It’s all downhill for the Wild players now. Tomorrow, they get to do what they were born to do — skate on a frozen ice sheet. Today was the tough part.
After taking physicals bright and early, every player had to go through fitness testing at Xcel Energy Center. Once they were sweaty and tired, they were herded from station to station for headshot photos, full gear photos, on-camera interviews and questionnaires. It’s safe to say they’re glad it’s over.
The players will stay off the rink today, but most will be on the rink tomorrow. I say most because Pierre-Marc Bouchard will not be among them. The good news is he will be going to the doctor tomorrow looking to get cleared to play. Bouchard went through the media day wringer and he looked very upbeat.
While the players were downstairs in the bowels of the arena, the Wild brass was upstairs at the Iron Range Grill for the media luncheon. Todd Richards was the host, and Kevin Falness has provided this audio from Todd.
A couple other items of note: Peter Best will be at the Wild’s practice tomorrow to present his Niklas Backstrom with his new mask for the 2010-2011 season. Mask artist Todd Miska said the finished product is drying today and will be ready for the presentation tomorrow. We’re not sure when Backstrom will debut the mask, but it may be tomorrow or Sunday.
And speaking of Sunday, don’t forget that day will be an open scrimmage at Xcel Energy Center open to the public. The doors open at 10:00 a.m. with the scrimmage starting at 10:30 a.m. Those of you who can’t make it can still watch the scrimmage via live streaming on your favorite website, Wild.com.
As a special treat, Falness will be knocking out the play-by-play. I think he’s getting pretty cocky about it, because I saw him down at media day and he had the top three buttons of his shirt undone. It was a little too Hasselhoff for my taste, but hey, it’s hockey season. We’ll let it slide.