Good afternoon from Duluth, where sadly the Wild's brief team-bonding trip has come to an end.

Incredible practice today. You should have seen how the team bonded.

Actually, there's been a ton of skating the last two days during a couple long practices. Lots of work put in, and the team looked pretty good.

Josh Harding missed practice today for a second straight day with a twisted left ankle. Since rosters have to be submitted by 2 p.m. Wednesday for opening night and the fact Harding was to back up Niklas Backstrom anyway, I've got to think Harding will be placed on injured reserve Wednesday, meaning Matt Hackett will be wearing a uniform Saturday against Columbus.

The IR would be retroactive to the injury Sunday, meaning if Harding heals up, he could be taken off IR and make the road trip to the Islanders and Ottawa for Monday and Tuesday.

Today, at the end of practice, 90-year-old Mark "Sertie" Sertich skated with the fellas. As Dany Heatley joked, Sertie was great on faceoffs, had a nice deke to school Hackett and could bring experience to a young team. Everything went well, other than when Brad Staubitz roughed him up by accidentally knocking him to the ice.

But disaster averted, and Sertie had quite the thrill. He is the oldest registered hockey player in the USA.

Here's a blog on him with a video by Howie Hanson

Speaking of Hanson, here's a great pic he took of Jim Mill from yesterday's practice. Other than that, I'm outta here.




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