The Minnesota Wild held its last Xcel Energy Center practice of the season today before heading to Vancouver for a two-game trip to face the Canucks and the Edmonton Oilers.
Cal Clutterbuck returned to the rink and will make the trip, but the rest of the injured players – Martin Havlat, John Madden, Cam Barker, Guillaume Latendresse and Nick Schultz – will stay home. The Wild will call up a player tomorrow morning, and one would think it would be Carson McMillan, considering the kid has a 100% shooting percentage as an NHLer.
Oh, and speaking of shooting, how about Mikael Granlund’s production last night in HIFK’s series clinching victory over Lukko. In the second period of the 7-1 win, Granlund scored twice and assisted on three other goals in the span of 12:38. It was the fastest five points in SM-liiga history and the first five point period in Finnish Elite League playoff history.
There was a lot of activity in the hallways outside the Wild locker room today. Members of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish were getting set to take over the ice sheet for their first practice at Xcel Energy Center. They were to be followed by UMD, Michigan and North Dakota.
Upon leaving the ice, Eric Nystrom didn’t even stop to take his gear off before heading toward the Michigan dressing room to catch up with old pals. We talked with Nystrom on Wild TV, and that can be found here. We also had a special guest in Barry Melrose, who will be doing color for ESPN 2 alongside the legendary Gary Thorne.
This was the second time in my career I’ve gotten the chance to talk to Melrose, and the guy is so fun to talk to. I was able to resist touching his mullet, but it was not easy.
Finally, the best line of the day came from rookie defenseman Jared Spurgeon following today’s practice. Each Wild player was asked to fill out a form with their updated contact information, including their in-season address and their offseason address.
Spurgeon called over to PR guru Aaron Sickman and asked, “What should I put for my in-season address? The Holiday Inn?”
I’m not sure if he was kidding or not, but Spurgeon has called the Holiday Inn home ever since his callup in late November.