It was quite the weekend for Ariana Grande. Not only did the pop star win her first Grammy on Sunday night (Best Pop Vocal Album for "Sweetener") but she also became a viral star on NHL Twitter thanks to a photo from decades ago. The former may be a little bit bigger of a deal, but the latter was more stunning.
It all happened when someone managed to dig up an old newspaper clipping from 1998 featuring the singer -- then just five years old - riding the Zamboni at a Florida Panthers game. It was an adorable photo of a chubby-faced Grande that looks almost nothing like the star we've come to know.
The Zamboni ride came as a gift from Grande's mom, who secured the ride at an auction for $200.
if i’m honest ..... this is still exactly what i look like without lashes and my pony ..... anyone who knows me knows me knows ..... like .... i’m twenty five. i was five here. the only difference now is that hand now says bbq grill finger. pic.twitter.com/rkAbXla1YF— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) February 10, 2019
But the most stunning part of the clipping is the inspiration behind the article, the reason it got published in the first place. Grande was apparently a regular attendee of Panthers games, going to nearly every home game with her father. By five years old, she had been hit by not one but two pucks while sitting in the stands. In fact, she earned the distinct honor of being the first fan to be struck by a puck in the Panthers' current arena, which opened in 1998.
Luckily, in both instances the puck struck the little girl in the wrist and the damage was limited to bruising.
It appears somewhere along the line Grande lost her passion for hockey, or she's kept it a pretty good secret. She's rarely seen or heard around the NHL these days, but maybe that's a good thing. After all, she's got one of the most valuable and beloved voices in pop music these days and it's something that needs to be protected. Apparently she's a puck magnet at NHL rinks so it might just be best for everyone if she steers clear and sticks to watching from home.