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Get To Know: Antti Miettinen

by Ben Palosaari / Minnesota Wild

Antti Miettinen was the first Wild player ever to come down with the H1N1 virus, but it certainly never slowed him down. Playing on the top line, “Mittens” has caught fire this season. But the Finn is more than just a dependable two-way player. He talked with about the impending birth of his first child, his musical talents, and even weather patterns near the arctic circle. You shaved your Movember moustache off pretty quickly after December started. Not a fan of the facial hair?

Antti Miettinen: Yeah, I don’t think anyone was really in love with them enough to keep them around. It was actually fun, I’ve never really grown it out before. You and your wife, Johanna, are about to have your first child?

AM: Yeah. My wife’s due in a couple weeks. I’m really excited. Everything is all set up, so hopefully everything will go well with the rest of the pregnancy and labor. You started playing hockey when you were three, so how long until you slap some skates on your child and get them on the ice?

AM: It will probably take a while. My wife and I aren’t going to force him into anything too soon. Since you’ve returned to the ice, you and the rest of your line have been on fire. When you’re hot like this, do you maintain any superstitions?

AM: I have to say that I really don’t have any superstitions or anything. It’s more like habits you’ve created—how long you like to warm up, the order of the gear you put on. But that’s more like routine, I’d say, than superstition. The Vancouver Olympics are right around the corner. You were selected to play on the 2006 Finnish team, but had to withdraw due to injury. What do you think of Finland’s chances in the upcoming games?

AM: I think Finland is always going to be good. You know, they’re tough to play against. I think they’re really disciplined. In the last Olympics they were in the finals and ended up getting silver, so it’s a pretty serious hockey team. Winter is finally in full swing, and this is your second winter in St. Paul. How does it compare to winter in Finland?

AM: It’s pretty close actually, but I think here it’s a little bit colder right now. Back home, I’ve heard, it’s pretty bad. They haven’t got a lot of snow. I live in the south part of Finland, so since they haven’t got a lot of snow, it’s getting kind of like Vancouver weather—it’s not snowing, it’s raining a lot. Usually the winters are nice there, but lately, the last couple years haven’t been that good. Up north in Lapland, they always have beautiful winters. What about winter hobbies? Do you like to ice fish or other do other outdoor winter activities Minnesotans revel in torturing themselves with?

AM: (Laughing) No, not really. I like winter, but I don’t like the cold that much. I go outside for walks with my wife, but I like to stay warm. But I do like to look outside the window at the snow and the sun shining. Very sensible. But you do have another hobby—playing guitar in your band in Finland?

AM: Yeah, we’re called Cement. I wouldn’t call it a serious band, but I’ve been playing three years now with my friends, and we just decided to make a band. We started with covers, and now we have some of our own songs. Last summer was the first time we started playing our own music. It’s pretty funny. We actually played in my wedding. I only started playing three years ago, so forming a band was pretty quick. I’m not that good of a guitar player, but I can struggle through some songs.
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