A reminder for all of you who’d like to have The R.S.S. Feed (and other Wild news) sent straight to your RSS feed: Paste this URL -- http://wild.nhl.com/rss/news.xml -- into your RSS feed browser.Nov. 3, 2008
3:00 p.m. Pacific
I’m back at the hotel after a spirited 45-minute practice. Everyone skated but Brent Burns, who is still sore, but will try tomorrow and is possible for the game, and Krys Kolanos, who had no gear to skate in thanks to the airlines losing his luggage. It’s supposed to be here later today.
There was a big European soccer game on this afternoon, many players huddled around the TV in the locker room after practice to watch.
There are always two rooms on the road - the locker room and the “change room”, where guys leave their suits during the game. The regular locker room in San Jose doesn’t really have stalls, just stairs, and they just refurbished the change room with new carpet and some really nice stalls, so the equipment guys changed things up and we now change in the locker room, and use the old change room as the locker room.
That’s about all the news for now. I’ve got a couple hours (if I make it that long) before finding some dinner. Gameday tomorrow against the first-place Sharks.12:30 p.m. Pacific
It’s going to be a fun practice here at HP Pavilion. Why, you ask? Well, my laptop battery does not last very long, so I have been in search of a plug in the arena bowl (but not in the press box) for the last 30 minutes. The one I found was for the goal judge light, behind one of the goals here. The over/under on number of times I flinch during practice is 482 times. Mario Tremblay loves this game so much that he’s been on the ice for 10 minutes already, and he’s been trying his best to hit the glass in front of me to scare me. And I’d best remember to plug in the light when I’m done.
The Sharks, who won 5-3 in Denver last night, are skating at their practice rink today, so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to catch up with head coach Todd McLellan and equipment manager Rick Bronwell, both former compadres with the Houston Aeros.
Some anxious moments already this morning. Our departure time from the hotel for practice was 11:45 a.m., and I asked Esau, our bus driver, to be there at 11:15. The bus hadn’t arrived by 11:20, so I called him to find out the bus was having mechanical issues and they were sending him with another one. He pulled up right at 11:45 as I was debating putting guys in cabs to get them to the arena for practice. Most of the players went over early anyway, as it’s a very short walk/cab to HP Pavilion.
Also in the news is Krys Kolanos, who arrived at the arena in a cab just before the bus arrived. However, his hockey bag did not make the flight from Houston. I wonder if he’ll get his $45 back? So the hockey stuff will arrive later this afternoon and be transported to the hotel, while Kolanos also sits out the day of practice. Cal Clutterbuck
, when he was called up by the Wild last month in Florida, also had some equipment issues en route. His sticks had been stuck on a conveyer belt in Houston.
I got back to the hotel after practice yesterday and wrote a couple of game program stories. I wasn’t very thrilled that the Falcons/Raiders game was on, instead of the Giants/Cowboys, so I took a nap. And the fact that the Raiders had three first downs in the entire game made it very easy to sleep.I interrupt this blog
to let you know Josh Harding
just tried to scare me, but I saw it coming. There are six or so guys on the ice right now along with two goalies and all five coaches.
So, after my nap, I managed to get dressed and head into downtown San Jose for a while. The weather had cooled remarkably since the afternoon. I found a neat little sandwich place over by San Jose State University, but was back in the room for the second half of the Sunday Night Football game, around 7:30.
I’m not quite over this time difference, as I woke up pretty early this morning but it gave me a good chance to catch up on some e-mail and iron some clothes.
I know Mike Russo from the Star Tribune is working on a big feature story on McLellan, and make sure you read it. I think anyone who worked with Todd in the early years of his minor league career, like I did from 2003-05, knew he would be an NHL head coach one day. It’s to his credit, with a lot of job openings out there this last summer, that probably the most attractive of them all, the Sharks, wanted him.
I remember my first week in Houston -- it was the year after the Aeros won the Calder Cup under Todd. “The year after” in the minor leagues is generally tough for teams thanks to high turnover, and the Aeros were slow out of the blocks. Our game notes prior to my arrival in-season were pretty slim, so I hit the media guide in search of some.
In the midst of a losing streak that was nearing a franchise record, I had no choice but to put that in game notes. The night the franchise record was tied in Utah, the stringer for the Salt Lake Tribune (Jacques just took a good run at me
, too, but I saw him out of the corner of my eye) asked Todd about the losing streak, and he answered: “That’s just our new PR staff digging too deep.” Always the one to stress the positive and not the negative, Todd was. And I was pretty appreciative of getting called out on my first week on the job. That clip stayed on my wall for my four years in Houston.
Bronwell, on the other hand, is one of the biggest jokesters I have ever met. Just an all-around funny, jolly guy, so, in the fall of 2006, I asked him if he’d be willing to do a weekly blog on Aeros.com. Now, watching Rick type is painful, so I knew he wouldn’t be able to type the thing up every week. So I’d usually give him a tape recorder on Tuesdays, and he’d give it back to me on Thursdays. Some nights he’d be moving equipment into the arena and he’d just give updates every hour or so.
We got to take a couple of trips together with the Aeros, and I dug up one of my favorite blogs (click here
for the link). I always had free rein to editorialize, and I’d come up with the funniest links to include. Jason, our graphics guy, would make a graphic each week. Revisiting this particular blog also makes me think how much I don’t miss commercial travel, but how much we’ll always have travel issues, no matter what.
During one of the early blogs, Rick mentioned that he had been playing the guitar with one of our players, rookie Ben Thomson. He joked that they should make a band and make a CD for charity. Well, Courtney Eidman, the director of Houston Aeros Charities, got wind of that, and within two weeks, “Hold The Mayo” was recording a CD that sold out for charity. It wasn’t the best CD – OK, it was pretty bad – but so is a turkey sandwich without the mayo, and that’s how the name was formed. I even listened to “Songs from the Jar,” the debut (and only) CD before my trip out here.
The entire team is on the ice now so I’m going to duck out of here before a puck goes up and over and hits me. I’ll be back later on with any interesting news and notes from practice.
2 p.m. Central
MacDonald here, reporting live from Wild headquarters in St. Paul that Stanzel will chime in a little later this afternoon with a blog from San Jose. Though we were prepared to give him today off from blogging, Stanzel insists he has some good stuff, and, considering that the Wild skates today at 3 p.m. Central, he does appear to have some extra time on his hands, right?
As a preview, though, Stanzel did just report that Krys Kolanos became the second Houston call-up this season to join the team only to find that some of his equipment has been misplaced by the airlines.