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Kirill Kaprizov spends Thanksgiving with Wild teammates: ‘I loved everything’

“It was great,” Kaprizov said through a translator. “But I ate a ton of food and I felt extremely heavy today on the ice.”

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Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov skates against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021. Kaprizov enjoyed his first Thanksgiving on Thursday at the home of teammate Jared Spurgeon. Kim Klement / USA Today Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

ST. PAUL -- Though he’s currently nursing a lower-body injury, captain Jared Spurgeon is still making an impact on the Minnesota Wild. He and his wife, Danielle, hosted Thanksgiving dinner at their home in Edina on Thursday night, giving some Wild teammates a place to gather.

Invitees included alternate captain Marcus Foligno and his wife Natascia, winger Kevin Fiala and his fiancée Jessica, and rookies Brandon Duhaime and Calen Addison. There was also winger Krill Kaprizov, a native of Russia, who was experiencing Thanksgiving for the first time.

“It was great,” Kaprizov said Friday through a translator. “But I ate a ton of food and I felt extremely heavy today on the ice.”

Not that Kaprizov showed any side effects in the a 7-1 rout of the Winnipeg Jets on Friday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center. He skated circles around would-be defenders for 60 minutes of play and finished with a goal and three assists.

What was his favorite part of Thanksgiving?

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“I loved everything,” Kaprizov said. “They host a great Thanksgiving. They have amazing food. Everything was amazing.”

Home sweet home

After spending most of this past month on the road, the Wild will be home for the next week and a half. They started the lengthy homestand in style with a big win on Friday afternoon in front of an announced crowd of 19,133.

“This is our chance to establish home ice advantage,” goaltender Cam Talbot said. “Just coming out and setting the tone early. We were happy to be at home and happy for a big win.”

The next week features home games against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Arizona Coyotes, New Jersey Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs. Then it’s back on the road.

Mr. 500

It’s hard to believe winger Nick Bjugstad has already spent nearly a decade in the NHL. Yet there he was on Friday, skating in the 500th game of his career. He’s the 51st Minnesota-born player to reach the milestone.

Originally selected by the Florida Panthers in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft, Bjugstad played 394 games with the organization before moving on. He also spent time with the Pittsburgh Penguins before settling in with the hometown Wild.

Special sweaters

To commemorate Native American Heritage Day, the Wild took the ice for warmups wearing custom jerseys that pay tribute to the Native American community in Minnesota. The custom sweaters included a specially designed Dakota emblem and writing.

National Native American Heritage Day, signed into law in 2008, takes place the day after Thanksgiving and honors American Indians across the nation. The day celebrates the vibrant cultures, traditions and heritages while recognizing the many contributions Native Americans have made. The day encourages listening to Native American voices and fostering pride in the vibrant and layered heritage that’s embedded deep within our society.

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