Wings watch their manners but have fun with moms around

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Moms of Red Wings players watch practice Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena before the team left on its current road trip.

Sunrise, Florida – For 10 years it was dads who took part in the family road trip the Red Wings had every season.

The players felt it was time for the mothers to make the trip this week.

Now, the dads might have trouble returning.

The moms have been a big hit. They brought cookies aboard the plane, haven’t asked many questions about hockey, and have provided a fresh enthusiasm.

“They’ve given the trip some life for sure,” said coach Jeff Blashill, who has his sister Debbie on the trip. “The dads have a lot competition in future years; they’re in for trouble here. We’ll see what decisions are made.”

The mothers went on a dolphin cruise Tuesday – the only drawback a beautiful day to sail was they didn’t see any dolphins – and have spent considerable time together and enjoying time with their sons.

“They’re surprised by how much we eat,” forward Riley Sheahan said. “There’s always food on the plane and at the hotel and they’re just very surprised by how much we eat.”

It was Sheahan’s mom Peggy who supplied the homemade cookies.

“She kind of kept the idea to herself,” Sheahan said. “A lot of people were happy she brought those.”

Absence for Wings� Kronwall longer than he expected

Still, there are some difference between the moms and dads on the trip.

“It’s a little more vocal than with the fathers,” Sheahan said. “The moms don’t care to come to the rink and watch the morning skates and sit in on meetings. But they’re enjoying Florida and having fun with each other, and when game time comes around, it’s fun for them to be in the stands and wearing Red Wings jerseys.”

Sheahan also said the players are more polite with their mothers around.

“You might be a little more conscience of your courtesy and things like that,” Sheahan said. “You have to be aware of what you say.”

Niklas Kronwall said his mother Tove was thrilled to learn there would be a mothers’ trip this season.

“It’s nice, definitely nice,” Kronwall said. “She thought after all these years this day would never come. She’s obviously happy and thrilled to meet the other moms and hang out with them.”

What’s been the best part for her?

“For us to be together and traveling together,” Kronwall said. “For her to see what we go through on a regular basis. It’s been neat.”