Coyotes to induct 9-year-old girl who died of cancer into ring of honor

National

Arizona Coyotes’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23) drops the puck in front of Leighton Accardo, middle, who is battling cancer, and Calgary Flames’ Mark Giordano (5) during an NHL Fights Cancer puck drop ceremony prior to an NHL hockey game in Glendale, Ariz., in this Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, file photo. Accardo’s will to attack anything in her path, even terminal cancer, lifted an entire organization. The Arizona Coyotes will carry her spirit on by making her the first non-player, general manager or broadcaster to be inducted into an NHL team’s ring of honor. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Coyotes will take the extraordinary step of inducting Leighton Accardo into the team’s ring of honor this weekend.

The 9-year-old with the bright smile and tenacity of a hockey player became an inspiration to the team during her fight against cancer.

She will become the first person in NHL history who is not a former player, coach, general manager or broadcaster to be inducted into a team’s ring of honor.

Leighton died in November, but her memory and connection to the organization will live on.

Arizona Coyotes’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23) drops the puck in front of Leighton Accardo, middle, who is battling cancer, and Calgary Flames’ Mark Giordano (5) during an NHL Fights Cancer puck drop ceremony prior to an NHL hockey game in Glendale, Ariz., in this Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, file photo. Accardo’s will to attack anything in her path, even terminal cancer, lifted an entire organization. The Arizona Coyotes will carry her spirit on by making her the first non-player, general manager or broadcaster to be inducted into an NHL team’s ring of honor. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

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