The 2010 Minnesota Wild Son/Father/Mentor crew has arrived safely in Chicago, although I was a bit worried earlier this afternoon. To accommodate the larger than normal crew, the Wild chartered a Delta plane, which had rows of three seats on the right side of the plane, and two seats on the left. Naturally, as players and their guests boarded, they all chose the side with three seats so as to utilize the empty middle chair.
So, if you’re living in Chicago and you saw a plane banking to the right as it descended upon the Windy City, that was your Minnesota Wild and their fathers and brothers.
It certainly is interesting to see how much some of these guys look like their guests. Initially, I was going to give the Look Alike Award to Antti Miettinen and his dad, because they looked like brothers. Well, it turns out, they are in fact brothers. Antti brought his older bro, Tero. So right now, as far as father and son look-a-likes go, I’m going to need more time to find a winner.
Though he’s not playing with the team on Tuesday against the Blackhawks, Brent Burns made the trip along with his dad, Bob. In some cases, you can see where some of the players’ got their size, but not in Brent’s case. He towers over his dad, and he says his younger brother is actually 6-foot-5.
Almost every player on the trip has a guest with the exceptions of the Czechs – Martin Havlat, Petr Sykora and Marek Zidlicky. Kim Johnsson’s father was in Minnesota over the weekend, but headed back to Sweden. John Scott’s father-in-law met us here.
After making our way to the hotel, the entire team was given about 30 seconds to drop their bags and then head right back to the bus to head to a reception/dinner. A delicious meal was capped by a video presentation (put together by Wild.com video expert, Travis Brillowski). The touching video featured the players and coaches talking about what their guests meant to them, and what they’ve learned from them in their lives.
When the video was over, the “Andrew Brunette Show” began. When he noticed that Derek Boogaard and Clayton Stoner
were not featured in the video, Brunette conducted hysterical interviews with them using a spoon for a microphone.
I learned two things from watching Brunette in action: 1) He won’t be retired for more than a minute before he gets a broadcasting offer, and 2) He loves to use the word “elaboration.”
When he was done with Boogaard and Stoner, Brunette moved on to members of the staff like equipment guys, Brent Proulx and Matt Benz. The most laughs came during the Chuck Fletcher interview. When Bruno asked him the best piece of advice that his dad, Cliff, gave him, Fletcher said, “He told me, ‘you’re bad at hockey.’ But he also told me that ‘you should get into management, because all those guys laughing at you right now…you can trade them.’”
Head Coach Todd Richards told the guests that they are members of the team for the next two days and are going to be invited to attend all meetings and practices. It should be a fun two days in Chicago.