Mark was born on February 2, 1977 in Bloomington, Minnesota to Gene and Barb, who will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary in December.
Mark has an older brother, Geno, who played on the United States Roller Hockey team in international play last year. Geno has also played in the UHL and once skated with the Islanders during a summer mini-camp.
Growing up, Mark had two dogs, Ashley and AJ.
Mark married Nicholle on June 18, 2004. They met through Nicholle's father, Gerry, who Mark knows from being in a softball league. Mark and Nicholle met after an Islanders-Minnesota Wild game on January 19, 2001. The Islanders lost that game 3-2, but Mark now has fond memories of that night. Mark and Nicholle have a house in Manhasset. Mark's mother-in-law is Judy and his sister-in-law is Jillian.
MARK'S FAVORITE THINGS
Movie: Wedding Crashers
TV Show: Family Guy
Vacation Spot: Northern Minnesota
Book: "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown
Car: BMW 745
Video Game: Anything on PSP
Board Game: Chutes and Ladders
Brand of Hockey Stick: CCM
Brand of Skates: Reebok
THE POP CULTURE CHALLENGE
Favorite hockey player growing up? Dino Ciccarelli
Stadium food? Cheeseburger
Ever purchased an SI Swimsuit magazine? Many of them
How old were you on your first date? 15, I think
Favorite TV show? Smallville
Instant messages other NHL players? Yes
Watches "The OC"? No
Likes "Laguna Beach"? Yes
TiVo anything? Many things
Thinks DiPietro should stay in the crease? I don't know, but it makes it interesting when he comes out
Pretended to be Bobby Ny or Trotts? No, but those guys were incredible
Plays online poker? No
Watches Arena Football? I have
Aaron Garcia or John Elway? John Elway…sorry Aaron, but Elway for sure
Dig Hulk Hogan's Daughter? No. I don't want to be beat up by the Hulk
Hogan or Rick Flair? Hogan, for sure
Lifehouse, Ashley Simpson or Billy Joel? Lifehouse
TPC Sawgrass or Bethpage Black? That's tough. I love both. I'll give it to TPC Sawgrass.
Seen Bates' PS vs. Toronto? Yes, I was sitting on the bench
Family Guy or Entourage? Family Guy
Thinks Brad and Angelina will last? Don't care
Will read the Islanders yearbook? Of course I will
Heard about the "Milbury" incident? Which one?
Mets or Yankees? Yankees
Jets or Giants? Jets
Like the color orange? Yes
TSN.ca or ESPN.com? I'll have to give it to TSN.ca
Misses the red line? Not at all
Likes shootouts? They're exciting
Thinks the Coliseum is perfect as is? No…like it but everyone knows it needs work
Got a speeding ticket? Yes
Watches reruns of Full House? No
Do you like Ricky's goalie pads? I like his new brown ones
Michelle Wie or Danica Patrick? I'll go with the golfer, Michelle Wie
NYI: Mark, You've been on the Island for quite some time now… What does it mean to be an Islander?
MP: A lot of Tradition, a lot of pride…It would be great to get back to that level of tradition.
NYI: Favorite Islander from back then?
NYI: Met him?
MP: I have. It was pretty cool to meet a guy of that magnitude. Just said "hello."
NYI: George Jettson is to Steve Stirling as Peter Griffin is to…?
MP: Shawn Bates
NYI: Ok, try this one… Joey Tribiani is to Rick DiPietro as Will Farrell is to…?
MP: Oh, this is tougher. Who's a screwball?… Garth Snow
NYI: Finish this song lyric… "Here's the thing… We started out friends… It was cool, but it was all pretend."
MP: I don't have the slightest clue.
NYI: Not a Kelly Clarkson fan, I guess. Okay, how about this one… "The life, the love, you die to heal… The hope that starts the broken hearts… You trust, you must confess"
MP: Oh… That's "Best of You." Foo Fighters are awesome, one of my favorite bands.
NYI: Ever take Dan Bylsma to school in the offensive zone?
MP: Of course I did.