Offiicially it’s called the “Mentor’s Trip” because it’s not just Seattle Kraken dad’s taking part. Uncles, father’s in laws, and stepdads are welcome.
In the case of Seattle Kraken forwards Jordan Eberle and Matty Beniers, it’s indeed their biological fathers visiting, both of whom had a chance to meet with the media after morning skate on Saturday.
With Jordan having been in the NHL since 2010, this is not the first father’s trip experience for dad Darren.
“We were just talking about that on the way here, I was trying to remember how many times I’ve been on a father’s trip, at least five or six times,” Darren said. “And obviously the best part is to hang out with the boy and meet all the other fathers and family. Yeah, so it’s really good.”
With Matty being an NHL rookie, this is the first go around for Bob Beniers.
“We’ve met a lot of dads and it’s really fun to talk about their experiences with hockey and their children,” the elder Beniers said. “It’s been really, really nice.”
And it’s just getting started. Saturday was the first official day of the visit. After the game against the Red Wings, the “dads” will travel with the team to San Jose for the Seattle Kraken game against the Sharks on Monday. After that Presidents Day matinee, the group will return to Seattle and disband.
Seattle Kraken Coaches
As it turns out, it must pay to be the coach’s son after all. Both of these Seattle Kraken forwards were coached in youth hockey by their fathers.
“He was pretty big, pretty influential,” Matty said of Bob. “He coached me for 10 years, so when I was growing up, he was driving me to practice every Tuesday, Thursday, and games on the weekend all over, going to Canada, Buffalo all these different places, and we were like ten (years old). So, you know, looking back on it, it’s pretty, pretty awesome that he was able to do that for me and kind of crazy. But you know, it all worked out. It was a lot of fun.”
“He’s on his own now,” Bob laughed about coaching him. “It’s been fun. It’s been fun to watch his short experience here, it’s been a great organization so far and great coaching.”
When asked when they thought Matty might be NHL material, they weren’t so sure. It just kind of snuck up on them.
“Yeah, we thought about this and we never talked about him playing professionally, we always talked about him going to college and playing,” Bob said.
As for Darren Eberle, he was asked about what the rest of us might not know about NHL veteran Jordan.
“You might not know that he thinks he’s a good guitar player,” Darren said to laughter. But the worst part about it is, he’s learning to sing. I actually play guitar, and it’s the one thing I do better than him.”
Guitar can wait. The younger Eberle is an experienced fixture on a team gunning for a playoff berth in just its second year of existence, while Beniers is the NHL’s leading scorer among rookies.
Expect a good performance from the Seattle Kraken tonight. If there wasn’t enough on the line in each and every game, there’s the pride of playing in front of pops.