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Becoming Wild: Brodziak

by Mike Doyle / Minnesota Wild

Admittedly, Kyle Brodziak would prefer to shun media attention and allow his play on the ice do the talking. However, in the second episode of “Becoming Wild: Chapter Two” presented by Toyota set to air at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13 on FOX Sports North, the Wild center will be the focal point of the show.

Cameras followed Brodziak at his summer home in Sherwood Park, Alberta, just outside of Edmonton. Despite his initial reservations about allowing the crew to shadow him for a day, he agreed.

“I was a little hesitant, but it was actually kind of fun,” Brodziak said. “I've never done anything like that before. I like to keep a low profile, but this is a little bigger deal with a full episode of following me around all day. I thought, 'Might as well give it a try and see how it turns out.'”

“We'll find out Thursday, I guess.”

It just so happened the “Becoming Wild” camera crew visited Brodziak on June 27, the three-year anniversary of Minnesota's acquisition of the centerman in a trade with Edmonton - a day remembered by his mother. While visiting his mother, Marielle, she reminded her son of the anniversary. She still lives in Vegreville, Alberta, where the Wild forward honed his skill on the local pond, but not until finishing his piano lessons Marielle revealed in the episode.

Before setting out to Vegreville, the cameras followed Brodziak to a yoga workout in Sherwood Park. The 6-foot-2, 209-pound center took up the discipline to help with his flexibility and core strength. The flexibility training was followed by a set of stair climbs that would do a number on Mr. Fantastic's hip flexors. Wild fans had a sneak peak of the staircase jaunt in Webisode 16 on WildTV, and Brodziak notes that the cameras caught him nowhere near mid-season form.

“I took some heat for not running it that fast,” Brodziak laughed.

Along with following him to a workout, the episode gives a glimpse of Brodziak's home life as a family man. Co-starring on the show is his wife Nicole, son Lenny and brother Ryan. At lunch, Lenny is styling a MOvember pacifier while Ryan sports a moustache that would rival Cal Clutterbuck's.

Also, a big part of the Brodziak family is their two dogs: Cocoa and Toby. Cocoa is an eight-year-old Miniature Sheltie and Toby is a two-year-old German Shepard-Lab mix. Although he didn't own a K-9 growing up due to his sister's allergies to the animals, the 400-game NHL veteran has always been a dog lover.

“I've always been a dog guy,” Brodziak said. “As soon as I got my own house one of the first things I did was get a dog. I'll always have dogs, no matter what.”

One of the highlights of “Becoming Wild: Chapter Two” is seeing the players comfortable at home. Brodziak shows off the Man Cave in his garage, where he spends a lot of time preparing to do yard work or spending time with friends.

“Oh, the Man Cave,” Brodziak laughed. “I just have a couch set up and a radio playing. I have a lot of friends come over and we play cards in the garage and just hang out.”

For the second straight week, the show gets Wild players to show off their musical prowess. Last week, Clutterbuck strummed an acoustic guitar and, this week, Brodziak shreds the opening riff of a Metallica song on an electric. The forward has played for about 10 years and is modest about his skills with the axe.

“I'm not very good, at all,” Brodziak said. “I don't play much, only about three times a year.”

Alongside golf, one of the Alberta native's summer pastimes is softball. Unfortunately, the crew arrived a day too late to film a game, but Brodziak and his brother went to the diamond to swing the bat and field a few grounders. During the summer, the right-handed shot trades a hockey stick for softball bat with 12 or so friends in a Tuesday night men's league.

“It's fun and pretty competitive,” Brodziak said. “It gets pretty fiery and there are a lot of yelling matches. It's nice to get the competitive juices flowing. You miss that in the summer.”

Despite wearing jeans, Brodziak shows some pretty good range at the hot corner, third base. The highpoint of the trip to the ball field: Brodziak smacks one out of the park with his first swing. Better yet, he trash-talks Tom Gilbert, who coincidentally will be the feature of next week's episode. In a second twist of fate, Gilbert is currently staying with the Brodziak's in Minnesota and will likely be watching the episode alongside the family.

“My wife gets in (Wednesday) and Gilbert is staying with us, so we'll probably all watch it together,” Brodziak said. “(Gilbert) will probably have a few laughs about it.”

“I'm actually kind of excited to see it.”

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