Getting To Know: Red Wings right winger Tomas Jurco

Mark Malinowski
Tomas Jurco (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Status: Detroit Red Wings right winger.

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 203 pounds
DOB: Dec. 28, 1992 In: Kosice, SVK

First Hockey Memory: “I really don’t know what’s my first – let’s put pond hockey when I was little in my hometown in the winter. Just went with my parents and sister. That’s some nice memories. We were playing outside.”

Hockey Inspirations: “I never had one player idol. I always looked up to all the players and all the videos. I remember it was called NHL Power Week – a TV show here. And we’d record on TV and watch it later for next few years.”

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Getting to Know: Lighting defenseman Slater Koekkoek

Mark Malinowski
Slater Koekkoek. (Getty Images)

Status: Tampa Bay Lighting defenseman

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 198 pounds
DOB: February 18, 1994 In: Winchester, Ont.

First Hockey Memory: “Just going to the rink in my hometown in Winchester. But then in public school we’d always skate during recess. So that was probably my first real go at it. And I loved it. I took my skates to school every day and couldn’t wait for recess obviously [smiles].”

Hockey Inspirations: “My grandfather (Willie Sherwood) played a lot of hockey growing up. He actually went to camp with Gordie Howe.”

Last Book Read: “James Duthie – The Guy On The Left.”

Greatest Sports Moment: “First NHL game last year.”

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Getting to Know: Jets right winger Chris Thorburn

Mark Malinowski
Chris Thorburn. (Getty Images)

Status: Winnipeg Jets right winger.

HT: 6-foot-3 WT: 235 pounds

DOB: June 3, 1983 In: Sault Saint Marie, Ont.

First Hockey Memory: “My dad (Mark) building an outdoor rink in our backyard.”

Hockey Inspirations: “Growing up I had local guys Rico Fata and Ron Francis – both from the Soo. Obviously Ron Francis – his career speaks for itself. And just the way he worked in the community. And then Rico Fata was close in age but he was a pretty special talent growing up.”

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Getting to Know: Red Wings forward Teemu Pulkkinen

Mark Malinowski
Teemu Pulkkinen (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Status: Detroit Red Wings forward

HT: 5-11 WT: 183 pounds

DOB: January 2, 1992 In: Vantaa, Finland

First Hockey Memory: “I have older brother (Toni) and he started to play. First memory is playing outside. We didn’t have many rinks in my hometown so everybody was playing outside. So that was my first memory.”

Hockey Inspirations: “My brother. We had great players in Finland at that time. I was following Selanne. And when I was growing up a little bit I was following Ovechkin, Stamkos. Those goal scorer guys like Ilya Kovalchuk.”

Last Book Read: “I read the book by the goalie who was playing in KHL. He was writing a story about life in the KHL.”

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Getting to Know: Journeyman coach Rick Bowness

Mark Malinowski
Rick Bowness.

Status: Former NHL right winger from 1975-1984 for Winnipeg, St. Louis, Detroit and Pittsburgh. Currently serves as associate coach for Tampa Bay. Was previously a head coach for Winnipeg, Boston, Ottawa, New York Islanders and Phoenix.

DOB: January 25, 1955 In: Moncton, NB

First Hockey Memory: “Going to watch my dad play. He played senior hockey in Nova Scotia. He used to bring me to the rink. My first memory of hockey is watching my father play. It wasn’t soon after that I was skating out on the backyard rink or lakes or wherever I could find a place to play.”

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Getting to Know: Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard

Mark Malinowski
Howard

Status: Detroit Red Wings goaltender.

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 218 pounds
DOB: March 26, 1984 In: Syracuse, NY

First Hockey Memory: “Probably being down in my dad’s – my dad coached in high school – so I was always down there with him.”

Hockey Inspirations: “Obviously my dad was very inspirational. Getting me into it when I was at a young age. And probably Mike Richter.”

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Getting to Know: Red Wings defenseman Mike Green

Mark Malinowski
Mike Green (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Status: Detroit Red Wings defenseman.

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 207 pounds
DOB: October 12, 1985 In: Calgary, Alta.

First Hockey Memory: “Probably skating on the pond for the first time with my dad (Dave).”

Hockey Inspirations: “I think my parents. I was a big fan of Scott Niedermayer – he was an inspiring player to watch. I idolized him. He’s kind of the reason I became a defenseman, and maybe molded into an offensive defenseman.”

First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: “Would’ve been … I think it was Theoren Fleury to be honest. When he was in Calgary. (After a practice?) I think it was a school event. He came to our school.”

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