Wild general manager Bill Guerin might have put it best when asked if he’d like to postpone Monday night’s home game against the St. Louis Blues. He said the organization simply thought it was the right thing to do after a 20-year-old black man was fatally shot and killed in Brooklyn Center on Sunday.
Wild captain Jared Spurgeon said players and coaches had postponed the time to reflect on Daunte Wright’s death and the multiple emotions in the Twin Cities.
« You immediately stop thinking about this game, » said Spurgeon. « There’s a lot going on here than at the hockey game last night. »
News of Wright’s death at the Brooklyn Center sparked protests in the twin cities where community members sought justice. Less than 10 miles away in downtown Minneapolis, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the murder and manslaughter in the murder of George Floyd. Needless to say, the temperature in the Twin Cities has risen for much of the past year. Because of this, wildlife veteran Ian Cole felt it was right to postpone Monday’s game. No hockey game was required that evening.
« It’s hard to digest, » said Cole. « Take a little break there to think about it, look at it and find out how best to digest it and what action to take. I think that was a good move at the time. »
When asked about the conversations in the locker room, Spurgeon said: “We talk about things every day. We’re a very close group. There is nothing that cannot be talked about. »
Although the exact dialogue is not known to anyone outside the locker room, Cole said that every conversation relies on teammates trying to understand each other.
« If you really care about your teammates and consider them your family, you can have tough conversations, » he said. « Regardless of the other person’s point of view, their background, their situation, or whatever the case may be, you know that you can respect them, talk to them, and discuss these difficult things. And I think that’s the best way to go to do this. Just come from a place of love and try to understand as best you can. «
As for Wednesday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes, which was postponed at 1:00 pm In the start time, Cole made it clear for the Wild to commit to playing this game and moving the conversation forward.
« Conversations are going on in the locker room and you can park the hockey and get back to important things, » said Cole. « I think our job is to play hockey and we get paid to do it, so we’ll be ready to play hockey at 1am tomorrow and before this game or after this game we will surely be able to let our minds wander. » elsewhere. »
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