The Wild had a new addition today at training camp, presented by Andersen Windows, high above the ice surface at Xcel Energy Center.
The arena’s new behemoth of a center ice video scoreboard was unveiled at a Wild Season Ticket Holder event last night and was lit up today, as it ran through a number of tests during the team’s first practice sessions. For the Lighthouse, the RGB color sequence testing was a bit distracting (we left our sunglasses in our glove box), but Nino Niederreiter said the team was focused and didn’t notice the continuous blasts of red, green and blue.
The forward thinks the board will add another element of home ice advantage in the State of Hockey.
“It looks great and I think the fans are going to love it,” Niederreiter said. “For my part, I’m just going to have to make sure I don’t look up too much during the game.”
As much as the fans will enjoy seeing the replays on the screen, there are benefits for the players, too.
“You’re always looking up to see how the play went,” Coyle said. “Even if the puck’s in the opposite corner, you just watch the game up there on the bench.”
“We’re always watching.”
Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo had another problem on his hands with the new scoreboard. After testing the board in the first practice, the second began to loop highlights from last season. The team’s bench boss cracked that he couldn’t get the players in the second session on the ice because they were on the bench watching their own highlights.
“That's unreal, it's pretty impressive,” Yeo said. “I'm excited for our fans to see it.”
Now, if the Lighthouse can only get the remote for that thing during practice we’ll be set.
Lines From Minnesota, It’s Saturday Night
Wild forward Kyle Brodziak will return to action on Saturday, as the Wild hosts the Winnipeg Jets for its first home preseason game, after missing a few days with a sore back. The center said he’s feeling good and ready to get back to game action. Always the professional, Brodziak was undeterred when we were interviewing him, even as prankster, Matt Cooke, was trying to distract him by rubbing his chin with his hockey stick.
Defenseman Ryan Suter will make his first appearance on Saturday, too. The NHL’s ice-time leader during the past two seasons will get plenty of reps during the regular season, so we’ll be monitoring his ice time.
Goaltender Niklas Backstrom is expected to play the entire game against the Jets. Playing half the game in Winnipeg on Monday, Backstrom didn’t allow a goal on 12 shots.
Here’s what the lines might look like on Saturday:
Ballard, Vanek Day-to-Day
After playing last night, defenseman Keith Ballard and forward Thomas Vanek were both held out of practice due to soreness. Both are considered day-to-day and will not skate in tomorrow’s game.
Wild Reassigns 12
The club reduced the training camp roster to 39 this morning. The team assigned D Corbin Baldwin, C Brady Brassart, LW Raphael Bussieres, G John Curry, RW Kurtis Gabriel, D Alex Gudbranson, G Johan Gustafsson, D Colton Jobke, RW Zack Mitchell and LW Ryan Walters to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Minnesota also assigned defensemen Dylan Labbe (Shawinigan, QMJHL) and Hunter Warner (Prince Albert, WHL) to their junior teams