August 13, 2022

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Greater than a decade later, it’s nonetheless laborious to imagine that Jared Spurgeon virtually didn’t make it to the NHL.

These days, the 32-year-old defenseman is the captain of the Wild, having performed extra video games than each participant in franchise historical past besides Mikko Koivu. Approach again in September 2010, although, Spurgeon was a 20-year-old child reeling after going unsigned by the New York Islanders.

“I don’t assume I used to be pouting like I used to be accomplished; I used to be extra indignant as a result of I felt I had a reasonably good junior profession,” stated Spurgeon, who had 51 factors in 54 video games throughout his remaining season in juniors with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League. “I felt that I might show myself. Simply needed a possibility.”

That’s precisely what he acquired after his agent Eustace King satisfied the Wild to offer Spurgeon a shot. He turned heads at coaching camp and signed an entry-level contract with the Minnesota franchise on Sep. 23, 2010.

A few months later, on his twenty first birthday, Spurgeon made his NHL debut with the Wild throughout a highway recreation in opposition to the Calgary Flames.

The remaining is historical past. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Spurgeon has gone on to play 771 video games with the Wild, and counting.

He has change into a cornerstone of the franchise within the course of, and on Monday morning, the Twin Cities chapter of the Skilled Hockey Writers Affiliation nominated Spurgeon as its nominee for the Masterton Trophy. The award goes yearly to the NHL participant who greatest exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game.

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If anybody on the Wild roster exemplifies these qualities, it’s Spurgeon. His dedication has been on show over the previous decade as he has established himself as a star on the highest stage.

“It positively goes by quick,” Spurgeon stated. “I nonetheless look again to the primary recreation. Each time we stroll into Calgary to play them, I keep in mind my first recreation and keep in mind questioning if (I used to be) going to get one other one after that.”

He did. In actual fact, after being known as as much as the NHL the primary time, Spurgeon by no means noticed the minors once more, outdoors of a playoff run with the the now-defunct Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League throughout the 2010-11 season.

Requested about his journey as an entire, Spurgeon pointed to the assorted individuals who helped him get so far.

“You’re by no means going to do it alone,” he stated. “There’s been lots of people that helped alongside the best way.”

That stated, Spurgeon himself deserves credit score for persevering after being dealt a nasty hand greater than a decade in the past. He has achieved a lot since then. Now the one factor left to do is win a Stanley Cup.

“The group has been nice to me,” Spurgeon stated. “There’s one factor lacking that I wish to convey again to them for exhibiting that religion.”