State of Hockey is manic

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 6, 2012 - 1:37 PM

 Many fans remained in disbelief over acquisitions of Parise and Suter, but it didn't stop them from mobilizing their wallets.

Vadnais Heights resident Murray Rudisill was cutting the grass on a laid-back July 4 when he picked up his phone and realized hockey chaos had ensued. He had about 30 missed calls and 40 text messages -- "Incredible," "It's a miracle," two of them read -- over the Wild's double- blockbuster signing of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Rudisill called all of his buddies to join him in the pool.

"This is the State of Hockey," he said. "We need the Stanley Cup."

That passion took Minnesotans such as Rudisill from their backyards Wednesday to the Hockey Lodge store at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday morning, where they arrived in a steady stream to snatch up freshly printed Parise and Suter jerseys at $190 apiece. As of late Thursday afternoon, the Wild had sold more than 1,000 season tickets since the news broke. At that point, the Wild had printed 120 jerseys and sold them all. Media relations coordinator Ryan Stanzel said the printing would continue through the day as long as fans continued to buy them.

Said Shoreview resident Joel Jones, who ordered a Parise jersey and waited while it was made: "When somebody makes that type of investment, it perks up the ears of everybody. It makes them want to be a part of it, too."

Hot off the presses

At 10 a.m. Thursday, the heat press crew of three was down in the basement of Xcel Energy Center, busily pressing letters on jerseys after being called in to work.

"I'll probably be working a long day," said leader Pam Fontaine as she arranged green-lined white letters to spell P-A-R-I-S-E at a small work table surrounded by hanging jerseys.

Upstairs at the Hockey Lodge, Shakopee resident Nels Haug, who dropped by with his 6-year-old son, Grant, was eager to be the first to purchase one. He rifled through the rack of hangers as warehouse lead Jonathan Michael wheeled it over to him. Haug picked out a green Parise jersey.

"I'll take it!" he said with an understated fist pump.

The Haugs don't go to more than a handful of Wild games each year and don't buy many expensive jerseys, but they have considered season tickets since hearing the big announcement.

"The ownership went and did something that's never been done in this state," Haug said. "They went and got the top two free agents out there -- in any sport. So, yeah, I think it sends a clear message that the ownership wants to bring a winning team to the community and the fans."

Rising expectations

Many fans were still in disbelief over the acquisitions, but it didn't stop them from being mobilized.

"The New Jersey Devils' captain decided to come to Minnesota over Pittsburgh," said Eden Prairie construction worker Mike Rogalski. "I mean, how can that be? I told my old lady that I needed $190 to hurry up and go get [a jersey]."

Expect the arena to be crowded next season, fans said. The pressure is on, more than ever, to produce.

Before Wednesday, South St. Paul native Shawn Longacre was ready to give up the season tickets that he's held since the first year of Wild hockey 12 years ago.

"It's been hard," he said. "It's really hard to spend that money and watch them lose constantly. But now I'm in."

But with the big moves -- ones that many fans never thought the Wild would make -- have the diehards been set on the playoffs and maybe even a Stanley Cup win?

"This is Minnesota. Splashy is not what we're about. We're about results, so hopefully this will bring that," Vadnais Heights resident Jason Parker said.

"Is it enough to get them all the way? Sure it's enough to get them all the way. So let's just see if they can do it."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arkansas State 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Are you happy to see the Royals in the World Series?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close