| Assistant Equipment Manager and fellow Packer-hater Brent Proulx checks in from Traverse City, Michigan. |
Minnesota Wild Assistant Equipment Manager Brent Proulx is always there to lend a helping hand. He’ll tape a Wild players stick or stitch up a jersey without so much as batting an eyelash. Proulx is now displaying that unbridled enthusiasm to us here at Wild.com. Since none of us could fit it into the budget to head to Traverse City to cover this tournament, Proulx (don’t worry about pronunciation because he’s been here six years and we still haven’t figured it out) agreed to check in with us to let us know how things are going in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan on the banks of Lake Michigan.
When Proulx isn’t assisting Wild players and coaches, Proulx loves spending time outdoors or watching soccer (he prefers it be called "the real football"), which will be evident in his musings.
While in Traverse City at the 2006 NHL Centre I.C.E. Prospects Tournament, Proulx will relay some information back to us. Whether or not that relates to what happens on the ice is up to him.
Without further adieu, here is Proulx’s submission from last Thursday.
Brent Proulx’s Traverse City Diary - Day One
Day one of the Prospects Camp for the equipment managers started off by departing Saint Paul at 6:30 AM. Myself and Houston Aeros equipment manager Rick Bronwell shared the duties of driving our 15’ equipment truck loaded with the players and coaches gear, including all of the other items that are needed to make sure the young guys are taken care of.
Along the way, we unfortunately were forced to fuel up in the town of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Everything is green, gold and Packers this and Packers that. Isn’t there anything else to do there? Maybe mix in a soccer game or something! Rick had never been to Green Bay to see the famed Lambeau Field, so we decided to make a quick stop on our return from the tournament.
On this leg of the trip we didn’t have much time due to us having to be in the town of Manitowoc for a 2:00 PM departure on a ferry to cross Lake Michigan. This was a new experience for us this year. In previous years of driving the equipment to this tournament, we have either driven north through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or taken the south route through Chicago and gone north from there. Both routes were about equal in time depending on the gridlock in the Windy City.
However, this year we managed to figure out this ferry that takes you across the lake from Manitowoc, Wisconsin to Ludington, Michigan. What a wonderful thing! It saves us 4 1/2 hours of driving the truck and the opportunity to go in a straight line across the map instead of going out of our way either north or south. This boat carried everything from cars to semi-
| Now this is the type of dressing room that Brent can work with. Thanks Traverse City Arena folks! |
trailers, and even cement trucks. The boat had plenty of ammenities such as tv lounges, a movie room, arcade, and restaurants. It was well worth trying for the first time.
After arriving in Ludington we had two more hours of driving to our destination. We arrived in Traverse City at 9:00 PM and went right to the rink where members of the arena and tournament staff were expecting us. We were the last team of the eight participating clubs to arrive. To our surprise, we ended up with the best dressing room in the whole complex. They had given us use of the local NAHL junior hockey club room. This setup was unbelievable for a junior team and we were very fortunate to be able to use it. The players room has great stalls, a nice coaches room and training room all together in the same area. This was perfect for an NHL team.
We spent the next couple of hours unpacking the equipment and getting things ready for tomorrow as the players have there morning skate prior to their game vs Colombus. Following that we checked into our hotel at about 11:00 PM and called it a night.
That’s all I’ve got for tonight. For my next installment, I’ll touch on the Wild’s on-ice performance against the Columbus Blue Jacket prospects.
Talk to you soon,