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Snowed out in Whistler; Olympic break trade freeze on horizon

  • Blog Post by: Michael Russo
  • February 11, 2010 - 8:36 PM

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaacccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkk

Not in the Twin Cities. At the Vancouver media center waiting for Jim Souhan to finish his column so I can give the shock jock a Wild beat writer-like tour of North America's coolest city. Guess what? Sid Hartman's doppelganger just walked into the room. Rachel Blount and I stopped in our tracks.

(Here's your weekly Minnetonka fix -- Just got a text from Kevin Gorg: Late first period, Minnetonka 4, Edina 0).

So, this is what I dealt with today:

I know you all in Minnesota don't know what it's like to be in a snowstorm, but it's a pain in the butt.

These flakes were massive and pretty much hurt, especially when I was taking the chair lift back down the mountain in my slacks and loafers, because that's what I wore to a giant ski slope because I've got a brain the size of a pea pod.

I did wear a snazzy new Whistler 2010 sweatshirt with it, so I looked smooth.

The funniest thing about the 3:15 a.m. wakeup call and 4 a.m. cab and 5 a.m. bus and 7:30 a.m. arrival to the Whistler media center and 7:45 a.m. bus to Whistler Creekside and 8 a.m. chair lift up to Franz's slope and 8:15 a.m. walk around the slopes and 9 a.m. coffee to remain awake is that the 9:30 a.m. women's training run session ... NEVER HAPPENED!!!!!!!!!

I did all of the above to watch ONE woman skier make it down the hill. The second, terrifyingly, crashed violently into the safety fence after landing a jump on the back of her skis. Luckily, Mammoth Mountain, California's Stacey Cook is said to be OK by the U.S. ski team's chief medical officer.

But because of THICK fog and LOTS OF snow, the training run has been postponed until Friday morning. Lindsey Vonn, since we are the 24/7 Lindsey Vonn paper, did a free ski down an adjoining hill to test her injured lower leg. She released a statement on her Facebook that she still feels pain but thinks she can fight through it.

I've said the same thing on my Facebook many, many times.

It was a cool day though. Whistler is tremendous, and I'll be back numerous more times during these Olympics, including Saturday and Sunday as I hit the luge beat running. I plan to wear shorts and flip-flops.

Horrible loss for the Wild last night. Couple guys were terrrrrribleeee -- a couple of key guys. I won't say because maybe my Internet feed was warped and I am completely wrong. But I don't think so. One guy -- a forward -- especially didn't show in this very important game.

The trade freeze begins at 2 p.m. CT Friday. Wild's looking for a centerman especially, and as I've written many times that won't be easy. There aren't many out there? Tomas Plekanec, perhaps. Matt Cullen? I'm not sure on that one; Chuck Fletcher had him in Florida and he didn't perform there. Mike Keenan was not a fan. I'm a fan though. Don't get too many better people than Matt Cullen.

Just not many centers out there. I don't know how the Wild missed out on Dominic Moore.

The Wild would be VERY interested in picking up another dman.

As of the other day, Fletcher though was looking to make any additions after the Olympic break because of the team's limited salary-cap room. The roster freeze goes to Feb. 28 at 11 p.m. CT. I've got a feeling (hideous song) that March 1 will be a crazy, crazy (R.E.M.) day -- not another lonely day (Ben Harper).

I know you're going to have trouble believing this, but I've had one or five too many coffees today. I feel the caffeine streaming through my veins, which I don't think is normal.

If the Wild lose either of the last two games on this homestand, I personally think that could make up Fletcher's mind as far as whether this team can make the playoffs or not. I believe they're going to re-sign Marek Zidlicky during the Olympic break or right after. But even if the Wild can't re-sign Kim Johnsson, can they even trade him with a $1.055 million cap hit? I'm not too sure.

Lots of hockey being aired right now in the media room because we're in a hockey country. Ottawa's up on Washington 6-5 with 5:02 left (great game), Vancouver's up on Florida 2-0 after dos. The Panthers are about to tear that thing apart. Nothing ever, ever changes down there.

So far, it appears the only two U.S. hockey writers covering the Olympics are moi and the guy to the very left of me, the Buffalo News' Bucky Gleason -- although he just quickly reminded me he's now a columnist, not a lowly beat writer like me.

Says Souhan: "I can't believe we sent a beat writer here."

Bucky's actually not doing many hockey columns during the Olympics, so that leaves me. Lot of pressure on my shoulders. I'm getting jjjjjjjjittery.

OK, I should actually start transcribing for my Saturday feature/advance/takeout/profile on Tony Benshoof.

Lastly, awful picture, but the actual "LOVE BOAT" BELOW: "Love, exciting and new. Climb aboard. We're expecting you, the Love Boat. ..."

Now, get that jingle out of your head. I bet you can't.

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