Hello again State of Hockey on a beautiful but crisp day here in Helsinki. Anything going on back home sports wise?
If not, there is plenty going on here to keep you busy. First of all, Matt Kassian and Drew Bagnall cleared waivers today and they will be assigned to Houston. Of course, they aren’t going to be able to head to Houston until this weekend. That would be cruel to send them on a commercial flight back to the states without at least giving them a chance to watch these games that they came out here for.
Plus, it sounded like it’s possible the Wild will need to make a quick call up if things don’t progress with Marek Zidlicky. That was the big news today. Zidlicky aggravated his groin muscles against Ilves on Monday, and he did not skate today. Todd Richards didn’t sound optimistic, saying “I don’t know what his status will be tomorrow. His leg/groin was not good today so we kept him off the ice and we’ll have to see if he can recover some and how he feels tomorrow morning.”
If Zidlicky is out, that leaves six defensemen on the roster, including Clayton Stoner who would have been the likely scratch.
The news sounds better for Guillaume Latendresse and Martin Havlat. Both sat out Monday, but both practiced today. Right now, it sounds as if that duo will be broken up tomorrow night with Cal Clutterbuck staying with Matt Cullen and Havlat. Clutter and Cullen obviously enjoyed each other’s company on Monday. By the way, Cal was mic’d up at today’s practice, and you can see that video here.
As for Latendresse, he’ll be on the wing with Kyle Brodziak at center and either Casey Wellman or Brad Staubitz on the wing. The guess here is that Wellman gets the start after a solid outing on Monday, and the chance for him to play with a finisher like Gui.
By the way, if you’re not one of the 100 or so Wild fans in Finland, I’ve got a great place for you to watch Friday’s game at 11:00 a.m. central time. I suggest you get your kiester down to Xcel Energy Center for the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon. For just 50 bones, you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch on the arena floor while watching the Wild and Canes on the Jumbotron. It will be like you are in Finland, and even better, you won’t be at work, which of course is for suckers when there is a hockey game on.
Each ticket purchase guarantees you access to tour exclusive, behind-the-scene areas of the Xcel Energy Center – including the Wild locker room and Al Shaver press box, where I like to say “the magic happens.” Attendees will also receive Wild giveaways and be eligible to win prizes including tickets and memorabilia.
Speaking of food, the Wild is enjoying one last team dinner tonight before getting plenty of rest for tomorrow’s game. It’s a biggie, so I suggest you get your rest as well. I don’t care if there’s a baseball game on tonight. That said, let me say this: “Go Frankie Franchise!”