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Dutch Schnell: Checking In From The Davenport

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild

Dutch Schnell, goalie-racer here, and as you can tell by observing the photo to the left, I’m slowly recovering from a serious bout with the norovirus that’s been ravaging through me like army worms through a northern Minnesota forest every seven years.

I’m sure you thought we goalie-racers were immune to ailments such as the common cold, rheumatoid arthritis or yellow fever.

We are not. We, like you in the State of Hockey legion, are just as susceptible to diseases and viruses. Even more so in fact, because it is tough for nurses to find a vein for a flu shot when they have to puncture through heavy goalie-racer equipment.

Fear not, I have taken a break from a chicken noodle soup injection and hopefully I can get this donebefore I curl up on the davenport to find out exactly what’s happening with Aidan and Erin on All My Children.

Now then, is your bracket busted yet?

Mine too. Like many of you, I had the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs going all the way, but last night’s loss to the St. Cloud State Huskies completely destroyed my chances of ending up in the money (Monopoly money that is, as gambling is obviously frowned upon in this industry).

Despite my office pool (and intestinal) struggles, I’m still in a giving mood, so I want to share a story with you that was forwarded to my inbox this past week. A season ticket holder named Chris Parrucci tells a tale from Tuesday night’s game against Edmonton.

During pre-game warm-ups, Kurtis “Bananaz” Foster made eye contact with Chris’ son, a quiet, shy youngster on the other side of the Xcel Energy Center glass. “Bananaz” tapped the glass to get the boys attention, and he then flipped a puck to him. Of course, an older gentleman, who at this point is believed to be goalie-racer Egg Olson, pushed the boy aside to get the puck.

So Foster, being the upstanding young gentleman that he is, motioned for an older fan to come get another puck from him, and give it to the boy, which he did.

I wish I could say I was surprised, but if you’ll recall, back in December, “Bananaz” was involved in a collision in the corner with New York’s Jason Blake. Blake was knocked unconscious, and Foster earned the respect of many an Islander, by staying at his side to make sure he would be okay.

Blake is a UND Fighting Sioux for crying out in the night, but Foster was willing to look past that.

That’s what makes hockey players so darn special. They remember what it was like to be that kid at the game. They know how dangerous their sport is, but they don’t want to see someone hurt. There are no entourages, unless you count Brian Rolston’s three sons. There are no dress code controversies, unless you count Brent Burns wearing white pants prior to Memorial Day.

 Mr. Nice Guy Kurtis Foster taught this lass a thing or two when it comes to foosball.
On Wednesday night, several players appeared at a “Fun & Games” event for season ticket holders who left money on their account through last year’s lockout. You had your Walz, your Foster, your Todd White, your Brent Burns and others playing air hockey and bubble boy with youngsters.

Don’t forget, these guys are competitors so they whipped these kids like potatoes, but they were sure to shake hands and smile at the kids at the end.

Last night, the team served food and drinks to their fans at Morton’s, The Steakhouse.

These guys are just solid citizens, who happen to shoot pucks 100 miles per hour, skate like the wind, and only a few of them will punch your lights out if you wear the wrong jersey.

That’s the type of crew a goalie-racer can get behind, if, for no other reason, than to intimidate people.

Whoops! My program has started! Oh, that JR, he is just so smug. When is Babe going to wise up?

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

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