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Brian Bonin talks about growing up in White Bear Lake, having Hill-Murray relatives, playing with Jagr

The former forward is one of two people to win Mr. Hockey in Minnesota and the Hobey Baker Award. He joins The Rink Live podcast to talk about his career, family, Hockey Day Minnesota

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The Rink Live

Brian Bonin was one of those players who people knew his name when he was still in elementary school. Bonin went on to a fine career playing for White Bear Lake High School, the University of Minnesota and in pro hockey.

Watch or listen:

Bonin is one of two players to win both Mr. Hockey in Minnesota (1992) and the Hobey Baker Award (1996). He discusses where his passion for the game came from and shares a number of fun stories from his playing days, including being a linemate of Jaromir Jagr during Pittsburgh Penguins training camp.

Bonin's son, Jude, is a junior forward for Hill-Murray. Hill-Murray and White Bear Lake will play at 4:30 p.m. Saturday as part of Hockey Day Minnesota. His dad also played for Hill-Murray.

We hear about all this and more on The Rink Live podcast with The Rink Live's Jess Myers and Mick Hatten.



1:00 His reaction to Hockey Day Minnesota coming to White Bear Lake

1:40 Where he lives now

2:20 How he started playing the game, why he fell in love with the game

3:45 What he remembers about playing youth hockey in White Bear Lake

5:30 What it was like being the center of attention from an early age because of his talent

7:20 Which was the best high school team he played on? He played for the Bears from 1989-92

9:15 Memories of the White Bear Lake vs. Hill-Murray

11:20 What the college recruiting process was like, visiting Wisconsin, Maine, Harvard, Notre Dame


13:50 Playing in the old Mariucci Arena and the new 3M Arena at Mariucci, his favorite old high school arenas

16:15 Playing against some of the same players from peewees through college

18:15 Seeing the Michigan for the first time ... playing against the Wolverines in the NCAA tournament

19:45 Winning the Hobey Baker Award in 1996, keys to his success

21:45 The differences between playing college and pro hockey

25:15 What was it like playing for the Syracuse Crunch with Tyson Nash, Lonny Bohonos

27:00 What it was like to play with Jaromir Jagr with the Pittsburgh Penguins

31:40 What it was like playing for the Minnesota Wild in 2000-01


34:15 How did he end up deciding to retire from playing?

36:40 His recommendations of what to do in White Bear Lake this weekend

38:15 Is he playing in the alumni and celebrity games for Hockey Day Minnesota?

39:05 His dad and sons being Hill-Murray guys

Mick Hatten is a reporter and editor for Forum News Service and helps manage TheRinkLive.com, a website dedicated to hockey. He began working for Forum Communications in November 2018 and has covered St. Cloud State University hockey since 2010. A graduate of St. Cloud State, he has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and has been a youth hockey coach since 2014. mhatten@forumcomm.com

For more coverage of St. Cloud and the surrounding communities, check out St. Cloud Live.
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