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Saturday News: Outdoor Practice, Almond Recalled and Scandella Cleared

by Glen Andresen / Minnesota Wild
After he was injured in last night's Wild win, there still has not been an official update on the status of Mikko Koivu. However, the Minnesota Wild did issue a recall to center Cody Almond of the Houston Aeros this morning. The 21-year-old Almond has played five games with the Wild this season and has yet to register a point. In Houston, he leads the Aeros with seven power play goals and owns 27 points (12-15=27) in 52 games.

Almond joined the team today and took part in Saturday's outdoor practice at the John Rose Oval in Roseville. More than 1,800 fans came out in the sunny but chilly weather to watch a fun Wild practice, the first time the team has ever practiced outside.

Many of the Wild players commented after the event that is was a nice way to break up a tough stretch of games. The Wild will host the Detroit Red Wings tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m. The game was originally scheduled for 5:00 p.m.

Also joining the Wild for today's practice was Marco Scandella, who skated in a practice for the first time since missing 14 games due to a concussion. It remains to be seen what the Wild will do with its lineup now that it has eight healthy defenseman.

Head Coach Todd Richards said after the practice that the players clearly enjoyed today's activities, commenting that many were acting like kids out on a pond, staying on the ice long after practice ended. Stay tuned to in the upcoming days for a complete recap video of today's Wild outdoor practice.

Assistant Equipment Managers Matt Benz and Rick Bronwell came fully prepared for the outdoor elements, starting the eye black trend on the day.

Soon enough, many of the Wild players were wanting to sport the eye black. Benz helped Greg Zanon get set for the sunny weather here and Brent Burns with his look below.

Along with the fun, the players did get down to business, running drills in preparation for tomorrow's game.

Part of Team Green watches during the Wild's 4-on-4 challenge.

After Team Grey lost in the 4-on-4 challenge, they were left to skate a lap around the Oval. Since the speedskating lap is much longer than what the Wild players are used to, Greg Zanon finished off his skate with some fun for the crowd along the boards.

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