The Lighthouse was turned off last week as yours truly enjoyed a lovely Staycation right here in the State of Hockey. If you love your home state like I do, then there is no need to go jetting off to some other distant land. I have everything I need right here in “The Sota,” and that includes a first place baseball team, a 40-year-old quarterback who loves his head coach and the Tettegouche Arch.
Whaaaaat!?!?!? The Arch has crumbled into Lake Superior you say? Now do you see what happens with the Lighthouse takes a week off?
I apologize for my malfeasance, but I promise I wasn’t completely slacking off. On Wednesday, I had the privilege of accompanying my 23rd favorite NHL player, Zach Parise (who is beaten out only by 22 Wild players), to Target Field. Zach was invited to take batting practice and shag flies along with his brother, Jordan, and buddies Kyle Okposo (Islanders), Drew Stafford (Sabres), Casey Borer (Hurricanes) and Marty Mjellili (former SCSU Husky).
It was a thrill to be on the field, meet some of the Twins players and shoot the breeze with Gardy. And, we got it all on tape. Look for a video to appear on the Hockey Day website, wild.com/hockeyday within the next 24 hours.
Speaking of baseball, Josh Harding and Clayton Stoner were also at Target Field on Saturday. They took part in the pregame home run derby when they squared off against T.C. Bear. We will also have video of that and you can see how they fared.
Quick story: my favorite line from Wednesday came from Gardenhire in the dugout. Brian Duensing had just finished a bullpen session and Gardy asked him how it went. Duensing said it was the best bullpen session ever, and he didn’t allow a single hit. Gardy replied, “That’s great. But I would have taken you out after seven innings.”
On Thursday, I found myself in Stacy, Minnesota at the studio of goalie mask designer, Todd Miska. He sat down with 15-year-old Peter Best, the winner of the Niklas Backstrom Mask Contest, and the two of them conceptualized the mask. Best was absolutely thrilled to be there, and you could tell it was going to be a long month for him leading up to September 18, when he’ll present the finished product to Backstrom.
Now that I’m back to the grind on this beautiful Monday, it’s all about preparation, because failure to prepare is preparing to fail (Would you believe me if I said I made that line up?). We’ve got a lot on tap before training camp starts, and that includes the State Fair, the television broadcast schedule and plenty of work on preseason publications like the Wild Team Guide.
We’ve got less than a month before Training Camp starts, and you can expect near daily updates of the Lighthouse blog from now until then. Don’t forget, you can subscribe to the RSS feed of the Lighthouse and get an email immediately when a new post appears. You will join the likes of rapper, T.I., who is a huge Lighthouse fan and rocks a Wild hat wherever he goes. He’s also a fan of socks with sandals, which I hope will be the next fashion trend. I hear chicks dig that look.