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Continued: Football-playing father finds joy in Haula's success with Wild

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 6, 2014 - 11:37 AM

After that play, Haula went to the bench for a line change once the Lightning pulled Ben Bishop for an extra attacker.

“I said, ‘Why’d you go off? They pulled the goalie,’ ” Tomi Haula said. “He said, ‘Dad, this is one of the rules you better know. The rookies don’t stay when they pull the goalie.’ ”

After leading the Gophers in scoring the past two seasons, Erik is used to a bigger role. That will come with time. As General Manager Chuck Fletcher said Wednesday, “He’s shown us he can play here.”

“I feel like I’m taking little steps, learning the ropes,” Haula said. “I said from the beginning that I’ll just try to learn from the older guys and just try to play a good two-way game.”

Tomi Haula is proud of his son.

“He basically knows what he’s doing,” he said. “He’s been here so many years already that, I don’t know how to describe it, he doesn’t need my help too much anymore. It’s like he’s from Minnesota. I don’t think he’s ever going to come back to live in Finland.”

 

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  • A shot by Minnesota Wild left wing Erik Haula (56), of Finland, gets past Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen, of Finland, for a goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game in St. Paul, Minn., Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

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