Know your enemy Vancouver Canucks fans, but appreciate him. Edmonton native Jared Spurgeon is a rags to riches story, the consummate tale of hard work and dedication paying off for a young hockey player. He went unsigned by the New York Islanders after being drafted in the 6th-round in 2008, and then made the most of a development camp invitation from the Minnesota Wild in 2010. He’s battled and overcame multiple challenges and last season was named team captain following the departure of 11-year captain Mikko Koivu.
Minnesota Wild Head Coach Dean Evason summed up his most important defenceman pretty nicely for us this morning.
“Hasn’t changed, Jared Spurgeon will not change,” Evason said, “It doesn’t matter if he has a letter on his chest, if he’s playing here, if he’s playing shinny hockey, he plays the same way, his attitude is absolutely phenomenal and he leads our group in the right way.”
Undersized particularly when he broke into the NHL in 2010-’11, at 5’9″ and 166 pounds, Spurgeon is entering his 12th NHL season.
As a team, the Minnesota Wild are 4-and-1, overcoming the most penalty minutes per-60 in the NHL and constantly playing come from behind hockey thus far. There is a rivalry with the Vancouver Canucks by the way, particularly with the BC boys eliminating the Wild in the 2020 Qualifying Round in the bubble playoffs in Spurgeon’s hometown. The Wild won the first game and the Canucks won the next three to close out the best of five.
Right-shot Spurgeon is the leader in a room with a new culture following the buy-out and departure of both Ryan Suter (Dallas) and Zach Parise (NY Islanders) after nine seasons of their dualling 13-year deals in St. Paul. Spurgeon went from being paired with Suter to being paired with veteran Alex Goligoski.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Jared Spurgeon on “Simmer’s Morning Skate” on a Vancouver Canucks game day: