Former Edmonton Oiler Mark Letestu and his wife Brett have been on the move for well over a decade. But these days, they have much more to pack: three kids, two dogs and Leonardo, a Siamese fighting fish.
These personal considerations matter little on NHL trade deadline day. Hockey is a business, more focused on personnel. It means the family of five is often left in limbo, knowing they are going somewhere but not knowing much else.
“The worst part was waiting. Not knowing where or when,” Mark Letestu told Oilers TV following after he was traded by the Oilers on Feb. 25. “To wake up to the phone and then everything happened real quick. Bit of a spin this morning because I thought I was going one place and then ended up another.”
For a period of about 15 minutes on NHL trade deadline day, the hockey player thought he was going to the Nashville Predators because that’s the team the Oilers traded him to.
“Then eventually, some more phone calls came in and it all got hashed out. It was a good thing I didn’t give my wife the first phone call.”
After acquiring Letestu, the Predators turned around and traded him to another team. Brett says she found out her husband had been traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets via Twitter and text.
“I honestly didn’t even know he was originally traded to Nashville,” Brett said, adding she tries to prepare her children for the potential of a trade. But at ages two, four and six, that can be tricky.
“We try to warn them a little bit. They still ask questions like, ‘When is Dad coming home?'”
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Mark is already on the ice in Columbus, Ohio but his family is staying in Edmonton until the season is over. As an unrestricted free agent, Mark Letestu could be on the move again come summer.
“I guess we will figure out where we are next year,” Brett said. “This lifestyle doesn’t last forever, so we like to take advantage of every opportunity we get.”