|Derek Boogaard poses with the youth of Red Wing. |
It's day's like Monday, June 25, 2007 that make us glad to be Minnesotans. Sure, it's a bit toasty outside, but this is Southern Minnesota my friends, and if you can't stand the heat, get outta First National Bank! (Only Northfield residents will get that reference, but stay tuned. I'll elaborate.)
Today, three-fourths of our famous crew departed St. Paul in a luxurious Eclipse Limo Bus furnished with leather couches and a couple televisions. Boogaard was thrilled to only have to ride for an hour before the first stop. Last year, his first stop was Ely, Minnesota.
Our group arrived in Northfield, Minnesota to kick off the 2007 version of the Wells Fargo Wild Road Tour. Mark Parrish will not be joining us until tomorrow in Rochester. It's his loss, because he missed out on two great stops.
After a live radio interview at KYMN in downtown Northfield, the group grubbed up at Bittersweets. Despite the fact that it was still technically morning, The Boogeyman eschewed the coffee and muffin in favor of the "Grilled Cowboy" which was piled high with meet and cheese and tomatoes.
We only needed to march a couple blocks to beautiful Bridge Square, which was flooded with Wild fans about 400 deep. Dressed in their blue Road Tour polos, Boogaard, Terhaar and Greenlay gave their wrists a workout for the eager supporters.
|Northfield icon Wayne Eddy poses at the site of Jesse James' downfall in downtown Northfield. |
I was thrilled by the fact that 50 feet away was First National Bank, which was the site of "Jesse James' Downfall." (Google it or look it up on Wikipedia.) As a history buff, I was enthralled by the tale told to me by Wayne Eddy, who is as big as they come in Northfield.
Amazingly, the trio was able to sign every requested autograph in the alotted hour of time at the park. A few goodbyes, and we were on our way to Red Wing, Minnesota, where we stopped for lunch at Liberties. They make a mean French Dip. The highlight was provided by Boogey when he was asked if he wanted his chicken sandwich grilled or fried and he said, "No thanks." I guess you had to be there.
The event in Red Wing was held in the downtown Wells Fargo parking lot. The crowd was a bit smaller than Northfield's, but no less enthusiastic. The guys were busy signing the entire hour and Derek posed with a throng of kids for photos. The guys even got to have their photos taken in the back of the bank where the tellers handle the drive through customers. It was a dream come true for Greenlay.
Rather than head towards Rochester tonight to meet up with Mr. Parrish, our group is kicking it at Treasure Island Resort and Casino. We're about to do some damage to the All You Can Eat Buffet, and after that, who knows? The Bingo tables are awfully tempting.
Check back here for updates from Legs Two and Three. Apparently those slackers haven't submitted their summaries yet. Or maybe they're just not having as much fun. Either way, we'll be in touch tomorrow after stops in Rochester and Waseca.
The Leg One GangLeg Two - Stephane Veilleux, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Mike Ramsey and Brad Bombardir
By Aaron Sickman
Leg two of the 2007 Wells Fargo Wild Road Tour departed the Wild offices at 8:40 a.m. in downtown St. Paul for its first stop in Eveleth at 12:30 p.m. After a pit stop at a McDonald’s in Forest Lake for breakfast and a bathroom break along the way (and a couple of naps), we pulled up to the Hippodrome at 12:20 p.m. (after a wrong turn on Highway 37) to see a crowd of fans lined up outside the arena waiting for our arrival. Mike Ramsey met our group in Eveleth as he was in the area following a recently completed fishing trip. Over 150 fans received autographs and had their photos taken with Wild celebrities Brad Bombardir, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Ramsey and Stephane Veilleux. Our driver, Jim, grabbed lunch for us and we then made a stop at the United States Hockey Hall of Fame where we were given a quick tour of the facility. The highlight of the tour was watching Brad Bombardir take six shots before he was able to score a goal in the interactive exhibit. While driving to our next stop in Hibbing I have been informed by Stephane Veilleux that he was born in Saint-Georges de Beauce, Quebec, not Beauceville, as has been listed in our media guide and on our web site since we drafted him back in 2001. Look for an updated bio for Veilleux on our web site and in our media guide soon!
|Brad Bombardir misfires at the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. |
Hibbing was another strong stop. We visited with our friends at WMFG Radio and recorded some liners and signed autographs before making our second official stop outside the downtown Wells Fargo. The outside set-up was great as the boys had a chance to play some street hockey with some of the youngsters. Unfortunately the heat did cause some problems, as it was so hot that the player’s chairs actually sunk into the parking lot’s asphalt by the time we were done. Multiple slurpies were consumed by the celebrities to try and battle the heat along with a few hot dogs. After two stops Veilleux finally was able to find a phone charger and we were off to our final stop of the day at the Wendigo Resort in Grand Rapids were we spent the night prior to our 11:30 a.m. appearance at The Depot on Tuesday.
Leg Three - Brent Burns, Josh Harding, Bob Kurtz and Tom Reid
Well Wild.com fans, we made it! Yes we indeed made it to Sioux Falls, SD and with quite a Wild vigor. We began with all other Wild Road tour legs outside of 317 Washington Street in St. Paul but our leg was different in that we started with our super stop. Radio Host/Producer
Kevin Falness and Wild Intern Scott Henninger also made the trip out west to help us show Sioux Falls that yes, we know it’s a great hockey town. Former Twins employee and Wild Marketing guru Wayne Peteresen made sure that this year’s Wild road tour stopped in his home town if Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
|Josh Harding and Brent Burns make some new friends in Sioux Falls. |
If you’re a fan of Wild.com and the Wild Road Tour, then you know that Mr. Brent Burns is a fan of McDonald’s. This year teamed with Josh Harding and the Radio team of Bob Kurtz and Tom Reid, a McDonald’s stop as our first was not out of the question. St. Peter treated us well as we made our way to the Subway in Worthington. It’s quite the popular place on Mondays!
From there South Dakota treated a bunch of Canadian’s and Minnesotans as if we were their own! Each and every local TV station was out to greet us as well as our friends from the Sioux Falls Stampede. Those making the most impact were our Radio Friends at KWSN AM 620! How many Super Stops can say that they had a “CUP” at their stop. The Stampede was kind enough to bring their Clark Cup out to show that even though it’s 95 degrees with a hot sun, that yes, hockey is still on the minds of Wild fans. Falness was his usual witty self asking the guys all about the207 entry draft and what it was like to be on the road in South Dakota for our third swing (2002, 2004, 2007). Leaving our great event, Tom Reid and Bob Kurtz did what most broadcasters do, they went golfing!! Quite a successful round we were told, even with Tom hitting a storage shed but still found a way to land his golf ball in the middle of the fairway!
The rest of the traveling crew made their way to Thunder Road Amusement park. With one hour to spear the “slick go-cart” track never looked the same. There were some extreme sports involved with this group and we have to thank the slick-track attendant for helping us in fulfilling our NACAR dreams. She let us do a lot more then most and by looking at Josh Harding’s personal account you’ll know that the traveling party had a good time. In an effort not to bore you with all the details, some were sun burnt, some were whip lashed with reckless driving, while others lost their beautiful Gucci sandals on the course, but all had a fantastic Super Stop in Sioux Fall, South Dakota!!
To cap a great first day on the 2007 Wild Road Tour, Minevera’s played host to our traveling party. For our 15th year in a row, our server deserves quite a high gratuity for having to listen to Tom Reid’s stories!!
For more on our first day, check in with a self written account of the tour from goaltender Josh Harding!
Thanks for checking in with us!
Sincerely – your Leg 3 traveling party,
Brent Burns, Josh Harding, Tom Reid, Bob Kurtz, Emily Gausman and Maggie Kukar