TAMPERE, FINLAND –
Patrik Laine’s cousin Kimmo Laine has finally provided a rationale to Patrik’s bearded face that has perplexed Winnipeg Jets hockey fans.
It turns out Laine’s connection to Manitoba goes much deeper than being drafted second overall in 2016 by the Winnipeg Jets. According to Kimmo Laine the Laine family is up to a quarter Mennonite and have distant relatives in Southern Manitoba.
“Our great-grandmother’s parents were Klaus and Leena Wiebe who immigrated to Finland from Prussia,” Kimmo Laine explained. “Leena was originally a Neufeld and the other Wiebes and Neufelds went to Canada.”
Patrik’s beard took many hockey fans off guard this year, after he struggled to produce facial hair at all during his rookie season.
“Ya, Patty’s moustache was pretty dirty last year,” Kimmo Laine said. “He was trying but not much was happening.”
According to Kimmo, the Wiebe and Neufeld families are renowned for their blonde and red beards.
“Most Laines can grow pretty sick beards,” Kimmo shared. “The men usually keep theirs but the women try to get rid of theirs.”
The same line of Wiebes and Neufelds ended up settling in the Lowe Farm and Winkler areas of Manitoba and are distant relatives of Patrik Laine’s family.
“Patty was able to track down a bunch of second cousins from the Wiebe book his mom has,” Kimmo Laine said. “He was pretty excited to find out he was related to the founders of Winkler Bible Camp and the Co-op in Lowe Farm.”
“The Neufeld side is a little more sketchy so Patty’s mom told him to shy away from them,” Laine offered.
Patrik Laine has managed to skip out to the Winkler and Plum Coulee area for a family gathering over the Christmas break and has been seen eating sunflower seeds and New Year’s cookies in the Jets’ locker room. Laine is rumoured to be an exceptional crokinole player with a mastery of scoring twenties.
“The beard has really made him a rock star in Winkler and Southern Manitoba. A lot of people still don’t have cable TV down there so they don’t recognize him right away,” Kimmo Laine said. “With that beard I don’t think it would matter who he was he would still get swarmed by folks down there. His girlfriend, Sanna, gets a little jealous when all the single Mennonite girls toss their bonnets at him.”
Laine has shied away from discussing his Mennonite heritage in the media in attempts to remain humble.
“In private he’s pretty stoked about his Menno-beard,” Kimmo Laine said. “He doesn’t want any extra attention so he keeps his Mennonite roots under wraps. James Reimer and Patty have talked a bit about the added pressure of growing up Mennonite so they have a special bond off the ice.”
When CIPP-TV hit the streets of Winkler they found Laine was more famous for his beard and crokinole skills than he was for hockey.
“I’ve seen a lot of guys score goals in the NHL but I’ve never seen anyone sink crokinole twenties like he can,” Peter Dyck said. “Oba yo that beard is something else too,” he added.
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