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Chronicling the 2012 Hershey Baby Boom
Four names that bring instant recognition for fans of the Hershey Bears. The first three on that list have been named to the AHL All Star Game within the last two years. Every one of them has their name on the Calder Cup with the club. And there’s something else they’ve got in common, aside from star power – spring babies.
That’s right, in the space of 3 months, all four players added to the family – boys for the first-time fathers, and a girl named Livia Rose joined her big brother Gunnar in the Mink household.
Keith and Maureen Aucoin started things off on February 29th, with the birth of Brayden Michael roughly a month after his father’s call-up to the Capitals. Unfortunately, according to Capitals GM George McPhee, we’re unlikely to see the six-time AHL All Star back next year – either in Hershey or Washington. Aucoin is in the market for a one-way contract, and reportedly willing to leave the NHL in order to find it if necessary.
Two months later, Chris Bourque and his wife Kimberly welcomed Kingston Ray on May 6th. Three weeks later, Bourque was traded to the Boston Bruins organization in exchange for Zach Hamill. He has since been signed to a two-year contract with his new team.
The B-theme continued a few days after the birth of Baby Bourque, with Benjamin Hunter Holtby making a playoff appearance while his father’s star was on the rise in Washington. Born on May 10th, the day after goaltender Braden’s hot streak helped the Capitals force a Game 7 against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Given his performance this past spring, stepping up when both Michal Neuvirth and Tomas Vokoun were forced out of the lineup due to injury, Holtby is expected to make the jump to the for good this fall.
The late arrival of the Hershey crowd this summer was Livia Rose Mink, who made her appearance just before Memorial Day (May 23). Her father Graham has done three separate tours of duty with the Hershey Bears, two of them while he was on two-way contracts with the Capitals. His most recent appearance in a Caps jersey was in November of 2008, but his exploits with the Bears have included two separate Calder Cups – 2006 and 2009. This past season, he was on an AHL-only contract which expired with the start of free agency. Last summer, he signed with the Bears on July 13, so it’s likely that it will be a bit longer until we hear if he’s coming back to Chocolate Town or moving on to a new phase of his career.
If Livia’s older brother Gunnar and his fan following are anything to go by, all of the new additions will be well-received next year. We wish them all the best, regardless of where their fathers may be playing.