Sorry for the delay folks.
The trip home from Minneapolis (official km count of 1,758 by the time I dropped the Winnipeg Sun KIA back at the office late this afternoon) took an overnight pit stop in Fargo and when I returned to our fine city, I had to help tee up Saturday’s game between the Blue Bombers and Argos.
Also, did another story on Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien, who was kind enough to take a trip down memory lane to discuss the 2010 run to the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks.
That story can be found right here:
After my 30-minute discussion with Byfuglien on Thursday, there were a few other topics that I’m going to follow up with at a future date (sorry to leave you in suspense).
For now, here are some of the other pieces of the conversation that didn’t make the paper during the past two days:
* Going through his first lockout has been an eye-opening experience:
“It’s different, you don’t know what to expect,” said Byfuglien. “You listen, you pay attention but summer is over. You try to keep yourself occupied and keep going. I’m just out doing my thing.”
* Having a front-row seat for the NHLs return to Winnipeg was something Byfuglien won’t soon forget:
“Being part of that and having the patch on your jersey, you know that signifies (the Jets) coming back,” he said. “The support, the craziness that was going on in the city at the time is something to remember.”
* On the Season and Home Opener vs Montreal Canadiens:
“Definitely. All openers are pretty cool and they usually put on a pretty good show. With us coming back to Winnipeg made it that much more special.”
* On the special bond with the fans:
“The fans are great. Being in the smaller rink made it that much better. The fans are on top of you and they cheered the whole game. That’s what is fun. In some rinks, fans will be cheering in the first period and then they will calm down in the second and in the third, it’s quiet.
“It didn’t matter if we were up two goals in the third and they would be beaking the other team or giving the other players a hard time.”
You can count Byfuglien among those who thought the chants directed at the opposition by fans inside MTS Centre was pretty funny and creative.
* The conspiracy theorists would have had a field day on Thursday, as Byfuglien was playing forward during the entire scrimmage and even took a few shifts at centre. Don’t worry folks, Byfuglien isn’t lobbying for a position change. I asked him, just to be sure.
“I prefer D. I grew up playing it and just had a small, short stint at forward. If I had to play forward, it wouldn’t really make a difference, I would do that too.”