Friday, 10 a.m. EDT
Bonjour from Montreal, home of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Fans from all over will start packing the Bell Centre in six hours, ahead of the 7 p.m. EDT start of the Draft. Coverage is set for VERSUS tonight, and NHL Network tomorrow beginning at 10 a.m. EDT.
My R.S.S. Feed access will likely be limited, but I will take over the Wild Twitter account from Bill Robertson for the evening, so make sure you follow along. (My updates will appear on this page in a feed -- below now, at the top of the page during the Draft -- or you can view it directly at twitter.com/mnwild
My job this evening, first and foremost, is to not lose a Draft pick's sportscoat. I am the first member of the organization to greet the pick, as he walks down the steps from the seating bowl, to walk up on stage. Next, I meet him on the other end of the stage, where, typically, he will do an interview with NHL Radio, TSN or RDS, depending on his nationality.
There are 10 or so more stops for the players before they are reunited with their families and are able to go back to the suite to spend some more time with team officials. Among the stops are a general media area, photos for hockey cards, as well as photos for the pick and his family. Last year, we picked late, so things were backed up quite a bit. Also, because we picked someone from the Ottawa 67's (Tyler Cuma
) in Ottawa, the Ottawa media had a lot of questions for him. Same with second-round pick Marco Scandella
Throughout the next two days, I'll line up interviews for Wild GM Chuck Fletcher, Assistant GM Tom Thompson, plus our picks, with numerous outlets back in Minnesota, including the Associated Press. FSN will also interview someone on the Twins Live postgame show. I will Tweet further Twin Cities interview times tonight. Both the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press are here in Montreal.
It's also an exciting night for me because I have a seat at the Draft table. Each team is limited to a certain numer of seats at the table, and, depending, on number of scouts, sometimes the PR guy stands to the side (as I did last year). So I will really be right in the middle of the action.
We all enjoyed our annual pre-Draft dinner last night, at Ristorante Da Vinci in downtown Montreal -- it was a festive evening. Wild Director of Amateur Scouting Guy Lapointe is kind of a jokester (OK, not just kind of), and, last year, he was back-slapping folks and smiling, only for those folks to find name tags stuck all over there backs later in the night, but he was atypically well-behaved last night ...
Guy promised to be good. He walked up behind me at one point to talk to the people at our end of the table. His wine glass touched my shoulder, and I jumped a little bit. Seconds later, Chuck Fletcher tapped me on the shoulder to tell me something, and I absolutely jumped out of my skin. Guy is one of a kind.
We also marked 80-year-old Glen Sonmor's last Draft with the Wild with a cake. As Tommy Thompson was giving a toast about Sonmor, little did Tommy know he had a surprise in his own right. It was Tommy's birthday Wednesday, so Cindy (kind of our Draft mom, from back in the Wild offices) arranged a cake for Tommy, too.
I know you've missed my food updates, so I'd be remiss to not include the meal as well. We ordered off a shortened menu, but, little did I know that of the three appetizer options, I got to have one of each! We started out with some prosciutto and fresh mozzarella. Laura, our Hockey Ops executive assistant, doesn't eat red meat, so I had her prosciutto as well. The second appetizer was pasta in a creamy and spicy red sauce. Third appetizer was salad and (although I was full at this point) I finished it off with chicken in an herb sauce. Other options were halibut and veal. And the dessert (an ice cream/pastry mix) was wonderful, as well.Return to Wild.com's NHL Entry Draft coverage, brought to you by King's Cove Marina.