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Broten puts hunting on hold for Classic

Saturday, 12.31.2011 / 12:30 PM

By Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer / Classic Preparations

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Classic Preparations
Broten puts hunting on hold for Classic
PHILADELPHIA -- Before Paul Broten ever joined the New York Rangers in 1989, he grew up in Roseau, Minn. If you're not familiar with that territory, it's a cold-weather area in a state that's nicknamed The Land of 10,000 Lakes.

So it would only be normal to assume Broten spent his boyhood years skating outside on frozen bodies of water, honing the game that would allow him to spend seven years in the NHL and four with the Rangers.

Well, you'd be wrong.

"You know what, I didn't," Broten said Friday, as he met with media on the eve of 2012 Molson Canadian Winter Classic Alumni Game in which he'll take part. "I grew up in northern Minnesota. We didn't have a lot of outdoor rinks. We had three indoor rinks. We had 2,500 people who skated all the time. I played a lot of road hockey. But the myth of skating outdoors in northern Minnesota was…never did it a lot. We always had indoor rinks and did that all the time."

Broten will get to skate outside Saturday against the Flyers alumni at Citizens Bank Park. While that will be a rarity for the 46-year-old, he talked about what is commonplace for a native of Minnesota -- ice fishing and sitting in a tree for hours while out hunting.

"That's part of Minnesota -- if you don't ice fish and you don't sit in a tree and wait for a deer, you're not a true Minnesotan," Broten said. "I'm not going to say it's a lot of fun, but it's something you have to do. I do a lot of it, and I enjoy it. It's just something that gets you out of the house I guess."

Broten told his favorite story from the Flyers-Rangers rivalry, when he scored a big goal that angered the Flyers' goaltender.

"The rivalry way so intense," Broten said. "I'll never forget the time (Darren Turcotte) slid the puck over to me and I scored against Ron Hextall. I told him, 'Hey, it's not a guessing game.' He was so mad that he swung his stick and broke it. Every time I came into Philadelphia, it was always a battle. Guys were nervous to play here because we knew it was going to be an intense hockey game.

"When they turned the bus off and pulled into the parking lot, the bus would still be shaking. Guys were scared. They knew they were in for a battle."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
 
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