Tag Archives: Guillaume Latendresse

Practice Follow-Up

Carly Peters, Wild digital media coordinator, here. Just wanted to give a quick follow-up to Glen Andresen’s earlier blog with some details from today’s practice.

Thanks to an event at Xcel Energy Center tonight, the team had a quick video session at the arena and then bussed to the suburbs for an off-site practice this morning. After an optional skate yesterday, it wasn’t surprising to see Todd Richards keep his team out on the ice for more than an hour.

Richards utilized many different types of drills, a lot focusing on breakouts from the Wild zone. The players seemed pretty into their work today, shouting with pride and banging their sticks when they were on the winning side of a drill, even toward the end of the skate.

As Glen mentioned in the previous blog, both Chuck Kobasew and Guillaume Latendresse missed practice with groin injuries. Kobasew is day-to-day but Richards said Latendresse will miss tomorrow night’s game against the Capitals. Cam Barker was back at practice, but is still questionable for tomorrow night.

Richards said Gui had a MRI on his groin yesterday and it showed “something wrong” but that he still needed to speak with Head Athletic Therapist Don Fuller to get all the details. When asked if he thought Latendresse would miss more than one game, Richards said “probably” before later adding that he didn’t think the injury is too worrisome; he just thinks Gui needs to be shut down for a little bit but won’t be missing weeks.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard will not be an option for the Wild tomorrow so the team may decide to call up a player from Houston. Who that player might be has yet to be determined.

Richards also said Backstrom will start in net tomorrow against Washington.

As for lines, they remained in tact, with Bouchard taking Latendresse’s spot alongside Cullen and Havlat. Richards did say that he would probably put Kobasew in Latendresse’s spot if he is available to play tomorrow.

We’ll pass along more updates on the lineup after morning skate tomorrow, however, the Capitals play in Carolina tonight, so it’s likely they won’t take the ice until pre-game warm ups.

Latendresse Out Tomorrow

The report from Ryan Stanzel at today’s Wild practice is that Guillaume Latendresse had an MRI taken of his groin yesterday, and Todd Richards ruled him out for tomorrow’s home tilt against Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals. Richards said the injury will require rest and recovery, and he doesn’t have a timetable for how long he’ll be out.

Chuck Kobasew is also still being hampered with groin problems, and he is day-to-day. There may be a call to Houston to get another player up in here in case he’s unable to go. At this point, it looks like Colton Gillies will get his first taste of NHL action this year.

Finland Day Three

Good evening everybody, although it’s the afternoon back in Minny, if that’s where you’re currently located. I know that some of you are right here in Helsinki because 110 Wild fans arrived in town today for a week of fun and watching the good guys in the NHL Premiere. Welcome to Finland!

Let me know if you want me to show you around. After three days and a guided tour of the city today, I feel like a native.

Today was a nice little Sunday. As you know, yesterday the Wild players made a trip to Sauna Island in the afternoon before returning. I’m not sure what they did with the rest of their Saturday night, but I would assume they hung out in their rooms and maybe caught a new release. I see that Iron Man 2 is playing.

Whatever they did, they were at their best at Hartwall Areena for today’s open practice in front of a couple thousand Finns, at least! The Areena staff had to open up a couple of blocked off sections because more people came than expected. They love their Wild here.

As for practice, the three injured guys – Brent Burns, Guillaume Latendresse and Marek Zidlicky – all skated. It appears all should be good to go by Thursday’s season opener. Burns and Zidlicky will most likely play in tomorrow’s exhibition in Tampere.

Following practice, the players grabbed a quick lunch, many opting for a Finnish specialty restaurant called “Subway.” I was one of the customers and was blown away. You can get a 30 cm. sandwich here!

After that, it was time for a guided tour of Helsinki. The players boarded one bus, and coaches and management boarded another. Wild PR guru Aaron Sickman took the flip cam with the players, so I went on the management bus and snapped photos (which will appear in a gallery later this week). I made the right choice. We had a travel guide named Ripsu, who was absolutely hysterical.

Two of her gems that I can remember: 1) Talking about the celebration of Vappu, which lasts 24 hours from April 30 to May 1, she said, “May 1 is a great day to come to Helsinki because everybody is partying and everybody is drunk. May 2 is not a good day to come because everybody is sick. In Helsinki, we speak many languages, but on May 2, we don’t speak anything.” and 2) There is a statue of Labor in the middle of downtown, which features three muscular, naked men with hammers. Ripsu said, “I call those my three ex-husbands, but that would not be true because I only have two ex-husbands. But they are naked because I took everything in the divorce.”

Ripsu was a big hit on the bus, as was the tour. Helsinki is a beautiful city with colorful buildings, a beautiful harbor and many statues and squares. Ripsu had information on all of them, which made me regret giving the flipcam to Sickman. I could have educated all of you who haven’t been here. A couple highlights were a church that is built inside of rock, which surrounds the pews on all sides. Then, there was a metal sculpture of tubes in a park that you are supposed to stick your head in to hear music. Again, there will be photos posted of all of this in a couple days.

The full day of activities left everyone tired. Tomorrow’s a game day, so it’s time for some beauty sleep. The next Lighthouse blog may very well be written on a bus ride from Tampere to Helsinki. Have a great Sunday!

Business At Hand

You’ll pardon me if I’m a bit distracted today, but I’ve got lutefisk on the brain. In 12 hours, I’ll be attempting to sleep on a plane bound for Helsinki, Finland while listening to Bob Kurtz and Tom Reid order more wine.

It’s okay if I’m distracted though. What’s important is that the 25 guys in the Wild locker room are focused on Grant Clitsome and the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at Xcel Energy Center.

First of all, all attending tonight’s game should bring a piece of used equipment to the game tonight. You do that, and you get a voucher for discounted regular season Wild tickets. You also get to feel good about yourself because you just helped a youth hockey player suit up for this season. That’s called good karma, and you never know. That kid might develop into an NHL star, and that piece of equipment might end up being his lucky pair of shoulder pads that he wears his entire career. It’s not that far-fetched.

As for the lineup tonight, it will closely resemble Tuesday’s. Cam Barker did skate today, which surprised Todd Richards, but he doesn’t expect him to go tonight. That could always change. Guillaume Latendresse and Marek Zidlicky did not skate today, and will not play tonight.

Chuck Kobasew will get the chance to play alongside Matt Cullen and Marty Havlat tonight. Cal Clutterbuck will go back to playing with John Madden and Eric Nystrom. It’s still unknown whether or not Casey Wellman or Matt Kassian will be in the lineup. Jared Boll, who is one tough hombre, might not be with Columbus tonight, which would probably mean Kassian sits.

Marco Scandella will be in for Zidlicky, and Clayton Stoner will sit this one out again.

Todd Richards said he really likes the chemistry that’s developed in camp between Cullen and Havlat. He thinks it’s a good pairing because Cullen likes to skate, and Havlat likes to control the puck and make quick passes. He can feed it right into Cullen’s skating lanes and that generates chances.

All right y’all. It’s very possible that the next time the Lighthouse shines, its beacon will be scanning the Baltic Sea. But stay tuned because there will be plenty of posts from Finland throughout the next eight days. Hyvasti! 

Feeling The Intensity

Fans may or may not be discouraged by the Wild’s 0-3-2 preseason thus far. I know I’m a little befuddled because not more than a couple weeks ago, I predicted a 119-0-0 season for the Wild, which included the Prospects Tournament, preseason, regular season and 16 playoff games. Hopefully, you didn’t go to Vegas with that bet, but I wouldn’t have blamed you if you did. I can be very persuasive.

I’m not going to change my tune today, either. Yes, the Wild fell in a shootout last night, but I watched the Wild’s practice today, and it was intense. Bodies were banging, sticks and gloves were getting higher than normal. The speed was top notch. You could sense today was the turnaround, and I’m almost feeling bad for the Blue Jackets when they roll into town tomorrow night. It won’t be pretty.

Marek Zidlicky did not practice today because of a charley horse suffered early in last night’s game. He is listed as day-to-day as are Guillaume Latendresse and Cam Barker who are out with hip injuries. Latendresse will probably not be in the lineup tomorrow night.

It will be interesting to see if the Wild keeps all nine defensemen with the big club for the trip to Finland. Chuck Fletcher said on Monday that he’ll likely send one blueliner down before the trip, but with Barker and Zidlicky injured, the team may want some healthy bodies, considering it will be practicing in Helsinki for a week, and playing an exhibition game on Monday.

The scariest and funniest moment of the day came during the team’s work on power play and penalty kill. At one end of the ice, the power play unit was going up against the penalty killers. Marco Scandella, who was killing the penalty, fired the puck out of the zone and sent it sailing through the neutral zone. The only problem was that is where Pierre-Marc Bouchard was hanging out because he’s still not cleared for contact. Bouchard ducked at the last instant and the puck missed him by inches. He immediately started laughing, but just to take extra precaution, he sat on the bench for the rest of the drill.

Finally, make sure you check out some of the Wild rooms that were submitted for the “Is It In Your Blood? Wild Rooms” contest. I was blown away how many people have Wild and hockey-themed rooms. It was a challenge for the judges and I just to narrow the finalists down to 10 (I settled for 11). Because I must be liked, I forced Brad Bombardir to pick the ultimate winner, and he chose Stacy Nilson’s kitchen, which is completely decked out in Wild colors. It’s not often you see a kitchen with a sports team theme, and that’s what sold Bombardir.

Stacy now wins two tickets to Opening Night. If you didn’t win, I’m sorry, but there will be another contest in October. I won’t reveal what it is just yet, but if I were you I would start thinking of your Halloween costume now.

Latendresse, Barker and Stoner Won’t Play Tonight

The Minnesota Wild just wrapped up their morning skate and then began furiously packing their equipment bags for a quick flight to Columbus. Head Coach Todd Richards told the media today that tonight’s game will be the measuring stick for how training camp went. He’ll have a mostly full roster, and he wants to see his team in regular season for tonight.

Guillaume Latendresse did not skate today, and he will not travel with the team. He is nursing a sore hip flexor, but Richards said it is not serious. He equated it to Cam Barker’s hip injury, which is also not serious. Barker will not play tonight.

For tonight’s lineup, Cal Clutterbuck will hop up to the line with Martin Havlat and Matt Cullen. Eric Nystrom will take Clutter’s spot on a line with John Madden and Chuck Kobasew. The fourth line will be Kyle Brodziak centering Matt Kassian and Brad Staubitz. That means Casey Wellman will not play tonight.

Richards hadn’t decided on defensemen for tonight, but Clayton Stoner will not be one of them. Stoner will be left home. Niklas Backstrom will play the first two periods tonight, and Anton Khudobin will get the third. Backstrom will get the entire game on Thursday against Columbus.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard skated again today with his teammates. He had the same green jersey on like all of the forwards, but then again, there is no contact during morning skates anyway. I guess what I’m saying is there is no new information on him. How’s that for wasting a paragraph with absolutely zero good information in it?

In a little over 48 hours, the team will be bound for Finland, so as a special treat, Mikko Koivu will be answering fan questions this week. Here’s the catch: because the team has a game on Thursday and then immediately departs, fans only have about 24 hours to submit their questions. So as soon as the Question form is posted on Wild.com in the next 20 minutes or so, get your questions in prontisimo.

TSN Reporting That Latendresse Signs

TSN.ca is reporting that Guillaume Latendresse has signed a two-year deal with the Wild. Latendresse, We don’t have official word that this has been completed, so stay tuned to Wild.com for more information.

Re-signing Latendresse has been a top priority for GM Chuck Fletcher after he acquired the big winger in a November trade for Benoit Pouliot. Gui responded to his new surroundings by pumping in 25 goals and 12 assists in 55 games. Getting this deal done now allows Fletcher to have a little more knowledge about his salary cap leeway with free agency beginning 12 hours from now.