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E-mail Ryan on gamenights and make his R.S.S. Feed mailbag! E-mail email@example.comOct. 21, 20081:30 p.m.
A week out of the office, and two days away from the blogosphere, and how was I welcomed back to Xcel Energy Center today? By dozens of screaming women outside the loading dock.
Ok…that’s not entirely the truth. Aaron Sickman and I entered the parking ramp today after coming back from practice in Minneapolis, and after awhile we realized those fans were all waiting for the arrival of New Kids on the Block, which plays Xcel Energy Center tonight.
The big news out of practice is that Pierre-Marc Bouchard
was back on the ice with his teammates. Owen Nolan and Marian Gaborik were out earlier, but Bouchard skated the full practice with the rest of the Wild. The team also reassigned Krys Kolanos to AHL Houston today. Hockey operations’ Shep Harder brought Kolanos to the airport then headed to Minneapolis with some checks for some guys. Which means Shep gets my hardest worker of the day award.
Actually, it’s a tie with assistant equipment manager Matt Benz. He didn’t work so hard as he did make Aaron and I very happy, donating a box of pastries for us to bring back to the office. Jamie MacDonald had better be enjoying his honeymoon in Hawaii, because his desk is very happy to have pastries on it.
A full media scrum today – both papers as well as three TV stations, and Kevin Falness and Tom Reid. Marney Gellner of Fox Sports North was also on hand to shoot a story with Benoit Pouliot, and Travis Brillowski and Robert Desimone of Wild.com did an Erik Reitz story in one of the side locker rooms. General manager Doug Risebrough and assistant GM Tom Lynn were also at the rink, so there were plenty of interviews to go around.
Tomorrow, we are back at Xcel Energy Center for practice. After practice, the NHL will conduct a 30-minute media training session with our players. The NHL has lined this up for every team in 2008-09. At the same time, the Lester Patrick Awards Luncheon will be going on across the street at the St. Paul Hotel, with most notably Bob Naegele, Jr., and Phil Housley getting honored.
And then it’s a gameday!
I’m also looking through the itinerary for my next road trip. It’s almost two whole pages! Aaron goes to Dallas Oct. 28-29, and then I get the Phoenix/San Jose/Colorado/Vancouver trip Oct. 31-Nov. 9. It will be interesting for many reasons, including the fact we will be staying overnight in Phoenix on Nov. 1 after the game – the rest of the United States will “fall back” with their clocks that night, but not us. So we will actually “fall back” two hours the next day on the flight to San Jose, which will turn a three-hour flight into a one-hour time difference.
It will be an interesting trip because in three of the four cities, we will be leaving the morning after a game, due to a)airport curfews (San Jose) or b)the length of the trip (Vancouver to Minnesota). The only time we will go straight to the airport after a game is after the Denver game on Nov. 6.
And a quick wrap-up for those of you wondering how we made out with the late plane Saturday in Tampa Bay.
We arrived at the airport to get screened about 10:50 – the plane arrived about 15 minutes later. I was first on the plane, along with the catering company, as we tried to create the best plan to get us up in the air. We were in the air around 40 minutes later, which all things considered was pretty good. Unfortunately, the catering company, in the rush, forgot to load silverware onto the plane (which was otherwise carrying six spoons). And as I mentioned, it wasn’t our normal charter company or a crew that generally flies charters. So it was interesting when they asked one of our guys $5 for a pillow and blanket. Fortunately, our lead flight attendant was on the ball and made us feel very welcomed, free pillows and blankets for all!
I crawled into bed about 3:15 a.m., but was still up to hear Doug Risebrough’s interview with Sid & Dave on WCCO Radio at 11:05. Niklas Backstrom
was on with Kevin Falness at 12:40, and Colton Gillies enjoyed himself on Rod Simons’ show Sunday afternoon.
I’m also working on a press release for marketing for an upcoming Wild Fantasy Camp (stay tuned to Wild.com for details) and I am going to look up career overtime goals by player for game notes. And I am finalizing an appearance for Nick and Jessica Schultz to prepare a favorite family recipe on Channel 5’s “Twin Cities Live” in November. Also tomorrow I will need to line someone up for an XM Radio show later in the day, and also see if Mike Ramsey is up to taking something with MSG Network Thursday to talk about his time in Buffalo. Rammer was back at practice today after eye surgery yesterday, albeit not on the ice.
But before all that, it’s time for an R.S.S. Feed mailbag. This one is quick, as I have lots of other stuff to do. I’ll include more e-mail throughout the week. Don’t forget you can join in on the action at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Hi Ryan -
I apologize if I've missed the subject in a previous blog, but how is Kurtis Foster
's rehab progressing? Have they even set a target date for his return?
The Wild are playing some pretty good hockey right now, but we do miss his power slapshot from the blue line.
Thanks for your time,
Matthew Beckman from Parts Unknown
A: Matt – Thanks for the e-mail. No target date has been set. Foster said all summer that he hoped to return in December. However, nothing official has ever been set, and this provides him less pressure. I saw Fozzie at the rink today working out. He skates on his own from time to time and is working non-stop in an attempt to get back. He’s worked so hard, I know everyone will be very happy to see him back, when he gets back.
I’d also like to thank Dean for the lengthy e-mail. Dean was the gentleman we met in Atlanta down by the bench for warm-ups who drove down from Minnesota for the game. Dean proclaims himself to be the No. 1 Wild fan and it’s hard to argue based on his mileage count!
I’ll talk to everyone after the media session on Wednesday!