Blues players Alex Steen and Colton Parayko surprised the 11-year-old at her home on Tuesday, where they presented her with one of the team’s custom-made, diamond-encrusted rings to commemorate their 2018-19 championship season.
The two players befriended Laila before last season, and invited her to several of their playoff games last spring. Laila became a fan favourite during the Blues’ playoff run, amid her own battle with a rare and life-threatening disease known as hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, or HLH.
Parayko and Steen showed up at Laila’s home on Tuesday to present her with her new ring, just one day after they received their own.
“A special gift from her boys,” the Blues wrote in a video tweet on Tuesday. “Thank you Laila for being such an inspiration during our Stanley Cup run.”
The video shows the Blues greeting Laila and her mom at the door, then preparing her for the surprise inside.
“There’s a reason why we’re here, too,” Steen says, with the ring box held behind his back. “You know how much you mean to us, right? And what an inspiration you’ve been to so many people. So me and Colton … have something that we would like you to open right now.”
“That box looks really big,” Laila says in the video. She opens the ring box and immediately bursts into tears at the sight of the jewelry inside.
“Oh my God,” she says, sobbing as they help her pull the ring out of the box. “I feel like I shouldn’t be touching this.”
Laila and her mother fawn over the ring for a moment, then the girl kisses it and slips it on her finger.
“How does it fit?” one player asks.
“Beautifully,” she says.
“It’s her whole hand,” Laila’s mom adds.
Parayko then chimes in with a joke: “That poor guy who’s gonna propose to you one day…”
“Until then, this will do,” Laila says.
The heartwarming video has been watched more than 2.8 million times online.
Laila attended six home games during the Blues’ playoff run, and she was on the ice when the team hoisted their first Stanley Cup in franchise history in June. Parayko helped Laila lift the Cup during the team’s on-ice celebration.
WATCH: Laila Anderson joins St. Louis Blues for their Stanley Cup parade
Stanley Cup-winning franchises typically commission rings for the players, coaches, management, support staff, ownership and the hometown broadcast team. However, it’s rare for a team to hand out a ring to a fan, especially since they’re so expensive.
Each championship ring is made out of 14-karat white and yellow gold, and decked out with diamonds and sapphires that add up to 10.6 carats, according to Jostens, which designed the rings.
One side of each ring is customized with the owner’s name and number, if applicable. However, all of them feature Laila’s name inscribed on the inside of the band.
Jostens is also selling 139 of the rings on its website, starting at US$599 and maxing out at $US5,999 for a ring with all of the top-tier options.
The Blues will begin their defence of the Stanley Cup this week.