Jack Hillen is a proud, happy father. But that doesn’t mean he was all that aware Saturday night when his wife, Caitlin, gave birth to the couple’s second child.
Knox Patrick Hillen was over a week early when he was born at 6:30 on April 6. His birth was part of an excellent eight days for the Washington Capitals defenseman, who signed a contract extension, had his first two-point game in over two years and scored his first goal of the season.
“It’s been very hectic,” Hillen said. “Very hectic week between the contract, closing on a home back in Minnesota, and obviously the birth of my son, Knox. It’s just been crazy.”
Hillen was taking the ice for pregame warm-ups at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., when Caitlin went into labor. She was due to give birth on April 17.
“I didn’t know. I found out after the game,” Hillen said. “I had no idea. Not at all. No idea. I talked to her before the game. Everything was fine. No idea that she was going into labor. I got off the ice and [team services manager Ian Anderson] pulled me aside and said, ‘Congratulations.’ I was like, ‘Oh.’ ”
Once the Caps returned home to Washington, Hillen FaceTimed with his wife, who’s in Minnesota, when she couldn’t sleep. Knox is the Hillens’ second child; Finn is 2 years old.
Knox will be 2 when his father’s contract with the Caps runs out. On April 2 he signed an extension worth a total of $1.4 million for the next two seasons.
The 26-year-old defenseman has been playing heavy minutes for coach Adam Oates since returning from injury March 16 at the Boston Bruins. His two-point game Sunday against the Tampa Bay Lightning was his first since Feb. 10, 2011 while with the New York Islanders.
That it came the day after Knox was born was a nice touch.
“Old school. It was great,” Oates said. “We talked about when he can go home and see his family, and we appreciate him being here because we need him.”