|PR guru Aaron Sickman, traveling with the team, chimes in with his own report from Pittsburgh:
| 3:29 p.m. EST
I would have started this earlier, but I discovered my computer was out of power as I sat down and tried to get comfortable today in section C27 at Mellon Arena. I've never seen so many different faded seat colors in a building. We have blue, red and orange to pick from. My left foot is stuck to something very sticky and I am afraid to see what the back of my jacket looks like when I get up. I guess you can’t expect clean seats when you are sitting in the oldest building in the NHL. Reminds me of Joe Louis Arena in that regard. Looks like every seat in this arena is a good one, though. Brent Burns and Jacques Lemaire had a little shooting contest before practice. I think Burns won, but someone also managed to crack the glass in the process. Fortunately, it wasn’t bad enough to replace. At least that’s what the two arena folks who looked at it decided.
Everyone on the ice today after a welcome day off on Sunday (Marian Gaborik and Kurtis Foster
did not travel).
This building is producing some odd echoes. I know my ears still need to pop after the flight, but I continue to hear the coaches' voices behind me as they bark out instructions from the ice.
The visiting locker room is split into two rooms for the players. Tony DaCosta and Brent Proulx spent the first half of practicing trying to rearrange who sits where in the locker room. The nameplates above their stall should help them figure out who sits where.
Good flight. We had Famous Dave’s for lunch. Ribs and chicken, with baked beans, cole slaw and a lovely corn muffin for lunch. Beats the heck out of my typical ham, turkey and cheese sandwich. Being a diabetic, I try to eat the same things for breakfast and lunch each day to help my body out. This was a nice treat. I have to say, it took me about two minutes to clean my plate. No wet naps, though, to clean up. Had to use some water and two napkins.
Only one bus waiting to pick us up today, as tomorrow’s game is on VERSUS, so Bob and Tom rode with the team to Mellon Arena and then had the bus driver drop them off at the hotel. Drove by Heinz Field and PNC Park on the way to the arena, and both look very nice from across the river. 5:24 p.m. EST
Nothing too exciting to report from practice. Jacques had players practice shootouts toward the end of the skate and, after, a long whistle signaling the end had everyone come together at center ice. Why you ask? So someone could put a towel full of shaving cream in Stephane Veilleux
’s face. Good thing he wears a shield. On Veilleux’s top three list are Beniot Pouliot, Mikko Koivu
and Mario Tremblay. Brunette mentioned he might be bought off to tell or not, so we'll see how long it takes for Veilleux to find the culprit.
Time to unpack and check my e-mail. By the way, the back of my jacket doesn't look too bad. No gum.
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Nov. 17, 2008
2 p.m. CST
Happy Monday, State of Hockey. I’m awaiting an end-of-practice update from Aaron Sickman, who led the flight this morning into Pittsburgh. At least we are hoping to get an update out of Aaron, who at last check was trying to unstick his foot from the floor of Mellon Arena.
A little bit of what’s happening in my non-traveling life this week. This morning I got here a bit before 9 a.m., and made copies of stats for Aaron to take with him on the road. He got in about 9:30 a.m. and copied clips, grabbed per diem from Shep Harder and headed to the airport. It was a “subjet” today, not one of our normal planes.
I worked on game notes for a little more than an hour. Robert, our intern, added some things and sent them to the Penguins through the notes system. I also sent the “storylines” out to our traveling media, plus the other team’s media. Today’s list was bit shorter, since there is just one broadcast tomorrow night – the Wild’s second of eight appearances on VERSUS this season. Breaking news in from Pittsburgh too – Marc-Andre Fleury is out with an undisclosed injury and won’t face the Wild on Tuesday. Dany Sabourin will replace him. Sabourin (and four points by Sidney Crosby) helped the Pens beat the Wild 4-2 in St. Paul last October.
I’m now going to update some stat sheets that I compile that haven’t been updated in way too long. Fortunately we keep all the boxscores in one binder that makes it easy to update.
Time for a quick mailbag before Mr. Sickman checks in.Q:
I am probably one of the most distant Wild supporters - in Sydney, Australia.
I got hooked on the Wild following the in-game commentary, and now follow all the news on the RSS Feed, and WildTV.
The passion shown by the State of Hockey is infectious.
We don't get a lot of hockey on TV here, but we get live coverage of the VERSUS games, so I can't wait until we meet the Pens this week.
I hope to get over there for a game one day.
Wow Pete, quite the honor. I do believe you are the furthest RSS Feed reader to write in thus far. Thanks for reading and thanks for following the team. I’m glad you’ll be able to watch the Wild/Pens tomorrow night!Q:
Totally awesome blog, thoroughly enjoy it! Just one question: any plans to offer “the blog is updated!” as a text alert option! Because rather than waste my time every five minutes checking back to see if new info's been added, a little “briiinnnggg” sound from my phone would be nice!
Dave in OhioA:
Thanks for the note and idea, Dave, it’s a good one. This may be an option we can look at. However, on gamenights, the blog is updated, oh every two minutes or so. You’d probably get sick of the “briiinnnggg” by then! Typically on non-gamedays I update once only, sometime in the early afternoon. Thanks again for reading from the Buckeye State!
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