Griffins forward Taro Hirose hails from Calgary, Alberta, a place in the world that is all about hockey.
"I felt like everyone I knew at least tried it or was talking about it or was watching it all the time," Hirose said about his youth. "Me and my friends, if we weren't playing it on the ice, we were playing it in the streets or trying to find an outdoor rink to play at too. My whole community was all hockey crazy and it led to where I am."
Hirose played his college hockey at Michigan State and is now in his second year playing professionally both in Detroit and Grand Rapids.
It's a long way from home, but maybe not so different.
"Weather wise it is pretty similar to Calgary," Hirose said. "It's nice and cold in the winter which I don't mind and it gets nice in the summer, so I think those similarities have led to me just wanting to stay here and being comfortable here."
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are just around the corner and the search for the first Canadian team to hoist the Cup since the Montreal Canadians did it 28 years ago continues.
Hirose agrees, when it happens, an entire nation will rejoice.
"It would be huge for all of Canada," Hirose said. "The Flames came really close in 2004 and that was really heartbreaking for me and I know a lot of Calgarians there but just any market in Canada would win I think it would be huge for them and huge for hockey in general just spreading it around the country."
Hirose has played 32 career NHL games with the Red Wings, 26 last season and six this year.
His goal, like most in the American League, is to get back there and he knows what it takes more than most having had that taste so recently.
"I think my play with and without the puck for sure," Hirose said about what he needs to improve on. "I think I can do some good things offensively with the puck but you have to be good on both sides of the puck so just making sure I'm good defensively and just getting a little bit stronger and faster so I can hold onto pucks down low and help create more offense for me and my line mates."