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March 25, 2007

"Jack stole Wyatt Smith's girlfriend."

Lots of Minnesota Wild stuff. Turn back now if you don't like hockey.

I've talked before about how the Minnesota Wild seats I've got used to belong to the NHL. (They released them to the public for sale after the strike to boost ticket sales.) One of the nice things about this is that nearby are some seats still owned by the NHL and used by visiting players, players families, prospects, etc.

An example of this was at the start of this season when the Wild had brought some player from Dallas for a couple of games his Mom was behind us screaming herself hoarse during the first period. (Those of us sitting nearby suggested she pace herself but she was too excited.)

It makes for some interesting speculation in our little section of the world. The regular season ticketholders break down like this: I've got the Snap-on guys in the row behind me and then two rows of mothers and daughters from the same family in front of me. There's the former Viking that sits near us and he's great with kids and the occasional autograph. (Despite being retired for more than 10 years he is unbelieveably fit.) To my left is the man who always brings a paper to read during the slow periods and his wife and to the right the couple from Hastings who make it about half the time. After two seasons they all know Jack and he knows them.

So recently we noticed that the NHL seats were starting to be filled by the same people. After puzzling it out over a couple of games we finally just let Jack break the ice. One of the regulars is the wife of one of the players and their kids. (Kids are cute as can be and Jack plays with the little girl.) The other is the girlfriend of Wyatt Smith.

Smith is the Minnesotan the Wild signed and whom was living in Dallas before being called up. In getting to know his girlfriend we've heard all the great stories on Wyatt that just make you like him more and more. It's been a great glimpse into the world of the NHL from the perspective of someone early in their career.

So Jack was initially shy around Wyatt's girlfriend. That's been chipping away steadily though. He's been yelling "Go Wyatt!" and giving her high fives for the last month. Then last night was when Jack decided to make his move:


That's my son working his mojo on Wyatt's girlfriend.

Jack spent most of the third period sitting on her lap and chatting with her. Fortunately both her parents and Wyatt's parents where there to act as chapperones. They chatted about Wyatt, Gaborik and Bouchard, cats and “popplycorn” as Jack calls it. Finally Jack decided to come back down and as I reached up to get him Wyatt’s girlfriend says:

“Would you like to come downstairs after the game? I’ve got some extra passes.”

“Sure! That would be great!" (Try not to pass out. Try not to pass out.)

So after the game we find ourselves outside the Wild locker room waiting with the family of the players and their girlfriends. Deciding that Wyatt’s girlfriend is probably not going to come around to his way of thinking Jack tries his luck with another player’s girlfriend with a game of peek a boo:


"Jack! Open your eyes man! She's looking right at you!"


"Too late now. Denied."

Despite the success of the initial ploy Jack again strikes out. Must be the salary disparity.

Around this time Manny Fernandez walks out with his wife and family. As it’s clear they are leaving I refrain from pointing him out to Jack despite knowing how this would put Jack into orbit. It’s a tongue biter though and I hope that in 20 years Jack will forgive me.

As the crowd thins a bit we’re chatting with Pierre Marc Bouchard’s girlfriend. Jack proceeds to talk about his Bouchard puck that he got the other night and then pulls his cap off and reveals his freshly shorn head. “It’s BOUCHY!” shouts his girlfriend which brings laughs from everyone. When Bouchard comes out it’s a mini-me moment and he’s kind enough to sign Jack’s jersey and pose:


"Jack and Pierre Marc Bouchard share a smile and clipper sharpening tips."

A good moment was when he rubbed Jack’s head and laughed. He then signed Jack's jersey and cut up with him for a bit. As he walked away Jack loudly told everyone: “That was a nice guy!” which brought a huge laugh from everyone in the hallway.

What else did I notice? Kurtis Foster’s height is nothing to sneeze at. The coaching staff were in understated but high spirits. Marian Gaborik has a very enthusiastic smile and is very animated. Brian Rolston’s kids look like they were struck from the exact same mold as their father. There were other things but I was a visitor for a brief period of time and the players and their loved ones rightly deserve their privacy. The chance may have been there for more autographs I didn’t think it was appropriate.

Finally the door opened and Jack got to meet Wyatt. While Jack might not be Wyatt’s #1 fan…


I think he’s certainly in the top ten…

Posted by Jim at March 25, 2007 02:33 PM


Butchy is not with that girl anymore.

Posted by: Anonymous at December 27, 2007 12:09 PM

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