When Panthers superstar rookie Aaron Ekblad needed a place to crash, team captain Willie Mitchell (and his extremely understanding wife) stepped in. Since then, they’ve shared seemingly everything …
In 2001, he [Willie Mitchell] was traded to the Minnesota Wild, where he began dating Megan Saunders, who worked for a Minneapolis marketing firm and lived in his building. They were married in the Napa Valley in the summer of 2006, just about six weeks after he’d signed a four-year contract with his favorite team from growing up, the Vancouver Canucks.
Brian Campbell, Ekblad’s defensive partner, let it slip that Ekblad, still just 18 at the time, once made cookies for the team.
“Meg makes these awesome cookies,” Ekblad explained, “and I just wanted to practice making them. So I was like, you know what, we’re going on a long road trip, I want to make some cookies before we go. I ate, maybe, 58 percent of them.”
“I think we were leaving at one o’clock,” Willie said. “I was doing something upstairs, I come downstairs, it’s like ten o’clock, and these two—”
“Because I pack the night before,” Ekblad interjected, “and he doesn’t.”
“I live on an island,” Willie said. “It’s called island time. Anyway, these two are down there, and I’m like, what the heck is going on. She’s egging him on—”
“This doesn’t really need to be emphasized in the story,” Ekblad said.
“He’s a good sous chef,” Meg pointed out.
“It was a really long road trip,” Ekblad said.