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Flyers honor fallen Iraq War vet with new player of the game award

"Colby's Cap" will be given to the Flyers' player of the game after wins this season. The cap belonged to First Lieutenant Colby Umbrell, a Bucks County native who was killed in Iraq in 2007.

Len Redkoles / NHL

Most teams in the NHL give away some sort of thing to the MVP of the game each time they win. The Rangers have the "Broadway Hat," the Penguins used to and still may give away a shovel, the Blackhawks have a wrestling-style belt, etc. You get the idea.

Some of these items honor others. A few years back when Wade Belak passed away, the Predators honored their former teammate by giving away his old firefighter helmet to their game MVP after each win. (Yes, Wade Belak was a volunteer firefighter. Awesome guy.)

Now the Flyers can join this great club.

After wins this season, the Flyers are giving away "Colby's Cap," the cap of First Lieutenant Colby Umbrell, a soldier from Doylestown who died in the line of duty in Iraq in 2007.

The Inquirer has the full story:

"We love our son and miss him terribly, but what keeps your head afloat is how proud you are, so when you see that, it makes you proud," [First Lt. Umbrell's mom, Nancy Umbrell] said Thursday of watching Mason wearing the cap with her son's name and first lieutenant bar on it. "It's been almost eight years, and he's still remembered."

Before Thursday's game against Florida on Military Appreciation Night, Berube said he wanted to honor someone "who puts it on the line all the time." He added that the cap is "not just awarded for points. It's not just given out to, say, Claude Giroux if he gets three points. It's more than that. It's for somebody who did something for the team, showed courage. A team guy. Like those guys" in the military.

Great stuff by Craig Berube and the Flyers here. Makes you proud to root for this team.