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Nov. 2, 2008
12 p.m. Pacific
Hello from San Jose’s HP Pavilion. The Wild is getting ready to take the ice in a few minutes for an optional practice today. Looks like probably two-thirds of the guys are here – some for just treatment though and likely won’t go on the ice.
It’s been a rather eventful last 12 hours for yours truly.
I was able to meet up with my friend Jon from the Coyotes for a bit after the game in Glendale. He was able to witness one of the funniest moments of the year, when a guy in the hotel lobby mistook Wild radio personality Tom Reid for New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello. Quipped Tom Reid: “I’m taller than Lou.” There was an interesting mix at our hotel, as a Marine Corps ball was wrapping up when we got back from the game, and also, as usual, Wild fans travel well to Phoenix. Nice to see all the Wild fans.
So as I have mentioned, Arizona doesn’t change its clocks – ever. So last night everyone knew now to set their clocks back, and we were all set for our 9:15 a.m. departure this morning. And I said I was worried about the “Smart Phones.” Well, it turns out what I should have been most worried about was the alarm clock in my hotel room.
Fortunately, I am a worry wart and don’t sleep very much, especially on nights before we travel. So I was up every hour or so overnight, and, eventually, a bit after 5 a.m., something dawned on me – it was light out. Well, it turns out, it was really 6 a.m. The hotel clock had turned itself back, just like many of today’s cell phones, BlackBerrys, etc. So I start wondering, worrying if everyone else’s clocks are wrong too.
I called the front desk at 7 a.m., and they couldn’t track down anyone in engineering to help me that early on a Sunday morning. So at 7:30, I requested that the front desk put in an unscheduled wake-up call to everyone on the Wild’s rooming list at 8:30. That way even if someone wasn’t up, they could all be on the bus by 9:15.
As it turns out, I think mine was the only clock that was set back. I’m not sure how that happened. Everyone was downstairs on time – early, although early in Wild land is barely on time – and we boarded the bus and started pulling out of the hotel parking lot at 9:10 a.m. The bus got almost out to the highway when we see one of the concierge guys running after the bus, screaming and yelling. He catches us. Someone forgot their credit card at the front desk. So I start running toward the hotel, and another guy meets me with the credit card. I will protect the name of the person who left the card though …
Screening went by quickly. We were on the plane with our flight attendant Carly just before 10 a.m., our scheduled departure time. We ended up waiting a bit on the runway – planes were backed up forever – but with a good tailwind we still arrived a early into San Jose, even getting a nice breakfast (omelets or pancakes) on the way.
I was a bit concerned when Carly came to me 20 minutes out from landing and said the buses weren’t there yet. But I gave her our bus driver Esau’s phone number, and the hangar called him and he was on his way.
We were scheduled to go straight to HP Pavilion to skate, but Jacques Lemaire decided to make it an optional practice, so we swung by the hotel first and got our keys. Fortunately, we thought ahead (we think more ahead in this business than we do in the present) and made sure the rooms and keys would be ready by 11:30.
The guys put their stuff in their rooms and got back downstairs for an 11:45 bus over here to the arena. The Sharks are in Denver tonight, so there is literally no one here but one of the Sharks equipment guys and our staff. The back door was locked, so a Wild assistant equipment manager had to come let us in through the loading dock door.
And here I am. The team will be doing a 3-on-3 game today, with assistant coach Matt Shaw named General Manager.
It’s very weird being back in this building, as this is the place where Kurtis Foster
broke his leg last March. Interesting for Chris Snow, too, the Wild’s director of hockey operations, as he stayed behind for a week in San Jose to be with Foster through the early part of his recovery. In the next day or two, I’ll be devoting some of this space to those couple of days, some of the logistical stuff we went through trying to make sure everything went smoothly.
I’d better get up in the stands for practice. My knee’s starting to hurt anyways, having typed this blog on one knee, with the laptop on a Gatorade cart. But The R.S.S. Feed fans shouldn’t have to wait for me to be comfortable.3 p.m. Pacific
Not much to report out of today's skate, so we'll keep this one short because I still have a . some work to do for our Wild Game Program, which will roll out in time for our next home game at the other end of this trip.
So here are the details: Tomas Mojzis did skate, while one of the notable non-skaters was Brent Burns, but, again, it was an optional.
I'll be back with some updates tomorrow.