Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

Continued: Brent Burns, Wild thing

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 15, 2007 - 9:39 PM

Said Burns, "Ryder and Brody [Rolston's 5- and 4-year-olds] will lay on the bed and watch the fish for hours."

A tribute in ink to Granddad

Maybe Burns was born to play hockey. His mother, Gaby, went into labor with him at a hockey rink in Ajax, Ontario. The oldest of three siblings (20-year-old sister Kori and 18-year-old brother Brad), Burns grew up in Lindsay before moving to Barrie, where he had three paper routes delivering the Toronto Sun.

One of the most influential people in Burns' life was his grandfather Patrick, who lived with the family for 23 years.

"It was a package deal," Burns' mom said, chuckling. "I got the husband and the father-in-law."

Patrick, who died in 1998, was an artilleryman in World War II and used to baby-sit Kori and Brad when Brent had to be taken to his many hockey practices and games. But a wide-eyed Burns couldn't wait to get home, where he'd plead for more stories from Grandpa.

"Granddad had his chair, a real soft, cushy chair, and he used to sit there and tell the boys war stories all the time," Gaby said. "In Grade 8, Brent wrote a war story his grandfather told him. The teacher was so moved by it, she phoned and invited Granddad to school to honor him at a Remembrance Day service. The teacher read Brent's story. It was Granddad's last Remembrance Day.

"For a kid his age to move a teacher like that, I was really impressed, and I know it meant a lot to Granddad."

To honor their grandfather, Brent and Brad got identical tattoos on their left arms. It features a cross with a Canadian military helmet on top and the zodiac sign for Pisces in the middle. In the background is a Bofor artillery gun over the hills of Sicily. Underneath reads, "Patrick Joseph Burns, 1911-1998."You don't think too many kids would have a relationship that strong with their grandfather that they'd want to honor him in a permanent way," Gaby said.

Tattoos have always meant a lot to Burns. His father took him for his first at age 11 -- a Canadian flag and a hockey stick on his right arm. This summer, Burns got a massive, colorful dragon on his left thigh and a huge tattoo on his back with a picture of his pets with the word "Wild" in green script.

"I'm getting a lot of heat from [teammates]: 'What if you're traded?'" Burns said. "But first it's a double meaning because it has to do with my love for wildlife and my pets. But the Wild is my first NHL team. That's huge. I've always wanted to play in the NHL, and they gave me the chance."

In fact, on his father's back is a tattoo of the "Born to Be Wild" comet. Inside the Wild logo reads, "Brent Burns, First Round, 20th Overall, 2003."We're a little proud, eh?" Gaby said.

At long last, fists of fury

For years, Burns' father told him it was time to fight. Burns' buddies back home always made fun of him for not dropping his gloves.

So imagine their shock when in Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs in Anaheim, Burns skated to Keith Carney's defense and wound up dropping the gloves with forward Chris Kunitz.

Back in Woodbury, Burns' girlfriend watched on TV with Burns' mom, Burns' former Minnesota billet and Pierre-Marc Bouchard's girlfriend.

"We jumped on the coffee table screaming," Susan said. "My cell phone started ringing, everyone was calling -- all the girlfriends, my parents, saying, 'Oh my God, what is he doing?' My first reaction was, 'No, cut it out, Brent.' Brent's mom's first reaction was, 'Kill him!'"

Two games later in the Wild's only victory, Burns delighted a sold-out Xcel Energy Center by pummeling Corey Perry.

  • related content

  • Johnsson says pain didn't last long

    Saturday September 15, 2007

    Kim Johnsson is healthy and symptom-free.Sure, the Wild made it sound five months ago like the veteran defenseman would be...

  • It's not too early to grab attention

    Friday September 14, 2007

    The Wild hit the Xcel ice flying and, mixed in with the expected, one holdover stood out from the crowd in his bid to become a regular.

  • Hirsch starting over at highest level

    Saturday September 15, 2007

    Former Gophers forward Tyler Hirsch is trying out with his hometown team.

  • WILD 07-08 TRAINING CAMP

    Tuesday: Exhibition opener, vs. Detroit, 7 p.m., Xcel Energy Center.• Season opener: Oct. 4 vs. Chicago

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 7:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 7:30 PM
Houston
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Golden State
Florida 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Colorado 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Carolina
Washington 6:00 PM
Columbus
Anaheim 6:30 PM
Montreal
St. Louis 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Edmonton 9:30 PM
San Jose
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 6:00 PM
Canisius
Temple 6:00 PM
Delaware
FIU 6:00 PM
Long Island
Lehigh 6:00 PM
Quinnipiac
South Alabama 6:00 PM
Richmond
Seton Hall 6:00 PM
South Florida
Ga Southern 6:00 PM
Stetson
Yale 6:00 PM
Vermont
Cleveland State 6:00 PM
Virginia
Wright State 6:00 PM
Western Carolina
Nicholls 6:30 PM
Louisiana Tech
Morgan State 6:30 PM
Rider
Idaho State 6:30 PM
South Dakota St
Oakland City 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Eureka 7:00 PM
Bradley
Appalachian St 7:00 PM
Charlotte
Connecticut 7:00 PM
Duke
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Coastal Carolina 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Montana State 7:30 PM
South Dakota
LSU 8:00 PM
UAB
Ohio 8:05 PM
Evansville
CS-Dominguez 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Walla Walla 9:00 PM
Idaho
DePaul 9:00 PM
Oregon State
Nevada 9:00 PM
Pacific
Portland State 9:00 PM
San Francisco
CS-Bakersfield 9:05 PM
Utah State
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 49 2nd Half 10:49
Howard 36
Southern Miss 44 2nd Half 11:23
Ole Miss 41
UMBC 30 2nd Half 11:46
Rider 40
Miami-Florida 19 1st Half 10:48
UCLA 12
St Mary-KS 6 1st Half 11:35
South Dakota 32
William & Mary 27 1st Half 7:44
Wofford 14
Troy 5:30 PM
Evansville
Loyola Marymount 6:00 PM
USC
St Francis-PA 6:00 PM
Duquesne
Indiana-Southeast 6:00 PM
IUPUI
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Detroit
Tenn Temple 6:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
West Virginia St 6:00 PM
Radford
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Seton Hall
Dartmouth 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Ball State 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Trine 6:00 PM
Western Mich
Tenn Tech 6:30 PM
Lipscomb
Samford 7:00 PM
Tulane
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Ark-Little Rock 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
CS-Northridge 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Santa Clara 8:00 PM
Oregon
(19) Oklahoma St 8:00 PM
Weber State
Washington 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Cal Poly 8:00 PM
New Mexico
(10) Louisville 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close