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The Ryan Stanzel Blog: Sept. 26, 2008

by Ryan Stanzel / Minnesota Wild

Wild vs. CHI
 J. Lemaire joins Falness

* News: Wild trims roster by five



Nolan - Belanger - Veilleux
Gillies - Pouliot - Weller
Boogaard - Sheppard - Clutterbuck
Kalus - Koivu - Miettinen


Skoula - Zidlicky
Noreau - Johnsson
Bergeron - Reitz


Harding - Schaefer

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

Sept. 26, 2008

10:30 a.m.

We're at the morning skate, watching basically the same lines we mentioned yesterday go through a gameday practice. The team will depart from MSP at 2:30 p.m. for tonight's game, then return immediately afterward. Head Coach Jacques Lemaire said that the team is away from home so often during the season that, during the preseason, it's nice to give the guys a chance to stick around a little longer.

Cal Clutterbuck, though, is so fired up to be on this trip that he may just head to the airport right now.

Later today, we'll have a feature on Maxim Noreau, who has one of the most interesting stories to tell about his road to trying to make the Wild, and another blog update.

1:30 p.m.

Greetings, Wild fans.

I just wrapped up today’s feature on Maxim Noreau. I tell you what, you spend five minutes with that kid, and you can’t help but root for him. Amazing poise for a guy who didn’t turn 21 until May, and a guy who sat through all seven rounds of the 2007 Draft -- on site in Columbus -- without hearing his name called.

Marian Gaborik was back on the ice with some of his teammates this morning. The “Wild” regulars who are not playing tonight skated a bit early, then stayed on for the official pre-game skate, which included prospects playing tonight, such as Petr Kalus, Cal Clutterbuck and Noreau.

Two guys were really happy in the locker room this morning. One was Stephane Veilleux. As many know, Veilleux is an avid ping pong player, and with Pierre-Marc Bouchard
.It seems as though there are more ping pong players on the 2008-09 edition of the Wild, however. Veilleux was in the midst of a match with Marc-Andre Bergeron, with Antti Miettinen calling “next.”

The other happy fella was Wild radio’s Kevin Falness, proudly sporting his Fiddlestix Golf Course visor (it was the neatest I’ve ever seen his hair). Falness wears this hat so when people ask, “Where’s Fiddlestix?”, he can say “Isle, Minn., where I got my first hole in one -- a six iron on hole 14, July 3, 2004. At least it was a holiday week so he wasn’t skipping work for golf. The best comment, though, came from assistant equipment manager Matt Benz, who asked Falness: “Fiddlestix? That sounds like a miniature golf course. Did you get it into the clown’s mouth, or through the windmill?”

The team, obviously, travels this afternoon to Chicago for the game. In the preseason, that’s typical for the Wild, who will fly home tonight, practice Saturday at 1 p.m., then fly out day-of-game for Sunday’s game in Buffalo. We’ll have one overnight road trip -- when we fly day-of-game to Columbus on Oct. 3, but then fly to Montreal and stay over there for the game the next night.

Aaron Sickman is on the two trips this week, while I will go to Ohio and Quebec, my first trip to Montreal since I was a young lad watching Les’ Expos at Olympic Stadium (pre roof). I will cover practice Saturday, and Aaron on Sunday, so we can each salvage one day of what is essentially our final “weekend” until the All-Star break. I may have to check out those Twins on Sunday as they potentially go for the division title.

Not much else going on today; it was pretty low-key at the rink. Kevin Constantine ran the prospects through a practice after the Wild cleared the ice. We threatened Aeros PR guru Patrick Armstrong with the fear of some work yesterday, and what do you know, he followed Sickman out the door and is headed to Chicago with the Wild tonight. I forgot to tell Patrick to steer clear of Sickman if the Brewers fall behind tonight.

3:15 p.m.

A couple of mailbag items for today. Remember you can email into

Q: Ryan, I am from Spokane, Wash., and have been following your blog for news on Justin Falk.  Didn't see him on the roster from the game on Wednesday and haven't seem him on the list of players returned to their junior team. Can you tell me what his status is? While we would love to have him back here in Spokane, we would also love to see him succeed at the next level.
Thanks in advance for any info you can share. I will keep my fingers crossed for him.You rock. Thanks, Ryan.
--Sheila from Spokane

A: Thanks for the note and the kind words, Sheila. Justin is still a member of our 48-man training camp roster, but, as you note is still age eligible to return to junior.

Q: Hi, Ryan. Was wondering how soon you will know the lineup for Sunday's game? I am from Toronto and will travel to Buffalo to watch the game if I know Corey Locke is playing. He's a good local boy and I have watched him play many times in Hamilton. Fun little player to watch. If there is anything you can do to let us know the lineup, that would be great.

Thank you,
Rob from Wurth, Canada

A: Thanks for the e-mail, Rob. is really going global this week. Our coaches typically post the lineup for an exhibition game the day prior -- after the practice session. We skate at 1 p.m. Saturday, so check later on, and we’ll have it here first. With six game in eight nights, and many Wild regulars playing in their second game tonight, it will be interesting to see which prospects get to play when and where in the upcoming stretch.
Also, a thanks to, among others, Dennis in Marshfield, Wis., for reading the blog this week! I really figured by this point I’d be making some questions up to answer myself, so thanks to everyone! Still need a name for the blog …

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