some research suggests many men today might just be up to the task, and are driven to provide "better quality of fathering than they had experienced."

In any case, the viral response to Butler's embrace with his father shows that maybe we are ready for a world where a father can kiss his son, hold him when he's sad, and embrace him in moments of joy.

Even in the rough-and-tumble world of professional hockey.

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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