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The Ryan Stanzel Blog: Sept. 30, 2008

by Ryan Stanzel / Minnesota Wild
SEPT. 30, 2008

Chicago vs. Minnesota
7 p.m. CDT

* PONDcast preview
Wild Radio's Kevin Falness catches up with a number of Wild players, including Marian Gaborik


Forwards: Veilleux, Brunette, Boogaard, Gillies, Kolanos, Koivu, Pouliot, Sheppard, Kalus, Gaborik, Clutterbuck, Miettinen

Defensemen: Skoula, Schultz, Scott, Cuma, Mojzis, Bergeron

Goalies: Backstrom, Harding

SEPT. 30, 2008: Tyler Cuma
The rookie looks forward to his first Xcel Energy Center experience
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. 30, 2008

11:43 a.m.

Not much happening at the rink this morning. Beat writers were there along with Kevin Falness, Bob Kurtz and Mike Greenlay. Greener visited for a while with former Wild defenseman Keith Carney, who is in camp with the Blackhawks on a tryout, although his job may have become easier when the Blackhawks waived goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and his nearly $7 million cap space yesterday.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard is indeed out tonight, and he will be replaced by Cal Clutterbuck. Tyler Cuma is fired up to play in front of the home fans for the first time (check out the WildTV gameday interview).

It's a busy day with four games in five nights, plus a travel day in between. I'll check in later on today.

3:30 p.m.

What kind of a day has it been? When I went to the skate this morning, I realized I had the wrong sportcoat on. Thankfully, I saw this before I left the office, and, more thankfully, I had the proper one hanging near my cubicle. Perhaps it’s God’s way of telling me to stop leaving too many of my clothes at the office.

Not a lot of free time this afternoon, as I am preparing tonight to be the voice of the Al Shaver Press Box. We have two public address announcers just for the press box, filling the media in on penalties, goals, records, etc. Neither can work tonight, so I’m currently practicing the pronunciations of Niklas Hjalmarsson and Akim Aliu. Hopefully, neither will play tonight, in favor of Kyle Beach and Matt Walker!

The last time I did press box P.A., Marian Gaborik went and did something that hadn’t been done almost 11 years (See: Gaborik, Marian, Dec. 20, 2007). I’m hopeful that tonight will be similarly exciting. The Blackhawks are playing their third game in three nights. Some of the minor league guys are probably having flashbacks of their time in the minors, where three-in-threes are the norm (and no less exhausting for the PR gurus).

I spent a few minutes returning some phone calls, including to Joe O’Donnell, the new Voice of the Houston Aeros. He was not in his office, instead preparing for Aeros training camp, which begins later this week.

Another guy anxious for the game to start is Bob Kurtz, the Wild’s play-by-play radio voice. He forgot his briefcase -- passport included -- in Chicago last week, and the Blackhawks were kind enough to bring it to St. Paul, but they left it on the plane this morning. So tonight’s Most Valuable Player may be assistant equipment manager Matt Benz, who will drive the Blackhawks’ gear to the plane after the game, and bring Kurtz’ briefcase back to the arena and lock it up until Wednesday.

5:00 p.m.

Testing 1-2-3, testing 1-2-3. OK, we are ready to roll high above the blueline here in the Al Shaver Press Box.

Wild VP of Brand Marketing John Maher and marketing guru Emily Gausman were just giving a tour of the press box. They said nonchalantly “This is Ryan” as they walked by, and, honest to goodness, one of the visitors said “Ryan the Blog Guy”? So, thank you, Theresa from Roseville, for knowing who I am! And thanks for reading the blog.

Talked with James Sheppard briefly downstairs, and asked him how his family handled Hurricane Kyle in Nova Scotia. His parents were without power briefly but have it back now. Sheppard says hurricanes are nothing new to Nova Scotia. Five years ago, Hurricane Juan knocked out power for weeks (check out this story for a reference). Sheppard said he was out of school for a week!

I’m not going to lie. I have a couple of cups of Billy Rob Café’s famous beef barley soup waiting for me downstairs. I need plenty of nourishment for the night ahead.

6:00 p.m.

Just a few minutes ago, I sat with a star-studded table in the media room -- John Shipley, Mike Russo, Jamie MacDonald, they were all there. I managed to do what few else can -- make them all quiet at once -- when I announced I was skipping dessert. In favor of an extra cup of soup, of course. But, no worries, dessert has been brought upstairs for later.

Just got done chatting with head of off-ice officials Barry Fritz, giving him the anticipated lineup and scratches script for tonight. In exchange, he gave me my “announcements” and the script for tonight.

6:45 p.m.

Armed with all the essentials, including hot chocolate, water (gotta keep the pipes wet), a moist dessert for later, plus lineup card and my scorecard. Let’s get this show on the road.

7:20 p.m.

Tonight's Wild starters ... Koivu, Gaborik, Brunette, Schultz, Cuma and Backstrom. We have some other duties to attend to for the next bit, but will try to send an update later.

7:23 p.m.

Other duties are important, but not more than informing you that Wild "fan favorite" referee Mick McGeough, recently retired, is in the house tonight as a supervisor. He's seated just above me to my left in the video replay booth.

8:00 p.m.

End of one period update - Tyler Cuma with 7:32 TOI -- second-best on the team. Oh, and Eric Belanger said the press box announcer is doing a great job.

And Matt Benz tells us he has Bob Kurtz’s bag off the Chicago plane -- so Kurtz is OK with passport to go to Montreal.

It's only a matter of time before I have to give a penalty or scoring announcement with my mouth full of dessert (relevant link: click here).

8:15 p.m.

As we glance up at the televisions every couple of minutes for a Twins-White Sox update, I’d just like to remind everyone of a very important one-game playoff in the history of baseball (relevant link: click here). And yes, my first cat's name was Bucky Dent.

8:35 p.m.

Blackhawks lead 2-1 after two, but only after the Wild’s Nick Schultz hits the post on a shorthanded 2-on-1 following Mikko Koivu stealing the puck on a 5-on-3 at the blueline.

9:20 p.m.

A great note from someone on the headset up here in the control room. Regarding the second AC/DC tour announced at Xcel Energy Center: “I’d go if my ears didn’t just stop ringing from the 1996 show.”

Game tied 2-2 after Stephane Veilleux popped home a Martin Skoula rebound early in the third. If you’re not a big fan of the shootout, you’re even less of a fan of a preseason shootout.

9:36 p.m.

Well, folks, we didn't need the preseason shootout, after all. Stephane Veilleux scored with 23.9 seconds remaining in the overtime frame to post the Wild's third win of the preseason. Next up: Buffalo back here tomorrow night.

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