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Getting To Know: Darby Hendrickson

Mark Malinowski
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Darby Hendrickson (Elsa/Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

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Getting To Know: Darby Hendrickson

Mark Malinowski
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In this week's Getting To Know, Minnesota Wild assistant coach and former Toronto Maple Leaf Darby Hendrickson talks about a mishap he had on his first day as a coach and what it was like to be in the building for the Marty McSorley stick swinging incident with Donald Brashear.

Status: Former NHL center from 1993-2004 for Toronto, New York Islanders, Vancouver, Minnesota and Colorado. Currently serves as assistant coach for Minnesota Wild.

DOB: August 28, 1972 In: Richfield, MN

First Hockey Memory: "I think just going to the park when I was a kid growing up in Minnesota. Just the outdoor hockey experience. Sometimes it was skating. Sometimes it was ball hockey. Just being outside."

Hockey Inspirations: "I think just being around the game. Being around people in the game in Minnesota. We'd be around watching state high school tournaments. And for me college was a huge thing. The NHL was a dream but the other ones were more tangible, where you want to play for your high school hockey team."

Last Book Read: "The Power of One."

Greatest Sports Moment: "I'd say one of the highlights was playing with my brother (Dan) growing up in youth hockey, high school hockey."

Most Painful Moment: "Probably when it ends. Your pro career. That time. The injuries are a part of it. I don't look at those as disappointing. They're part of that. But I just think when it's finally over and you're not playing with the team anymore - to me."

Favorite Uniforms: "Oh, the Wild for sure. I like the Toronto Maple Leafs. I had a chance to play there. The Original Six jerseys to me are still pretty cool."

Favorite Rinks To Play: "United Center, Chicago. Madison Square Garden. But number one - not to be a homer - but St. Paul Excel Xcel Energy Center is pretty good — number one."

Why Do You Love Playing Hockey: "The people. The culture. Obviously the sport is fun, it's what you know from growing up. But I just think it's a fast moving game that is fun to be a part of with a team."

Funniest Players Encountered: "Andrew Brunette thinks he's funny. He's always kind of poking guys' tires. One of those personalities that I would play with, now I have the chance to coach with. He's definitely a guy that thrives on any little angle that he can [smiles]."

Fiercest Competitors Encountered: "Doug Gilmour in Toronto I'd say would rate at the top."

Most Memorable Goal: "Probably the first goal. Probably a playoff goal against Vancouver in 2003 playoffs."

Embarrassing Hockey Memory: "Good question. Probably falling in warm-ups warmups. Or as a coach, my first day on the ice coaching, I went back for a puck and got caught up on the boards and fell. So it was humbling but it was a good laugh."

Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: "I really enjoy mountain biking."

First Famous Player You Met or Encountered: "Neal Broten played for the North Stars. I was in junior high school. It was after a North Stars game. I was around and he was walking out. I had a chance to meet him which was pretty special."

Strangest Game: "A couple of events that I was part of - when Donald Brashear was injured. I was in Vancouver when he was hit and hit his head. He had an incident with Marty McSorley. But other than that...that was traumatic and you didn't know how he was gonna be. Fortunately, he turned out to be okay."

Personality Qualities Most Admired: "Loyalty would be number one. Loyalty."

Mark "Scoop" Malinowski is the author of the new tennis books "Facing Federer" and "Facing Hewitt" which are available at amazon. He's currently working on "Facing Probert."

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Getting To Know: Darby Hendrickson