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Dutch Has Mail...Again

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild

Dutch Schnell, goalie-racer here, and as you can tell by scanning the photo to the left, I am flummoxed. I’m not sure what that means but I heard someone use that in the office and I just had to fit it into a column.

A show of hands: how many of you thought that I would be taking two weeks off to travel to Paradise to bask in the sun while sipping non-alcoholic drinks from a pineapple and gazing into the green eyes of the future Mrs. Schnell?

You four should know me better than that.

There is no rest for this weary goalie-racer. A dearth of Wild games in no way yields a lack of ramblings from yours truly. In fact, as a service to my faithful readers, I requested the powers-that-be to foot the bill for hotel and airfare to Torino, Italia, to provide in-depth coverage of the Olympic games.

I took their inability to speak while rolling on the floor laughing as a definitive no. I did receive an email that I would get a press pass for next week’s Girls’ State Hockey Tournament, so I’m in no way complaining. I’ll be in the KSTC.TV truck for all four of Friday’s games.

Look for a daylong diary detailing my experience to appear next Saturday. It’ll be more fun than a barrel of monkeys!

Until then, I figure this break in the Wild schedule is an opportune time to catch up with my favorite people…readers!

I sifted through hundreds and hundreds of letters (possibly 12) and picked out two that pierced my goalie-racing heart.

Gather round as I share them with you.


 Manny Fernandez gives a shove from behind to Matt Cooke, which most likely was not hard enough.
I am sorry, but I cannot stand the Vancouver Canucks. I know hate is a strong word, but I feel like that may be the case here. Did you see that game on Sunday? When Matt Cooke wasn’t sucker-punching someone and running behind a referee, Jarkko Ruutu was taking runs at our superstar, or players sitting on their bench were jabbing sticks at our guys when they skated by. What is this, the California Penal League? Would they be able to get away with this in the world of goalie-racing? And why is it that they wait until their in Vancouver to use these shenanigans?
Joel B.


You bring up so many interesting points, that I have a strong suspicion you were a debate champion back in high school. I did in fact watch the game on Sunday, and the future Dutchess of Schnell did not like the person sitting next to her on the couch that night.

She was more than a little perturbed as I ripped apart the couch cushions (or as my late grandmother called it, the davenport) and bit through the leg of our coffee table.

As I carefully picked up the shattered serving dish the next day, I thought back to my formative years, when, I regret to admit, I was a member of a Duluth gang called, “The Banana Splitz” (The “Z” gave it street cred).

We opened up an ice cream stand near the Longview tennis courts, where we sold frozen treats to sweaty tennis players. There was this all-girl gang down the block called “The Lollipops,” who would throw water balloons at us before scampering into their houses and hiding behind their eight-foot-nine fathers.

 The Lollipops aren’t so adorable when they’re whipping water ballons at your face and wrecking your frozen treat stand.
Do you see the similarities? Granted, the Lollipops ranged between the ages of five and six instead of 21 to 35 and water balloons sting much less than a composite stick blade upside the jaw, but the Cooke/Ruutu shenanigans are simply gir…I mean, boys being boys.

It’s their jobs to get in our heads. While they certainly got into my melon, I suspect our boys will be ready for the rematches on March 29 and 31.

Before you get all hate-filled on us Joel, remember that some things are put on this earth for reasons that aren’t so easily explained. For example, you and I don’t see much purpose on this planet for deer ticks, but if we didn’t have them, what would puppy-hating goalie-racer Egg Olson do with his time if he couldn’t breed them.

Similarly, what team would be our rivals if not for the Nucks? I view them as a necessary evil. When we play them, it’s not just any game; it’s like Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals eight times out of the year. In the famous words of my boss, Bill Robertson, “We need more of that!”

And just to put things in perspective, I offer you this letter from the Pride of Anoka, Staff Sergeant Tim Hathaway.

Dear Dutch,

I am a die-hard hockey fan. To prove that, I cried when they imploded the Met Center to build the parking garage for the Mall (said with disgust). But, my heart was lifted when the Wild came to town. I have almost been divorced just for ordering a Customized Authentic Jersey. And, to tell you the truth, I’m contemplating it again. I really want the Wild Third Jersey. Then I would have the whole set (minus one wife)!

Back to the point. Sad to say, I just recently started reading your articles. The one about Bombay caught my attention. Being the hockey fan that I am, I ordered the whole Mighty Ducks collection on DVD that day.

I thought I would drop you an email for fun. As of now, I am currently serving my second tour in a place that will never have a hockey team…Iraq!!! But I do plan on coming home at the beginning of next year, so I hope I can catch a game with you racing. That would be cool.

I guess I just wanted to let you know that there are a lot of hockey fans, and a bunch of Wild fans serving proudly with me. We fight so our boys can play and win, and hopefully go to the playoffs so we get to watch a few more of their games on AFN TV.

Thanks for your time, and keep the articles coming. Is there a way we can get them emailed directly to us? The Internet is slow over here. Just wondering. I guess this is too long to put on your column, but oh well.

Keep on racing!!!!

SSG Tim Hathaway

For you Tim, I will let your emails run as long as you want them to. They are going in the column regardless. It is the very least I can do for someone making it possible for me to race, write diatribes, and travel to and fro to Duluth, Minnesota.

I want to take this time to thank you and your fellow soldiers for all you are doing for the State of Hockey, the other 49, and beyond. Get home safe. Get home soon. Get that third jersey. My next victory is dedicated to you!

Your friend,


I am Dutch Schnell, and I…am a goalie racer.

If you would like to correspond with Dutch, click here.

To view past ramblings by Dutch, or to see what goalie-racing is all about, click here.

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