More than a month has passed since the NHL trade deadline, and the newest members of the Minnesota Wild have had time to adjust and get to grips with the team. The organization added four players, Tyson Jost, Nicolas Deslauriers, Jacob Middleton, and of course, the biggest name of them all, Marc-André Fleury. Each player brought a unique personality to a somewhat quiet locker room and quickly won the hearts of Wild fans and teammates.
Hockey players aren’t known for showing personality, but that’s changed in the last five years or so. One Wild veteran in particular has become famous for his quotes this season, assistant captain Marcus Foligno.
Foligno welcomes a new teammate
Foligno has made a habit of welcoming new teammates, the most recent being Deslauriers, who received a well-deserved rib after his first game with the Wild. He scored his first goal in a Wild shirt, and at the post-match press conference Foligno asked: “Is it true that you tried to go over the shelf, but it is more like five holes?”
Foligno brings leadership to the team and he sees how the dressing rooms fit together. Asked about Deslauriers at the post-game press conference after his first game, Foligno didn’t say enough about him: “That’s what you need, you need guys who already feel comfortable and bring guys with him, and we want a closed room so the closer the better. Although Foligno has been one of the more vocal guys this season, especially since getting the ‘A’ on his shirt, he could have some competition for the top quote if these new players keep their momentum going and as the team gets closer as they approach the playoffs.
Wild’s tough guy: Nicolas Deslauriers
Deslauriers is known for his physical presence; he is ranked among the top 10 hits in the NHL. He got immediate fan approval when he dragged Vegas Golden Knights forward William Karlsson out of the crease by his jersey after falling near Wild goaltender Cam Talbot. In his first press conference after practice, he was asked what kind of skills he would bring to the roster. He replied with a very simple answer: “What skills? »
At that same press conference, he explained that he wanted to help his teammates with physicality, and he added: “Moose and Moose (Foligno) laugh all the time. Every time I fight, or he fights, we text each other. But you know I want to be that guy that does it, and I don’t want him (Foligno) to be – how many goals does he have, 19?” – I want him to be on the ice, I don’t want him to be in the box for five minutes. I’m going to do the full five minutes. He’s had a lot of noteworthy moments already, and there will be more. He’s the kind of player who has a contagious carefree attitude.
After his first interview as a member of the Wild, it was clear that he would be a player everyone wanted to interview. He gives quote after quote and likes to show his personality. He’s only contracted to the Wild but hopefully management can find a way to keep him as he’s a great personality to be around.
Jacob “Stache” Middleton of Wild
Chances are, fans will know Middleton by his gorgeous mustache which bears a strong resemblance to former Wild and fan-favorite Cal Clutterbuck. Similar to Deslauriers, Middleton brings strong physical play and a simplicity to the game of knowing what needs to be done. He also likes to show his personality, his toothless smile and he is a quote machine.
In one of his first post-practice interviews, he cracked jokes, and when asked about the kind of game he brings, he didn’t shy away from talking about his blocked shots and his defensive skills. “I’m a pretty simple guy,” he said. “That’s what helped launch my professional career and that’s what kept me going. So if I can do those things night after night and relieve some of the other more skilled guys, that’s is what I hope to bring to the table, anyway.
A little later in this press conference, he was asked how he got there in his career. Again he added a joke. “Passion is probably the only thing,” he said. “I love playing hockey and I literally have nothing else to do, so showing up to the rink every morning is pretty good for me.” He also mentioned his fabulous mustache: “With the loss of four teeth in the last two years, it kind of takes that away. Blurred upper lip, no one sees that I’m missing my top four teeth.
To be fair, his quotes alone could fill this article, but concluding his section has to be done with how he feels about playing in Minnesota. “When you wake up and get a phone call at 8:30 a.m. you’re not sure if the grass is ever greener or how things are going to be, and I’ve been calling my parents every 48 hours here, saying c “It’s one of the funniest times I’ve ever had playing hockey. So, I couldn’t be happier. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to Middleton’s interviews, throw- Check it out, you won’t be disappointed, especially if you’re a Wild fan.
Wild’s Tyson Jost
Jost was the first to join the Wild about a week before the deadline, and he’s also an interesting character. In his first Wild media appearance, he was asked about his color blindness and how it affects him. “I guess if I have turnovers, I’m just going to blame color blindness. But no, it’s not bad. It’s something that’s kind of fun. I get a lot of jokes about it and so right now, and it’s in our family, so it’s every two generations. My grandfather’s colorblind. I’m guessing my grandkids will be colorblind as well. It’s not just red and green, either. It’s blues, purple is nonsense.
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He was asked in that same interview who he knew best about the Wild, who happened to be his linemate that night, Brandon Duhaime. “I would say the guy I probably know best is Brandon Duhaime,” Jost said. “We played Pursuit of Excellence together in Kelowna when we were 13 or 14, so we lived in the same building. He was right on top of me, so me and him dragged a ton. We’re wreaking havoc in the building. apartment and we’re playing mini-sticks in the hallway and stuff. So I’d say ‘Du’ is the guy I know best.
Fleury was clearly the most anticipated arrival for Wild fans, and it didn’t take long for him to make an impression. After a home win, fans threw a bouquet of flowers at her in honor of her nickname, Flower. He was asked in the post-match press conference after his first win if this had happened before, and his response was surprising. “Oh my God,” he said. “I don’t want to offend anyone, but I don’t think this has happened before, I felt like a figure skater. Right after their show, they always get flowers, huh? It was good, you know, for the first game to win at home. It was awesome.”
Goalies are known for their custom pads, especially their helmets, and Fleury is no stranger to that. He was waiting for his new gear and he was wearing his new helmet for their win over the Los Angeles Kings. He was asked about his significance after the match. “It is, I suppose, a wild beast with its mouth open. I always liked Andy Moog when I was with the Bruins. So it’s something a bit similar and the ‘W’ for Wild on the side and some flowers in the background.
He may not be a master of quotes like some of his teammates, but he always has a smile on his face and gives credit where it’s due. In almost every post-game interview he’s done with Wild media so far, he’s talked about how the guys are playing in front of him and how it makes his job easier. He recently picked up an assist on a goal scored by Frederick Gaudreau against the Dallas Stars which ended up being the winner in overtime. When asked how he knew how to succeed, he had a short but sweet answer: “I guess that was the French sense. I saw him (Gaudreau) there, but I just tried to circumvent their failures before. They were coming pretty strong, but Freddy made a great play to score that goal.
Wild have personality
The Wild have always had unique players, but this season feels different. The team is more united and cohesive compared to past years. They all seem to fit together well and the new players have settled in nicely. There were no bumps or disagreements as sometimes happens.
It was fun to see these players mingling and the quotes that were said. As they head into the playoffs, we’ll see what the newcomers have to say and if they can keep delivering some very entertaining quotes. Stay tuned to see what else the Wild has in store that matches their recent motto: “Not Weird. Wild.”
Mariah Holland is a Minnesota Wild writer for THW. She has been covering the Wild at THW since October 2020 and specializes in takeout and weekly check-ins. She’s always looking for different angles to cover the Wild and dig deeper into the stories surrounding the team to help fans connect on a more personal level and keep tabs on breaking news, follow her on Twitter @MariahEStark.