ST. LOUIS - Imagine having your son compete in the high school hockey state championship tournament 530 miles away and not being there.
That's the situation facing Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo today as his son, Kyler - a senior at Hill-Murray High School in Minnesota - faces off against Moorhead at 1 p.m.
Kyler will be playing at Xcel Energy Center - the same rink where his dad coached the Minnesota Wild for four-plus seasons. Kyler is a captain for Hill-Murray and scored last Friday to help his team to a 6-3 upset victory against Stillwater to secure a spot in the state tournament.
"It's going to be amazing for him," Mike said of this year's state tournament. "He was there as a sophomore and they got their butt kicked a little bit because they ran into a tough opponent. (This year), they're a strong team and they're coming in with a different mindset - they're not just happy to be here. He's had just a phenomenal season as far as the group of guys he's with and the coaching staff. I'm real pleased for him."
Because Mike's team is in their own race for the postseason, he will remain in St. Louis today as he prepares for back-to-back home games this weekend against the Anaheim Ducks and New York Islanders. But you can bet he'll be streaming the game on TV this afternoon.
Being apart from his family on a day like today is especially tough. When Mike moved to St. Louis to take a job as an Associate Coach, he made a decision to move to St. Louis alone. His daughter, Braeden, had recently left for college in Colorado, and Mike and his wife, Tanya, felt it would be best if the family remained in Minnesota to allow Kyler to finish his senior year in high school.
"We knew it was the right decision. We knew it was going to be a tough decision," Mike said. "I've never lived away from my family. They've sacrificed a lot, they've moved a lot to help me get to this point. To allow him to finish his high school and be captain of a real good hockey team and have a chance to do this, then to go to state, it certainly makes it worthwhile."