SUNRISE, FLA. – The dads for Nate Prosser and Matt Dumba put smiles on their son's faces for different reasons during the Wild's father-son trip.
Dumba is a 20-year-old defenseman born in Regina, Saskatchewan, and raised in Calgary. On this trip his dad became an honorary Finn. There barely was a moment during the trip where Charles Dumba wasn't seen without sidekicks Vesa Granlund (Mikael Granlund's dad) and Tomi Haula (Erik Haula's father).
Let's just say there were some late nights.
"He's learning Finnish, he's teaching Granny's dad English and Tomi's always the translator between the three of them," Matt Dumba said. "They always seem to be laughing about something.
"Granny and I were just joking, they don't speak the same language, they barely communicate, yet every time we see them hanging together, they're laughing hysterically and we don't know what it's about. But that's my dad. I can't really contain him. He's just a social butterfly, telling stories and making friends easily."
Prosser, 28, was down in the dumps Friday after his late closing-hand-on-the-puck penalty the night before in Philadelphia led to Claude Giroux's tying goal in a game the Wild ultimately won. While Prosser was conducting an interview, his dad chimed in, "We're going to work on his hand passing next."
Prosser immediately started laughing.
"That's his style," Prosser said of Chris Prosser. "When I need a joke to lighten my mood, he's there to do that for me. Maybe I'll have an off night, he's usually my first or second call after the game. He's pretty good about bringing me back to reality and making me smile."
That happened last week when Prosser, who played a strong first 40 minutes, was minus-3 in a 4-3 overtime victory over Winnipeg. Chris Prosser, Nate's childhood coach, told him one day he will be able to tell his children he was minus-3 in maybe his best game as a pro.
"That's the way hockey can be, but you've got to be a pro about it and show up to the rink the next day with a smile on your face ready to turn the page," Nate Prosser said.
There is mutual respect between Florida's Jonathan Huberdeau, the third overall pick in 2011, and the Wild's Charlie Coyle, drafted 28th in 2010 by San Jose. In 2012, they were linemates for Saint John, which won a Quebec League title, and coincidentally coached by now-Panthers coach Gerard Gallant.
"I heard about him long before I played with him," Coyle said of Huberdeau. "He's very skilled and works hard, too. Great playmaker. You've got to be ready with your stick on the ice. Puck could be on your stick any second. He's a competitor. Loves to win."
Coyle left Boston University that January to play in Saint John.
"In junior, there are these young kids, so he used to just push these 16-year-olds around," Huberdeau said, laughing. "I remember one time, he hit one guy, went to another guy and hit him, took the puck and just scored. I was like, 'This guy is a big deal.' That's why Charlie was MVP of the playoffs."
Left winger Matt Cooke, who has missed 12 games because of a hip flexor injury, is expected to skate Tuesday for the first time since Oct. 28.
"This has gone on longer than I think we all would have anticipated," Yeo said. "We can feel the loss of him in our lineup, just as far as his board work, his controlling pucks in the offensive zone, his penalty killing, his physicality and his speed. We've definitely felt his absence."
Defenseman Jonas Brodin, sidelined six games because of the mumps, has started working out and might also skate Tuesday.