We know from Bally Sports Detroit, the CBC and the Red Wings’ press corps that Joe Veleno took a ride to Toronto with Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman on Saturday, and I roughly translated Veleno’s discussion of said trip with TVA Sports on Sunday.
This evening, Veleno engaged in a French-language interview with TVA Sports’ Jean-Charles Lajoie on Monday night, and here’s a rough translation of the transcript thereof:
“It was a dream to be in the same car as Steve Yzerman”–Joe Veleno
Joe Veleno will remember the weekend he just lived for a very long time
After being called up by the Red Wings late Friday night, he joined his teammates in Toronto…in a car with Steve Yzerman!
“I was in Grand Rapids on Friday night. The Red Wings were playing Florida, and they lost in overtime. I listened to the game, and around 10 PM I was practically in bed, when I got a call from Steve Yzerman to say I was called up. The team had already left after the game. I had to find a way to get myself to Toronto. The easiest solution was to drive. I packed up my things in Grand Rapids and drove to Detroit. I got tested for COVID and waited until Steve picked me up. He asked me if I would be comfortable to take the ride with him and I had no problem with that,” Veleno said in an interview with Jean-Charles Lajoie on Monday.
If the former Drummondville Voltigeurs forward seemed to be living a dream, he didn’t hesitate to take the time to sleep a little on the road in order to be in shape for the game.
“It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t happen very often, to have the chance to travel with your boss. He was a phenomenal player when he was in the NHL. I’ve heard many good things about him. For me it was a dream to be in the same car as him. Getting the chance to play in my first game of the season, with all this weird stuff happening, it’s really interesting. We were listening to the [MSU-U of M] football game on the radio, and we decided to stop at Tim Horton’s to eat [a crispy chicken sandwich]. After that, I slept for about an hour.”
As in a movie script, Veleno got a goal and had an assist in the game in Toronto. He even thought about playing a joke on his boss.
“I was really tired. I went to bed about 1 in the morning the night I got hte call. I had to take the time to pack my things and my suitcases and call my parents and friends to come and see me play [in Toronto]. After the game, I wanted to play a joke on him and ask him if we were driving down to Montreal together, but I didn’t have the chance to do so.”
The Red Wings forward will be able to float on cloud nine for a while as he fulfills another dream when he faces the Canadiens on Tuesday.
“I’m very excited. It’s always a dream to play in Montreal. I’m going to be a little nervous, but it will be fun.”