Every now and then, something happens in a game that's truly bigger than sports.

This happened in Upstate New York on Saturday, November 12th, yet when it did happen, nobody really knew about it. The Buffalo Sabres were set to face-off against the Boston Bruins at home, and Tage Thompson was leaning in for the draw against Patrice Bergeron.

Before the face-off, however, Bergeron stopped Thompson to say something, a gesture that seemed innocent at the time, but ended up being much more meaningful in hindsight.

600 ESPN El Paso logo
Get our free mobile app

Rival Player Asks Buffalo Star About Wife's Cancer Battle in Viral Video

Like we mentioned at the beginning of the story, we had no idea what this interaction was. The NESN cameras caught it, and here's what it looked like:

There were a number of prevailing theories. Maybe, Bergeron was complimenting Thompson on his growth into a superstar center in the National Hockey League. Or, Bergeron was asking about Brent, Tage's father, with whom Bergeron played in the AHL during the 2004-05 season.

About 24 hours later, we received our answer. Needless to say, it was far different from anything that was guessed online:

See what I mean? This was truly something that was bigger than sports.

It's likely that Bergeron has known Thompson since that 2004-05 season, and has kept tabs on him throughout his life and career. Either way, this shows how much of a class-act Patrice Bergeron is, given how important it clearly was for him to have this moment with Tage Thompson.

Vegas Golden Knights v Buffalo Sabres
Getty Images

Professional athletes are humans, too. That's something that we, as sports fans, sometimes lose sight of. Nonetheless, it's important to remember across all sports, professional and otherwise, and I give a ton of credit to Bergeron for taking the time to have this human interaction with Thompson.

Buffalo Sabres Goalie Masks

Take a look at some amazing Goalie Masks in Buffalo Sabres history.

25 Years, 25 Pro Athletes Elected to the Hall of Fame with NY Ties

From members of New York sports teams, to residents of the Capital Region and beyond, to some of the best sports stories from the Empire State, here are 25 Hall of Fame nominees from the past 25 years, all with ties to New York state.

More From 600 ESPN El Paso