I would venture that every Red Wings player had a moment in their childhood when hockey and fun went hand-in-hand. For many Michiganders, Traverse City and the feel of “going Up North” had that same aura. When the Wings ascended upon TC a few days ago, they brought along their hockey gear, golf clubs and games for the bus. Most importantly, they brought along a smile and the refreshed feel of going back at it for another hockey season.
For end of summer visitors to one of Michigan’s top tourism hot spots, the site of seeing Red Wings players up close makes a lot of dreams come true for the young faces in the audience. The players spend time golfing, dining and shopping in the stores throughout the town and meeting Red Wings fans from all around the Great Lakes State.
With the multiple multi-millionaire players on the Red Wings, the weekend serves as an opportunity to ground some players with a bus ride through some of Michigan’s best parts. For others, the trip is a chance to rekindle old memories.
Memories is not the only word that comes to mind when Mike Modano thinks of what this Traverse City trip means for his career. For many years, Modano went to Minnesota/Dallas (North) Stars training camps in other locales, wondering what was going on back home.
Unlike Derian Hatcher’s homecoming tour of a few years back, the Modano return feels right and a real tribute to his career. If only his contribution will be as meaningful as fellow Metro Detroiter Brian Rafalski, the Wings could be in for a wonderful surprise in ’10-11.