Pitlicks Populate the Pros

Sep 14, 2023


The Deep Hockey Roots of the Pitlick Family

Enveloped by the fragrant pine woods near Bone Lake, Wisconsin, Lisa and Lance Pitlick relished the serenity of their quaint cabin. But this tranquility often intermingled with the delightful harmony of steel meeting ice - a testament to their sons, Rem and Rhett, engaging in their favorite winter ritual on the frozen lake. Today, both sons proudly represent the Canadiens organization, marking a journey neither parent could have foreseen.

From Frozen Lakes to NHL Arenas

While 24-year-old Rem transitioned to the Canadiens after a stint with the Minnesota Wild, Rhett, 21, was spotted and selected in the 2019 NHL Draft's fifth round. These achievements didn't emerge from pure chance; Lisa, an almost-Olympian gymnast, and Lance, a seasoned NHL player, cultivated a love for the game in their offspring. However, they ensured this passion was genuine and not an offshoot of parental pressure.

"This is their journey," Lance says with conviction. "Every sport has its highs and lows. Our role was to provide stability, especially when times got tough. Their choice of hockey was entirely their own - driven by passion, not parental insistence."

The Pitlicks cleverly balanced guidance with freedom, letting Rem and Rhett craft their destinies. Part of this involved nurturing their hockey skills on a pond in Plymouth, Minnesota, symbolizing their dedication to providing the best while ensuring individual choices remained paramount.

Distinct Paths, Shared Passion

Rhett's independent spirit came to light in little episodes. Like the day Lance invited him for some pond practice, and Rhett chose studies over sticks. Yet, before long, he was sneaking to the pond, perfecting his skills in solitude. On the other hand, Rem's journey was characterized by an insatiable hunger to learn, better his game, and inch closer to the NHL dream.

The bond between the brothers is not just familial; it's mentor-mentee. While Rhett has been perfecting his skills at the University of Minnesota, Rem has been his guiding star, helping him navigate the tumultuous waters of a hockey career.

"He's my anchor," Rhett says of Rem. "From health tips to training with legends like Adam Oates, Rem has always been there. Our bond goes beyond blood - it's about shared experiences, aspirations, and dreams."

The frequency of their conversations and Rem's continued guidance reveal a bond that's both deep and nurturing. Yet, Rem's influence isn't restricted to Rhett. His commitment to a healthier lifestyle, especially his veganism, has had a ripple effect on the entire Pitlick family. The results? A fitter Lance, avoiding surgeries and feeling healthier than ever.

The Pillars Behind the Success

At the heart of this close-knit family stands Lisa, an embodiment of sacrifice, dedication, and love. Lance credits her for being the unwavering support system, while Rhett sees in her the epitome of resilience and strength.

"Every family has a foundation, and for us, it's Lisa," Lance states unequivocally. "The challenges of an NHL career, coupled with raising two promising hockey players, are immense. Lisa played her roles - as a player's wife, a hockey mom, and much more - with unmatched grace."

For the Canadiens organization, the addition of Rhett is a thrilling prospect, more so with Rem and cousin Tyler already on board. The possibility of seeing all three on the same NHL line, reminiscent of their Bone Lake days, is tantalizing. Yet, Lance remains grounded.

"We've done our part. It's their game now. Whether they play together or not, all we wish is for it to happen in Montreal," says a hopeful Lance.

Original article: Hockey Runs Deep for the Pitlicks