Whether it’s because they played together on the same line this past season and play with identical tenacity, or simply because their last names both start with a D – and the sound “doo” – the Wild fans tend to think of Connor Dewar and Brandon Duhaime as a duo.
“We do it too,” Wild head coach Dean Evason said Thursday.
Hence their roles as Dewey #1 and Dewey #2, and their identical rugby jerseys, in the popular Gus Bus team commercial.
It doesn’t matter for young attackers.
“Most of the time,” Dewar acknowledged, “you’ll probably find us hanging out.”
When it comes to North America, they couldn’t be from more different places — Duhaime, 26, from Parkland, Fla., and Dewar, 24, from Manitoba — but they got along well as roommates during their first year with the Wild’s AHL team in Des Moines.
There too, they played on the same line.
“Yeah, I mean, any time you can be with a guy for a while, you kind of build chemistry,” Duhaime said. “I would say that’s a big factor.”
Center Dewar and left winger Duhaime linked up in another way during Tuesday’s 5-2 victory in Montreal when they each scored a shorthanded goal in the same penalty, 26 seconds into interval. They are the third pair of Minnesota players to do so, joining Wes Walz and Antii Laaksonen (2000) and Ryan Hartman and Sam Steel (2023).
Evason is happy with his play this season along with Pat Maroon, who joined the team after being acquired in a deal with Tampa Bay this summer. Before Thursday night’s game against the Los Angeles Kings, Evason called the line “probably our best line” in three games.
“We kind of went through the organization together,” Dewar said. “We’ve been playing together for years.”
One of the best moments in the Gus Bus spot is Dewar, sitting in the window seat next to Duhaime, breathing through the window and writing down the condensation with his finger.
It was Dewar’s improvisation.
“I was trying to think, ‘What would a little kid do?’ ” he said.
The commercial, which has more than 22,000 views on Wild’s YouTube channel, also includes an appearance by Brock Faber’s mother, Karri.
Sammy Walker, one of the Wild’s top prospects in Iowa, was expected to join the big league team Thursday on the second line with center Joel Eriksson Ek and left winger Marcus Johansson filling the vacated spot when Matt Boldy was sidelined by an upper body injury.
The three had never played together before.
“Whoever you play with, you just try to do your best and score,” Walker said. “You’re just trying to play hockey.”
The Wild used the NHL’s emergency personnel rules to add Walker after playing a short stint in Montreal. Walker scored three goals in the preseason and was one of the last players cut from camp, mainly because the Wild – still penalized for buying out the contracts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter – didn’t have enough cap space. for the salary cap.
Evason said Walker was among four candidates to be recalled by Des Moines.
The Wild placed Alex Goligoski on long-term injured reserve on Wednesday, forcing the veteran defenseman to miss at least 10 games and 24 days of the season.
Dakota Mermis had already been recalled before Goligoski was injured and played well Tuesday in Montreal, but the LTIR designation provides salary cap relief for the Wild if they want to recall an additional defenseman.
Asked if he expected Wild to do that, Evason replied, “It beats me.”
That will be up to general manager Bill Guerin and his staff, Evason said, and if they decide, Iowa’s staff will give them the best options. “And we will all make a decision together,” Evason said.
Evason said Jared Spurgeon, out since suffering an upper-body injury in a preseason game Oct. 5, has started skating. “It’s obviously positive that he’s on the ice,” the coach said. … Boldy has yet to start skating since he was injured last Saturday in Toronto.