Isles’ Lehner gives 7-year-old fan stick, helps finish checklist

Foley family / Lehner
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There was only one thing remaining on seven-year-old Jack Kiefer-Foley’s checklist.

After surviving three open heart surgeries before the age of 2 and playing hockey, something doctors told him he wouldn’t be able to do, young Jack, who was born with half a heart, had a message for New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner ahead of Monday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“He’s defying all the doctors’ odds,” Jack’s mom told MSG Network during the game. “He’s doing every single thing they said he never would.”

Lehner, who is the Islanders 2019 Masterton Trophy nominee, saw the Tweet and responded with “100%” and a heart emoji. “It’s going to put a smile on my face again and make me forget about this [game] and go meet a fantastic human being and see what life’s about there,” he said.

Following the Islanders’ 2-1 loss at Nassau Coliseum, the two met and Jack was able to complete his checklist.

Why Lehner? Jack told MSG Network, “He’s been through a lot in hockey and so have I.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.