As a 31-year-old, I don’t think I could feel any older than I do when I’m down at the Xcel Energy Center rink for the 2010 Development Camp, unless I showed up at a high school homecoming dance. Talking to future NHLers who were born in 1992 is just wrong. They weren’t even born the last time a Minnesota professional sports team won a championship!
Still, I enjoy myself at Development Camp because you can see the energy in these youngsters on and off the ice. I’m sure there’s a little less pressure in that nobody is competing for a spot, and there isn’t really the intimidation factor of veterans showing the kids how it’s done. Plus, it’s mid-summer, and a lot of guys are having fun. Here are some of the sights and sounds from the first two days of Development Camp.
- Johan Larsson, a Swede taken in the second round of last year’s draft, spiderwebbing a pane of glass behind one of the nets before practice even began yesterday. The broken glass hung on for a long time as we all waited for one more shot to set off a glass explosion. It didn’t happen.
- Yesterday’s second session was being interrupted by a fire alarm that included wailing sirens, lights on the suite level flicking on and off and an automated female voice shouting, “Please exit the building. Do not use the elevators.”
- Colton Gillies taking an on-camera pie in the face during a Wild TV interview yesterday.
- Nate Prosser taking a puck in the face today, and he had to get some zippers in his mouth. He’s from Elk River. He’ll be fine.
- Marco Scandella has not skated in the camp, and probably won’t. He is nursing some minor bumps and bruises, and is participating in the off-ice events. If this were training camp, Scandella would be out on the ice.
- Today, prospects were at Minnesota Top Team for a martial arts fighting instructional, which included lessons taught by Aaron Boogaard (brother of Derek). In what Ryan Stanzel called “the mismatch of the century,” Boogaard paired himself up in a duel with Casey Wellman.
- Ryan Stanzel missing the first bus as it departed from Xcel Energy Center on the way to Minnesota Top Team.
- A sign instructing players how to remove the sticker that comes on the bills of new baseball caps.
- Darryl Sydor looking like he’s been coaching his entire life, not just two days.
- Brad Bombardir breaking on-ice huddles with his familiar “Here we go boys!” as he did countless times during his playing days.
- Colton Gillies knocking the stuffing (not literally) out of a punching bag.
- German goaltender Dennis Endras easily coming away with the best goalie mask of the Camp. He’s got an eagle on their (in honor of his favorite goalie, Ed Belfour) and the red, yellow and orange German colors on a black background. He didn’t have a lot of competition. Darcy Kuemper and Matt Hackett both have plain white masks. Johan Gustafsson has a plain black one.
That’s all I can think of at this point. There will be plenty more as the days go by. Stay tuned to Wild.com for many written and video features to be posted today.