St. Louis holds a special place in the hearts of Matthew and Brady Tkachuk.
The sons of former NHL star Keith Tkachuk have made their own impact on the NHL for the Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators, earning their way to the 2020 NHL All-Star Weekend taking place in the city where their father made a name for himself.
Keith was drafted by and played for the Winnipeg Jets — later the Phoenix Coyotes after relocation — for a total of 10 years before being dealt to the St. Louis Blues at the 2001 trade deadline.
Now a decade after their father played his final NHL game, the Tkachuk boys will be taking part in the all-star events in the very building they grew up in.
"We've scored millions of goals in that rink," Matthew told NHL.com on Thursday.
Without a doubt, the brothers will be looking forward to scoring more goals throughout the weekend at the Enterprise Center.
"Honestly, I don't think we've ever talked about this," Brady said. "It's just crazy how it's worked out. I think Matthew and I are just going into it just to have as much fun as we can."
The Tkachuks were always present at the arena their dad played in for nine seasons, living up to their family reputation from an early age.
"You could tell those two boys, from Day 1, they loved the game," said Al MacInnis, who was Keith’s teammate in St. Louis for four seasons.
"They always had hockey sticks in their hands. They talked about hockey. They were students of the game as they were growing up. They would learn the history. They knew all the players."
All of that knowledge and passion culminated with Keith’s final all-star appearance in 2009.
Such a great story that they’ll all reconvene at the all-star game at which they’ve been many times before. This time the young lads are playing. pic.twitter.com/WSzNyz5Opx— Eric Francis (@EricFrancis) January 23, 2020
"I just remember following around all the players," Matthew said. "We looked up to my dad, but I think at something like that, we were more obsessed with guys like [Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane].
"I remember [Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin] was there and [Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin]. All these guys were there, and those were my favorite players growing up watching.
"And so I think that once we were able to be at the age where we were fans of the game and fans of these guys, that's where we started to appreciate a lot. We got tons of pictures. My mom always made us take pictures.
"Yeah, it was fun to be a part of something like that, especially at the age where we could remember it."
Now participating in their first all-star festivities, the players they grew up idolizing will be their peers on the ice where they scored millions of goals as they honed their craft.
The 2020 NHL All-Star Weekend will begin Friday with the skills competition and end with the All-Star Game Saturday night.
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