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Hockey Wilderness Military Wild Fan Interview Series

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Tyler Leske (right) patrolling the streets in Basrah, Iraq.

Hockey Wilderness loves our troops. Few people on this planet do more to provide us the right to do what it is we do than our men and women in uniform. Wanting to provide something in return, we do our best to provide content that is entertaining, informative, and enjoyable. However, we felt it was time to do something more.

In that spirit we have decided to reach out to the troops who share our love of hockey, and of the Minnesota Wild. Consider it a "Get to Know Your Troops" adventure. If you know any troops who would like to participate, please email me (click the little envelope by my name at the bottom of the screen).

Make the jump and get to know Specialist Tyler Leske.


Branch of Service: MN National Guard
Current Rank: SPC - soon to be SGT
MOS: 21Y - Geospatial Engineer. it keeps changing though, might be 12Y or something else by now

Hockey Wilderness: How long have you served?
Tyler Leske: I've been in for about 3 years.

HW: What do you do in your day to day work for the military?
TL: Deployed, my team and I essentially made maps varying from overview maps of Iraq to route analysis for specific missions.

HW: Why did you join?
TL: I joined in hopes of finding some sort of direction in life, to try to get out of my routine of working a crappy job just to make ends meet.

HW: Have you ever been deployed? If so, how many times, where to, and for how long?
TL: I have deployed once so far. I was in country for about 10 months. we were stationed in Basrah, Iraq. Possibly another coming up soon but who knows...

HW: While deployed, how did you keep up with Wild news and happening?Were you able to watch or listen to games?
TL: I was lucky enough to have internet access so i would keep up with the wild that way. Every once in a while they would show a game on the Armed Forces Network, and my sister [one HW's own] would send me emails keeping me in the loop as well.


HW: What are the five top reasons why you love hockey, and why?
TL: I love the intensity of the game, the nail biting suspense, how it brings people together(at least people who are fans of the same team), big hits and skillful goals, and of course who could forget the fights. I used to love watching Boogey beat someone down.

HW: Why are you a Wild fan?
TL: I'm a fan of anything from Minnesota. You wont find me cheering for any other team besides a Minnesota team so when the NHL finally came back to the state of hockey, i immediately got behind the wild.

HW: Who is your favorite current Wild player? All time?
TL: That's a tough question! Its really a toss up between Koivu and Zanon. Koivu because he is an all around amazing player and Zanon because he is a freaking beast! All time favorite was probably Boogard because i loved his bone crushing hits...even though he couldnt score to save his life.

HW: Who is your favorite NHL player - current or former?
TL: Current: Koivu or Zanon. Former: The great one, Wayne Gretzky

HW: Favorite memory of the Wild?
TL: After i got back from Iraq i took my sister to a game and got us second row seats, the closest either of us have ever been to on the glass, and the wild killed off a two min 5-3 powerplay. I remember Zanon was out there the whole time, skating on a broken ankle. He blocked several shots during the pk, i think at least one off his ankle, and then collapsed in exhaustion at the end of the pk. The energy at the Xcel went through the roof, it was amazing!

I Think Tyler is referring to this:

We would like to thank Specialist Leske for taking part in the inaugural Military Fan Interview. More importantly, we would like to thank him for his service, and his sacrifice for this country. Be safe if that next deployment comes along, Tyler.