The Minnesota Wild enjoyed a post Super Bowl day off on Monday, so there is little news centering around the day-to-day of the team. However, there are all kinds of notes to let you know about, so here goes:
Mikael Granlund, the Wild’s first round pick in 2010, played in the first-ever Winter Classic in Finland over the weekend. Granlund’s IFK team took down crosstown rival Jokerit, 4-3, in front of 36,000 people at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki. Granlund scored two goals in the contest, and this photo courtesy of Tomi Natri of IFK, depicts Granlund scoring the first goal of the game.
One more note on this game: the jerseys worn by IFK in the game will be auctioned off online and will benefit a charity organization known as Icehearts. You can bid on Granlund’s jersey on huuto.net.
While we’re on the subject of Finland, NHL.com released a video of the Top Finnish Plays of the Week in the NHL. Niklas Backstrom was on there twice, including his “more amazing every time you see it” kick save against Jack Johnson in the shootout. That save, as well as his kick save on Martin Hanzal of Phoenix, is a Top Play candidate for last week on Wild.com.
Back to North America. Thanks to Matt Cullen’s Children’s Foundation, “Cully’s Kids,” more than $135,000 was raised and spread out to seven different local charities with an emphasis on cancer: Kamp KACE, HOPE, Inc., Lend-A-Hand, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Riding On Angels’ Wings, TNT Fitness and Outdoor Adventure Program.
Cully’s Kids Weekend was held in Fargo, ND on July 16 and 17. The 2011 event will be held this July 15 and 16. Go here for more information on the charity.
Onto Hockey Day Minnesota. The Grand Forks Herald is reporting that Governor Mark Dayton and Senator Al Franken will be in Moorhead for Hockey Day this Saturday, February 12. Franken will take part in the ceremonial puck drop prior to Wayzata taking on Roseau at 10:30 a.m. Dayton will drop the puck for Hill-Murray and Moorhead at 1:30 p.m.
That’s it for now. The Wild will hit the Xcel Energy Center ice tomorrow for a full practice in advance of the Colorado Avalanche coming to town.