Capitals forward Matt Hendricks might be the most Minnesota guy ever. He grew up in suburban Minneapolis and played his college hockey at St. Cloud State. When the NHL lockout ended Sunday, Hendricks received the text message from teammate Jason Chimera -- while sleeping in a cabin on Mille Lacs Lake about 90 miles north of the Twin Cities.
"Looking for the elusive walleye," Hendricks joked about his ice fishing adventure that was cut short.
Instead, he raced home and packed his gear for the long-awaited trip back to the District. All day Sunday his phone erupted with texts of congratulations from friends in his hockey-crazed state who were excited to see the NHL return after a 113-day lockout that seemed like it would never end.
It wasn't a completely wasted fishing trip for Hendricks. While he struck out on the walleye, he did get to watch his favorite football team, the Green Bay Packers, beat the Vikings in an NFC wild-card game. Wait ... what? Turns out that Hendricks' grandfather was actually from Wisconsin. That can't make him too popular back home.
"No," Hendricks said. "You get a lot of dirty looks."
- Brian McNally