SAINT PAUL - The Minnesota Wild today announced details for Military Appreciation Night set for Tuesday, Nov. 13, when it hosts the Washington Capitals at 7 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center (FOX Sports North and KFAN 100.3 FM). Presented by Thomson Reuters and benefitting United Heroes League, nearly every element of the game will honor the men and women who have bravely served in the Armed Forces and their families.
More than 1,000 active or retired military members are expected to be in attendance. The Wild, along with Thomson Reuters, have provided specially-priced tickets for military members and their families.
The Wild will wear camouflage jerseys during pre-game warmups. Then, each will be autographed by the respective player and auctioned to benefit United Heroes League and the Minnesota Wild Foundation. Bidding for the jerseys will open the evening of Nov. 13 on the official Minnesota Wild NHL Auction page. The auction will close Friday, Dec. 7.
Mark Manney, Lieutenant Colonel in the United State Air Force, will deliver the traditional "Let's Play Hockey!" announcement. In his 23 years of service, Manney piloted Air Force One for six of those years under both Clinton and Bush administrations and was one of six active pilots during 9/11. Since 2009, he has been the head coach for boys hockey at Andover High School. Col. Eric Lopez will serve as the Guardian of the Game.
Minnesota service members representing all five branches of the U.S. Armed forces will make up the joint color guard to accompany Wild anthem singer John deCausmeaker, who served in the United States Navy and U.S. Naval Reserve, for the Star Spangled Banner. The team will recognize four Gold Star families in a special on-ice ceremony during the first intermission to honor their fallen heroes. Jon Albert, a Purple Heart recipient and an alternate captain for the Minnesota Warriors hockey team, will be interviewed by Fox Sports North's Kevin Gorg during the first intermission and in-arena on WildVision during the second intermission.
Children of military members will partake in Wild game-night staples: Bench Buddies, Youth Starting Lineups, Schwan's Hockey Mom, Zamboni rides and the BMO Harris Bank Flag Bearer. Fan contests and entertainment throughout the game will feature military family members.