The Minnesota Wild's trip to Eastern Canada was unlike any other road trip in franchise history. Wild.com Managing Editor Glen Andresen was on the trip and took photos of some of the off-the-ice sights in Montreal and Ottawa, along with some thoughts on each.
Anytime you tell someone you're going to Montreal, they get jealous, and for good reason. The city is an amazing place. This is the view when I looked out my hotel window in the morning.
Her's another view out of the hotel. That's the Bell Centre, home of the Canadiens and an easy two block stroll from the front door of the team's hotel.
Many compare Montreal to a European city in North America. Here's one example of why that comparison is not far off.
Todd Richards following the Wild's morning skate in Montreal. In case you're wondering, this group is slightly larger than what he's used to on a game day at the Xcel Energy Center.
Former Canadien Guillaume Latendresse
was given three stalls in order to support the media crush that enveloped him following the skate.
Montreal media darling #2 was Eric Belanger, the native son whose media gathering was nearly as large as Latendresse's.
Nobody in the League has more Stanley Cup banners or retired numbers than the Habs. This photo only shows half of the ceiling that is covered in banners.
There is also a ring of honor around the upper level of the Bell Centre that features some of the greats. This baby-faced lad is actually the former Head Coach of the Minnesota Wild. As you can see above, his name is Jacques Lemaire.
There's the architecture, the hockey and of course, the hot dogs. Montreal has great hot dogs, and in the press room, they are called "LaFleur dogs." They are almost served panini style. This dog is seeing the light of day for the last time before being devoured by yours truly in roughly two seconds.
Two flag bearers welcome the Habs onto the ice in front of an already raucous crowd.
The final sight from Quebec was this group, who stayed in their seats about 20 minutes after the Wild skated away with a 3-1 victory. No, they were not Wild fans. They just needed a place to sing the "Ole, Ole, Ole, Olaaaaayyyy"
song until their voices completely deteriorated.
Here's the view from the hotel in Kanata, Ontario. I'm not saying it's not pretty, just, um, different
than the view in Montreal. Of course, after I took this photo, things changed during our time in Kanata. The rest of the photos show the day after the now famous equipment fire outside Scotiabank Place.
This is the ill-fated truck that carried the Wild's equipment from the Kanata Rec Centre to the Scotiabank Place the day before. It certainly doesn't look any different from this angle...
but here's what you can see from the rear. The flames ripped a hole in the roof of the truck and destroyed the upper walls.
This is all that remained in the truck the following day. A lonely sandal, a broken coffee mug and a half-used roll of stick tape. Needless to say, I was able to do all my Christmas shopping in this stop.
Chuck Fletcher addresses another huge media scrum to address the equipment situation prior to Saturday's morning skate.
Camera crews shot down the hallway to the rink to capture the Wild's equipment staff working diligently to get the team ready for the skate.
As Equipment Manager Tony Dacosta (guy in the white hat way in the back there) sharpens a skate while Kyle Brodziak
, Andrew Brunette and Latendresse help prepare their own sticks.