At age 24, Wild forward Charlie Coyle continues to transform potential into production. After scoring 21 goals in a breakout 2015-16 season, he’s off to another strong start. Coyle, a Massachusetts native, chatted recently with the Star Tribune’s Michael Rand:
Q: As a Red Sox fan, you were 12 when your favorite team broke its World Series curse. What can you tell me about that time — and what Cubs fans are going to be experiencing now?
A: It’s just fun for the whole city. When it finally happens it’s a big sigh of relief. Everyone’s happy, everyone is in a good mood and the whole city just comes together. It’s just a lot of fun, and I’m sure that’s what Chicago is going through. I was in middle school when it happened for the Red Sox, and all the kids were wearing Red Sox shirts, everyone was pumped up. Even people who weren’t baseball fans became baseball fans.
Q: Is it weird when your whole identity changes from trying to win to actually winning?
A: It’s kind of a relief. All the pressure is gone. The Red Sox won another one three years later and then the one in 2013. It just comes in bunches. They could just play.
Q: We’ve all written and heard about your friendship with Wild forward Jason Zucker. But did you know that your Wikipedia page says you are “currently in a serious ‘bromantic’ relationship” with Zucker?
A: (Laughs). Yeah, we were sitting on the bus a few days ago and someone tweeted at both of us. We were like, ‘Did you see that?’
Q: So is that brand-new then?
A: It has to be. I don’t check my Wikipedia page too often. I guess you can’t really trust anything on there. It’s pretty funny, though.
Q: Hockeywise, how long do you think it will be until the style of play and results are the way you want them to be under Bruce Boudreau?
A: It’s tough to tell. We want to get there right away, but we obviously feel our best hockey is ahead of us and that’s what we’re going to try to build toward. Each game we talk about what we can do better. We can always become better — everyone in here feels that.
Q: You guys have made the playoffs four years in a row and had some success, but I get the sense fans are in a wait-and-see mode when it comes to expectations. Is that fair?
A: Oh yeah, and we’re the same way. We’re not satisfied yet. We want more and we want to give them more. We’re not trying to do this on purpose. It’s a tough league, but the more experience we get under our belts the better. The young guys four or five years ago, we have the experience. There’s no excuse. We’re not a young team anymore. We have a good mix. Management has done a great job putting the pieces in place. We just have to prove it.
Q: When did you officially stop being a young guy — and was there some sort of ceremony?
A: No, I mean you say it every year. It’s just a mind-set you have to put in your head. The whole team needs me and I need the team. Everyone is a big piece, so everyone has to take responsibility, whether you’re a young guy or old guy. And I think guys are.