ST. LOUIS -- There was no mistaking the two men wearing gray All-Star jerseys with Bertuzzi on the back and the Winged Wheel on the front.
Adrian and Evan Gedye, father and younger brother of Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi, sat joyfully in their seats at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, watching Bertuzzi take warmups before his first NHL All-Star Game.
"It's just so exciting," Adrian said. "Definitely he's worked for it and it's always been his passion. Since he could walk, he had a hockey stick in his hand. It's just so special."
Evan recalled when he found out that his brother had made the All-Star team.
"Honestly, I didn't believe it at first and I was just so happy for him, so proud," Evan said. "He's worked so hard to get where he is and it's so humbling."
That moment was a little overwhelming for Bertuzzi's father.
"I was so excited," Adrian said. "You go through the years and everything with his hockey, he's always kept moving forward. Humbling, proud, blessed -- everything."
As excited and happy as they were for Bertuzzi, they were even more delighted when he called to invite them to join him in St. Louis for All-Star weekend.
"We were so happy," Evan said. "This is a dream come true, to meet all these players, come hang out in the hotel, just be around all these amazing players. It's just so awesome."
For Adrian, it was a rare opportunity to spend some time with two of his sons.
"Very special," Adrian said. "To get to meet some of the parents as well, moms and dads, some of the players. Just to spend a weekend with him, time goes by so fast in these players' careers and the tough part of being family and being a dad is that you don't see them as much so these are really special times. We spent the whole day (Saturday) just watching Netflix and hanging out. It was fantastic."
Both men were hard-pressed to narrow down the list of incredible All-Stars they were looking most forward to meeting.
"All the guys from Patrick Kane to like, Elias Pettersson, Seth Jones, all those guys," Evan said. "I've been looking up to them since I was a kid. Me and my brother, we've always been competitive, loved hockey, so it was just amazing to be here and share the experience with him."
"I like (Max) Pacioretty and (Jack) Eichel and (David) Pastrnak -- although don't tell Tyler that. A Bruin!" Adrian said with a laugh. "Obviously we're fans of the game and we're fans of all the top players so it's just so exciting."
Both guys had different favorite players growing up, with the obvious generational difference.
"I'd say probably Alex Ovechkin or Eric Lindros, just because they're so dominant in the game, they had such a big impact when they were on the ice," Evan said. "Just special players."
Evan said he got a real kick out of watching Bertuzzi play against Ovechkin.
"It's awesome," he said. "I'm so proud of him, from when he was a kid just working so hard to where he is today. It's just amazing."
Adrian's choice of favorite player made a big impact on Bertuzzi when he was growing up.
"Wendel Clark. I remember showing Tyler before he even made the Guelph Storm, I showed him some Wendel Clark videos, goals, hits and fights, and he said, 'I want to be No. 17,'" Adrian said. "So that ended up being his junior number. But definitely Wendel Clark."
Clark spent most of his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs but also played for five other teams, including a brief stint with the Red Wings in the 1998-99 season.
Adrian and Evan both recognize how much Bertuzzi has evolved in his young career, from being more of a fighter when he first started with the OHL's Guelph Storm to now playing on the Red Wings' top line, leading the team in goals and becoming an All-Star.
"He totally deserves it," Evan said. "He puts in the work, gives 100 percent every day. He comes in and out of the rink, always is like the last person to leave. He just grinds, that's how he is. He's just always been a hard worker and he gets stuff done."
Although Bertuzzi is having a career year personally, the team's struggles have taken a toll on everyone.
So it was great for him to be able to move that to the back burner and treat his dad and brother to a fun hockey weekend.
"I think they had a blast," Bertuzzi said. "I saw you interviewing them in the crowd there, they were loving it. They had a good time. I was happy they could come and enjoy it with me."
It's no wonder that Adrian got a little nostalgic watching his son play as one of the league's best players with the other top players.
"It seems like yesterday I was at his first game when he got called up to Grand Rapids after his second-to-last season in junior and he started the game on the fourth line and literally five shifts later, he was on the second line," Adrian said. "Because that's what he does, he goes out and he competes and he makes things happen. He'll hit, he'll fight, he'll block shots, do whatever.
"We're just very fortunate he's had such great players and staff and coaches that believed in him and gave him a chance."