Good afternoon from downtown Denver. Everyone was on the ice for today’s morning skate except for a sick Derek Boogaard. Marian Gaborik skated for the first time with his team and was happy to join his teammates again. He wasn’t the only person happy to see him on the bench this morning, as Jacques Lemaire had Gaborik skate over to the corner of the rink where the local media was watching so they could have their picture taken together before practice started.
Definitely the highlight of the day so far (other than a solid lunch). Gaborik told reporters he “felt pretty good, but I am still a ways away from playing … It feels good to be with the guys and rejoin the group.“
When asked if he had a timetable for his return he said, “I am on the right path, but I want to be confident in myself before I play.”
Marian will travel back to Vail this afternoon for another visit with his doctor and continue with the team on the rest of the trip. Lemaire thought Gaborik was still a week or two away from being ready to play.
The Wild will leave in the morning for Dallas instead of tonight after the game. The team probably wouldn’t get to our hotel much before 2:30 a.m. if we left tonight (due to the long bus ride to the airport, time change and flight time) so there aren't nearly as many things to worry about tonight, and, the best thing is we don’t have to pack up our bags again until tomorrow morning. Always nice to spend more than one night in a hotel.Niklas Backstrom
will start in net tonight. Craig Weller and Boogaard are out for sure. Kurtis Foster
was one of the last three players on the ice, but Lemaire said he might play tonight -- he hadn’t decided yet.
When we returned to the hotel today, we were welcomed by a lobby full of Wild fans that are here as part of the Wild Road Trip. Players signed autographs and had their pictures taken before sneaking off for lunch.