By Brian Stensaas

How did that 1980s sitcom theme song go again? "You take the good, you take the bad. You take them both and then you have the facts of life ..."

I think that's it. Anyway - I know that was horrible but it's the first thing I thought of when thinking about some good and bad today for a couple of the Wild's young players.

First, the good: Cody Almond, recalled from Houston yesterday, arrived in the Twin Cities yesterday afternoon and got in his first skate with the club this morning. Just before exiting the ice, he was informed he will be in uniform for is first NHL game tonight against the Thrashers.

Coach Todd Richards told the media well before that ("We didn't bring him up here to sit in the stands," Richards said) so there we all were waiting for the bright-eyed Almond to ask him about his big moment.

"It's kind of surreal," he said. "I got told by [Houston assistant GM/assistant coach] Troy Ward after practice [yesterday] and I thought he was kidding at first. It didn't seem real at first. But it's great to be here and I'm excited for tonight."

Funny story: Almond's parents had planned to be in Houston tonight to watch he and the Aeros take on Grand Rapids. After his callup, they switched travel plans and will be in Minnesota tonight instead. Pretty cool that they'll be here to see their son make his big debut.

Now on to the bad news: Defenseman Clayton Stoner, out since Jan. 6 with a groin injury, had sports hernia surgery today in Munich, Germany, The Wild is calling it "successful" and said he will need two to four weeks to fully recover. He is expected back in the Twin Cities on Sunday.

The doctor who did the surgery today is Dr. Ulrike Muschaweck. Mercy am I glad I don't have to type that every day. I thought Dubielewicz was a chore ...

That's about it for news today. Everyone was present for the morning skate. James Sheppard and John Scott are your likely scratches again.

The Wild, by the way, have never lost in regulation to the Thrashers. How's that for a jinx?

OK - I have to leave for a bit. There are a few kids in the arena for some reason, and they're scouring the sections looking for errant practice pucks. One of the young fellas just found one, and is on the search for more while singing (poorly ...) Journey's "Don't Stop Believin."

Yup - that's my cue for a lunch break. Plus, I want to be back up here in the press box for the big White vs. Red fantasy camp game. My money is on, uh, White. Sure. We'll go with that.

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