With NHL lockout, Red Wings players have more time for family

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Detroit, MI, United States (4E Sports) – The NHL lockout has given family men among the Detroit Red Wings more time to be with their loved ones during the holidays.

Last season, they had little time to be with their families as they were on the road for 10 of 15 games in December, including a trip to Canada that concluded Dec. 22 in Calgary, Alberta.

Now, they have all the time in the world to enjoy the company of their families during the Christmas season with the lockout still prevailing.

“You’re being a normal parent now,” said Mikael Samuelsson, who has a 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter. “I’m staying busy with his hockey and around his team, and it is a lot of fun. You find other ways to fill your day, for sure, and I enjoy that.”

Samuelsson is opening his house to Swedish teammates for dinner on Christmas Eve, expecting Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Jonas Gustavsson and former teammate Andreas Lilja and their families to join.

“It’s going to be a good time, and we don’t have to really rush into anything and think about that we have a game the next day or so, so that’s going to be actually one thing that’s positive about it,” Samuelsson said, adding that, “Still, I’d rather play hockey.”

After finishing his Christmas shopping a month ago, Todd Bertuzzi has more time to accompany his son Tag during hockey practices and games.

Justin Abdelkader is planning to take a long drive to visit his family in Muskegon Saturday. The trip would not have been possible as the Red Wings were scheduled to host Columbus Saturday if the season went through as scheduled

Recently, players have authorized the NHL Players Association executive committee to dissolve the union, giving executive director Don Fehr until Jan. 2 to decide whether to file such a disclaimer of interest.

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