Wild head coach Mike Yeo visited the Minnesota State Fair on Thursday, a sign for Yeo that hockey will soon be back on the schedule.
Yeo conducted interviews with various local media outlets throughout the day, also getting a chance to meet some Wild fans while soaking in the first day of the Fair.
“The State Fair … school starts, the State Fair is here, and you just know that hockey season is right around the corner,” Yeo said. “More than anything, it’s all pretty slow, and it starts to build a little bit right now, but for the most part, it’s all pretty slow until that first day of [training] camp, and then it’s just a bit of a firestorm the way it gets going.”
At each interview location, Yeo was greeted by a crowd of Wild fans, some seeking autographs, others asking for photos, and a few simply wishing him “good luck” on the upcoming season.
“I get the opportunity to try to rehearse some lines so to speak,” Yeo said of his media sessions. “Obviously in the summer there’s a different intensity to how you think about things, and certainly you never shut it off completely, but for sure to kind get the brain turned back on and start thinking about these things again, it’s a chance to start getting ready.”
It also offered a different question-and-answer setting than what Yeo is accustomed to.
“Most of the time you’re doing interviews you don’t have an audience except the people that are holding the microphone up to your face,” Yeo said. “It’s different, but at the same time its’ nice to be out. A lot of good interaction with the fans, and that’s one thing I love about Minnesota: It’s a place where people will recognize you, and approach you, but they’re always so nice and respectful, so it’s always a lot of fun.”
With players reporting on Sept. 17, and training camp practices beginning the next day, Yeo said Thursday provided a good mixture of an enjoyable summer activity and inching one step closer to training camp.
“Players always start to come in this time of year, so that’s when you know you’re close,” Yeo said. “As coaches, you’re ready — we’ve been ready for a long time — so it’s just a matter of us sitting around, waiting for that date to come … when we can finally get going. It’s exciting, and again, just because the players are here we know it’s right around the corner.”