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The Ryan Stanzel Blog: Oct. 9, 2008

by Ryan Stanzel / Minnesota Wild
Media Relations and Team Services Coordinator Ryan Stanzel will file a periodic blog throughout the 2008-09 season, if only to prove to his mother that her son does more than “watch sports for a living. He can be reached at

Oct. 9, 2008

2 p.m.

Back from a busy but productive day at Xcel Energy Center. This morning we found out that Andrew Brunette and Mikko Koivu would serve as alternate captains for the entire 2008-09 season.

Head Coach Jacques Lemaire said he thinks there is more leadership on this Wild team than any other, pointing to the fact that Owen Nolan has served as a captain before and is not wearing a letter. Lemaire said the meeting to decide the alternates took four hours. He said the meeting to decide the October captain will be shorter, and that it will be announced at Parade Ice Garden this morning. We’re happy to have Travis Brillowski of coming over to shoot the ceremony, and he also shot a WildTV piece with comments from Jacques, Mikko and Bruno that you can see later this afternoon.

Both Brunette and Koivu talked about wearing the 'A,' with Brunette doing so in his brand new “Gabbycats” T-shirt. That’s the name of the fantasy football team he and Marian Gaborik share managing duties. They were off to a slow 0-3 start, but with another win under their belt, and T-shirts for everyone on the team, they said they are looking forward to the rest of the season. The T-shirts have a No. 10 and No. 15 on them as well.

James Sheppard got a haircut -- but don’t worry, fans, he still has some lengthy locks. I asked Josh Harding if he had cut it. At last word, they are still roommates -- in Harding’s one-bedroom apartment, where Sheppard says the couch is super comfortable. Harding is also very excited because his favorite band, Rascal Flatts (he had the band painted on his helmet last season), is playing Xcel Energy Center tomorrow night, along with Taylor Swift.

I’ve had a hard time without much game action finding some inspiration for this blog. But I got all the inspiration I needed this morning when FS North pre-game guru Max Michalak called it “riveting.” I think he was kidding -- or just trying to get freelance producer/director Pat O’Connor to look up the word riveting.

Let’s break for a mailbag while I wait for some other good thoughts to come into my head.

Q: Hey Ryan,
     Great job on the bolgs! I love to hear what goes on behind the scenes! Keep up the great work! Best of Luck to you and the Wild organization.  
Dan from Santa Barbara, CA (originally from Bloomington)

A: Hi Dan. I think you’re our first California blog commenter. Thanks for reading! I know Aaron Sickman can’t wait for our first trip to California in December. I have to wait until early March for my turn.

Q: I noticed that there is a Branislav Gaborik on the list for a European Scout. Any relation to Marian?
Brian from St. Paul.

A: Thanks for the note Brian. Indeed, Branislav is Marian’s brother.

Q: Ryan,
I noticed a lot of similarities between our newest team member, Nordy, and Derek Boogaard.  Apart from their nicknames ending in “y”, they both shoot left-handed, both look pretty menacing, and are both well above 6 feet tall (Boogey – at 6’7”, has an inch on Nordy).
So, I know it would never come to this because they are on the same team and all, but…who do you think would win if they were to fight…to the end.

A: Dennis, thanks for the note. It would be an interesting battle for sure. Nordy is young and scrappy. But I think Boogey gets the job done with his experience -- and a bit more reach.

Q: Ryan:

Could you let us know ahead of time when a player will do a media appearance such as Sheppard appearing on Rosen's or on the Sports Huddle?

Sunshine from St. Paul

A: Of course, Sunshine, a great idea. Both Aaron and I will try to list interviews, etc., as much as possible on our message boards. I can tell you for sure that GM Doug Risebrough will be on WCCO’s morning show at 7:20 a.m. Friday with Dave Lee. For those with NHL Network, you can also catch Brent Burns on tonight just after 5:45 p.m. on their replay of XM Radio’s “NHL Live.” He did the interview live from the locker room today and it was pretty entertaining.
I had better get to work on some game notes for this weekend. Tomorrow will be a busy day, as the Wild skates in the morning at Parade. The Bruins, who play tonight in Colorado, arrive early in the morning and will practice at another rink tomorrow afternoon.
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