They will appear before tonight’s Wings junior hockey game against Minot at 7:15 p.m. The celebrities will have a public meet and greet with fans from 5 to 6 p.m. Both events will be at the Odde Ice Center in Aberdeen.
Scheduled to appear are Toronto Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke; the NHL's accomplished brother trio of Neal, Aaron and Paul Broten; John Vanbiesbrouck, a retired goalie with 374 NHL wins; Eric Strobel, who played with Neal Broten on the 1980 U.S. Olympic gold medal team; and the physician for that 1980 team, Dr. George Nagobads.
Neal and Aaron Broten, Vanbiesbrouck and Nagobads all are hall-of-famers. Other former NHL players scheduled to appear are Brian Lawton, Dave Jensen, Shjon Podein, Bryan Erickson and Guy Gosselin. Also scheduled is two-time Olympian Len Lilyholm.
Here are 20 things to know about the careers of these hockey legends:
• Neal Broten is the only hockey player to have played on teams that won the NCAA championship (University of Minnesota in 1979), the Olympic Gold Medal (Team USA in 1980) and the Stanley Cup (New Jersey Devils in 1995).
• As a 31-year-old architect, Len Lilyholm helped design the new St. Paul Civic Center in 1973, home to the team he was playing for at the time, the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the World Hockey Association. Lilyholm scored the winning goal in the Saints’ first two victories in their new home rink.
• Brian Burke has the reputation, and resume, of turning teams into winners.
• Dr. George Nagobads is a world-renowned doctor in the hockey world. There probably isn’t a hockey injury he hasn’t treated or seen.
• John Vanbiesbrouck is widely considered the best ever American-born goaltender in NHL history, posting 40 career shutouts.
• A high school linemate and next-door neighbor of Neal and Aaron Broten, Bryan Erickson helped Roseau (Minn.) High School to two state championships and undefeated seasons (1977-79). Their line is still considered to be the best to ever play in Minnesota.
• Dr. George Nagobads served as team physician for five U.S. Olympic hockey teams from 1968 to 1988.
• Shjon Podein helped the Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup in 2001 and is often remembered for wearing his uniform for a full 25 hours after Game 7.
• Guy Gosselin, who played in five NHL games in his career, helped start the NCAA Division III Concordia University Wisconsin men’s and women’s hockey programs in 2007.
• In 1983, Dave Jensen was the first player to ever be drafted in the first round of the NHL draft before senior year of high school.
• Neal, Aaron and Paul Broten played a combined 36 years and 2,169 games in the NHL.
• The six other former pros in Aberdeen played a combined 57 years and 2,560 games in the NHL.
• Neal Broten participated in a rare fight against Wayne Gretzky. It was one of only a handful of fights during his and Gretzky’s NHL careers.
• Eric Strobel was a member of the 1979 University of Minnesota NCAA championship team.
• Paul Broten played on the first Dallas Stars team after the franchise moved from Minnesota. Brother Neal also was on that 1993-94 Stars team.
• The season before he was drafted, John Vanbiesbrouck wore glasses under his birdcage-style goaltender’s mask during 1980-81 season before switching to contact lenses.
• Brian Lawton’s Mount St. Charles (R.I.) teams went 121-3-2 during his four years in high school.
• Brian Burke is a Harvard Law School graduate.
• Dr. George Nagobads is a native of Riga, Latvia, and earned his medical degree in Germany.