Oct 30, 2018

The hockey season can be a grind, with the regular season starting in October and not ending until April at the earliest and stretching into June for a few lucky teams.

To combat complacency and the monotony of a possible nine-month season and to participate in some team-building as well, players find ways to mix things up. A great way to do so is holiday parties.

After two big wins against the Colorado Eagles this past weekend, Wild players held their Halloween party for their families. Getting in the holiday spirit, players shared some of their favorite Halloween costumes and other memories from their youth.

Gerry Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald, somewhat famously, is a member of a set of triplets, so growing up, there was a fair share of group costumes in his household.

“My brothers and I dressed up as the Three Amigos one year, as a joke,” Fitzgerald said. “We hadn’t ever seen the movie but my mom had and she loved it.”

The one costume that sticks out in his mind the most though, as it does for probably many kids who grow up wanting to play the sport, is being a hockey player.

“We used to dress up as hockey players so we could throw on the rollerblades and wheel around quicker,” Fitzgerald said. “Just tried to get as much candy as we could.”

Growing up, Fitzgerald would always try to trade away his Wagon Wheels, a chocolate candy with marshmallow in the middle.

“I wasn’t a fan of them,” Fitzgerald said. “I always tried to get Reese’s Cups. I love those.”

Mike Liambas

For Liambas, his favorite Halloween memories aren’t the ones he has as a child but rather the ones he’s going to make in the future.

Liambas and his fiancée welcomed their son Bodhi to the world in September. Five-weeks old may be a little young for a costume, Liambas knows there will be plenty of family costumes in the years ahead.

“There’s already a few costume ideas out there,” Liambas said. “But I let my fiancée take care of that.”

While Liambas doesn’t enjoy Halloween as much as other holidays on the calendar, his mom sure does.

“My mom was a hockey player one time for a work Halloween party,” Liambas said. “She actually dressed up as me. Put on my jersey, put on all my gear and went to work as me. It was a big hit.”

Will Bitten

Bitten’s best Halloween costume comes from when he was in high school, which coincidently happened to be when he attended an all-hockey school. He and two of his buddies dressed up as the Hanson brothers from Slap Shot.

“I went with a couple of friends in school and we went full out,” Bitten said. “Foil on the hands, fake blood on the jersey. We watched the movie and enjoyed it and just went from there.”

Bitten and his younger brother Sam were not exempt from the family costumes either. One year Will went as Batman while Sam went as Superman.

“It’s something we never forget,” Bitten said. “Always around this time of year we talk about the costumes we wore and just laugh. It’s pretty funny looking back.”

One wild card though, Bitten preferred chips growing up rather than candy.

“Those little loot bags, I always loved them,” Bitten said. “Realistically though, I pretty much took anything. It was my brother who was picky.”

Mason Shaw

Growing up in Wainwright, Alberta, Shaw saw his fair share of cold Octobers. There were sometimes feet of snow on the ground, meaning trick or treating could be a little difficult.

“We’ve had Halloweens where I need my winter boots on to trek through the snow,” Shaw said. “I stuck with my costume, even if there was a foot of snow. I had time to warm up in the car because when you trick-or-treat out on the farm, you drive from house to house.”

Of all the costumes throughout the players’ lives though, Shaw may be able to top them all.

Being the farm kid that he is, Shaw’s favorite costume is when he was a cow. Yes, a cow.

“My mom got it when I was probably five years old and I wore it for three or four years in a row,” Shaw said. “It got to the point where the feet came almost halfway up my shins. It was a full costume too; I wore a hat that had the horns on it.”

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