Afternoon from South Florida, where it's an absolutely perfect day.
Like Minnesota in May -- 72 degrees, not a cloud in the sky.
I wanted to freshen up the blog. We're here at the All-Star break, which means the majority of players have head out of town to get a little R&R. That includes the beat writer.
First, just an fyi if you have tickets, but the Feb. 20 Wild-Red Wings game has been moved from 5 p.m. to 11:30 a.m. to accommodate NBC. The game is part of "Hockey Day in America" and will be the first Wild home game televised on the network since it took over national television rights in 2005.
I talked yesterday afternoon with defenseman Nick Schultz, and he explained what happened to him in the San Jose game. Remember, when I said I saw trainer Don Fuller holding up fingers in front of Schultz's face on the bench in the second period?
Turns out after that Jamal Mayers check in the first period, Schultz began to have vision problems. He really started to see doubles and triples in the second period, and the final straw was the Devin Setoguchi power-play goal 6:36 into the second. That was Schultz's final shift.
Schultz said he's been dealing with a stiff neck ever since being elbowed by Calgary's Tom Kostopoulos in December, but he's not sure what happened on the Mayers hit.
He felt awful during the game, but later that night he started to feel better and by Sunday morning, his vision problems were history. He practiced Sunday morning, felt fine, flew to Chicago, felt fine, practiced Monday, felt fine and played against the Blackhawks, where he played very well actually -- and felt fine.
So Schultz is hopeful he's, well, fine. In fact, he's confident he's fine. So that's good news for a team without Marek Zidlicky until probably -- and at least -- late February and Marco Scandella, who is not over his concussion.
Brent Burns and Martin Havlat left today for Raleigh, where they'll take part in the All-Star Game. Remember, the live draft by All-Star captains Nicklas Lidstrom and Eric Staal will be Friday night, so that should make for some fun television.
The SuperSkills is Saturday night and the All-Star Game is Sunday.
Check out my Sunday Insider. Talked with Schultz and rookie Cody Almond so far regarding the Chicago rookie dinner, which included Michael Strahan and Charles Barkley. Got some real fun anecdotes, so check that out.
OK, that's it from me. Enjoy your All-Star break and I'm sure I'll freshen up the blog this weekend.
Speaking of Almond, the Aeros had another huge win last night. The team is just scorching hot. They're 7-2-1 in their past 10 and are fourth in the Western Conference -- one point behind Hamilton and Peoria, who are tied for first in the West.
The Aeros have one more game before the AHL All-Star break. Wild practice resumes Monday at 2 p.m. in St. Paul.