Tag Archives: Traverse City

It’s Game Day; Cuts Coming

In just a few hours, the Wild will be hitting the ice for pregame warmups, and their will be another team at the end of the rink. Tonight’s game will be just another step in the Wild’s quest for a perfect season. Thus far, the club is 4-0 after tearing through Traverse City with a bunch of young, fiery kids.

Phase II begins tonight. The club will aim for a 7-0-0 preseason, followed by 82 regular season wins, and 16 playoff victories. By my count, that would be a 109-0-0 record, and I’ll have to do some background checking, but I’m guessing it would be an NHL first. We should expect no less.

Others here on the banks of the Mississippi might be a little more cautious when talking about 109 wins. They might say something more to the tune of “preseason games don’t matter” or “let’s take it one game at a time.”

Fair enough. Let’s take tonight’s game. The Blues are coming in with a mish-mash of NHLers and minor leaguers. They’re also coming off a loss at home to Colorado last night. I predict it will take them awhile to get their legs going, and the fresh Wild players will take advantage.

Brent Burns opens the scoring, with Brad Boyes tying the game late in the third. A big second period by the Wild stretches the lead to 3-1 on goals by Chuck Kobasew and Andrew Brunette. Matt Cullen adds an empty netter, and there you have it! The Wild moves to five wins, zero losses on the season.

The Wild is expected to make its first roster cutdown following tonight’s game. It will most likely be guys who will go back to junior teams, but there might also be some AHL guys that get cut early. It’s pretty clear that the majority of these six North American preseason games are going to be played by veterans. Houston Aeros training camp starts Monday, so that will give some guys the chance to get down there and get settled before camp kicks off.

Speaking of Houston, Aeros General Manager Jim Mill is slated to be the next Wild.com live chat guest tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. Didn’t I tell you the guests would get more interesting than me? Jim can talk Aeros hockey, Aeros coaches, training camp, Traverse City or anything else you can think of. Granted, there might be some questions he can’t answer, but he’s a nice gentleman. I’m guessing he can answer some questions without really answering them. That’s the true test of a General Manager anyway.

Enjoy the game tonight if you’re coming, and if you’re not, there will be live in-game commentary for all home preseason games. Road preseason games are for suckers.

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Traverse City Champs Send 16 To Wild Camp

There wasn’t a ticker tape parade down West Seventh street to welcome your 2010 Traverse City Prospect Tournament champions, but that’s okay. Yes, it’s just a prospects tournament, but it’s a nice feeling to know that the future looks bright for a lot of the guys who helped the Wild go undefeated in Michigan.

On the heels of that, the Wild announced that 16 members of the championship squad will be invited to training camp, which starts Saturday morning.

The forwards are: Cody Almond, Brandon Buck (TRYOUT), Brett Bulmer, Joel Broda, Carson McMillan, Jarod Palmer, Chad Rau and Casey Wellman.

Defensemen are: Josh Caron (TRYOUT), Tyler Cuma, Colton Jobke (TRYOUT), Nate Prosser, Marco Scandella and Jared Spurgeon (TRYOUT).

Goaltenders are: Matt Hackett and Darcy Kuemper.

Michael Placko will have one more update on Wild.com from Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr, who will give his final take on the tournament and let us know who he thought was at their best all week.

Media day is tomorrow, and the skates officially hit the ice on Saturday. It’s hockey season!

Unofficial Training Camp Begins

Wild players were actually on the Xcel Energy Center ice today, getting in some skating drills followed by a game of shinny. Included in that game: Pierre-Marc Bouchard.

I got down to the rink shortly before the scrimmage ended so I only saw Bouchard skate one shift. He seemed to be moving at a good clip, but that’s obviously not the issue. The concern is when the contact drills start, and we won’t see any contact in these informal skates.

On Wild.com today, I took a shot at previewing what the Wild lines will look like, at least at the start of camp. Here’s the lines I saw today, but obviously it was pretty jumbled, considering there are several players that haven’t shown up yet, and I don’t think guys were too concerned about who they were skating with.

Cullen – Miettinen – Koivu
Gillies – Madden – Clutterbuck
Staubitz – Bouchard – Warren Peters
Brunette – Brodziak – Latendresse
Kobasew – Nystrom
Jon DiSalvatore – Earl – Matt Kassian

As a reminder, you can see all these guys and more in action on Sunday, September 19 during an open scrimmage from 10 a.m. to noon. Fans can enter Gate 1 starting at 10 a.m., with the scrimmage getting under way at 10:30 a.m.

As of now, the Wild has 35 players on its camp roster, and only one tryout player – goaltender Josh Tordjman. He was with San Antonio of the AHL last year, posting a 20-22-2 record with a 2.96 GAA and a .902 save percentage.

There will likely be more, as the Wild will add players from the Traverse City Tournament roster, which by the way, is undefeated through two games.