It’s a great way for us to catch up with a number of former players who made their mark in Minnesota, in one way or another. This week, we hear from Brian Bonin, who starred in high school for the White Bear Lake Bears, and in college for the Minnesota Gophers before going on to a five-year NHL career.
To learn more about the Minnesota NHL Alumni Association, click here.
Birthplace: St. Paul, Minnesota
NHL Teams you played for:
Pittsburgh Penguins (1996-1999)
Vancouver Canucks (1999-2000)
Minnesota Wild (2000-2001)
Where do you live now?
White Bear Lake, Minnesota. That’s where I grew up and it’s a great place for children.
What are you doing now?
I do mortgages for Edina Realty Mortgage in White Bear Lake.
My wife is a stay-at-home mom that looks after our sons, Ben (four years old) and Brendan (one year old).
Do any of your immediate family members play hockey?
What playoff teams did you play for?
| Brian Bonin had a great seat for this memorable NHL moment. He played against Gretzky in his final NHL game. |
I was with the Penguins during the 1999 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Did you ever win the Stanley Cup?
What was your most memorable hockey moment?
Playing with Pittsburgh against the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden during Wayne Gretzky’s last game.
What was the best team you ever played on?
The 1996 University of Minnesota Gophers. A great bunch of players and a great bunch of guys.
Who was your best teammate?
Scott Bell with the Gophers. He gave everything he had every night. He would stand up for any teammate.
| Kevin Constantine, a native of Internatinal Falls, Minnesota, was Bonin’s favorite coach. |
Who was your best coach?
Kevin Constantine with the Penguins. He could read the game so well and he was always able to adjust to it.
Who is your favorite player in the game today?
Peter Forsberg. He is clean and skilled. He plays the way I would love to be able to play the game.
Try to recall the funniest prank you ever saw, or were a part of:
The most "tasteful" prank I was a part of was while I was with the Gophers in 1995. We had a coach who always sported a "perfect" mustache. We always teased him about it, but he refused to shave it off.
One day at practice, all the players put a small piece of black hockey tape on their upper lips in his honor. He loved it!
Click here to visit the Minnesota NHL Alumni Archive page, featuring more of your favorite players from yesteryear.