A few Wild have warm thoughts about Florida

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 23, 2012 - 11:08 PM

The Wild doesn't play in South Florida often, but BankAtlantic Center provides good memories for a handful of Wild players.

Cal Clutterbuck got reaquainted with Florida goalie Jose Theodore during the first period. Theodore played for the Wild last season.

Photo: Lynne Sladky, Associated Press

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SUNRISE, FLA. - The Wild doesn't play in South Florida often, but BankAtlantic Center provides good memories for a handful of Wild players.

Dany Heatley lit up the All-Star Game held in the arena. Marco Scandella made his NHL debut on the road against the Panthers last season. And a young Cal Clutterbuck was called up from Houston in 2010 thanks to "Gabby's groins."

He never left.

On Oct. 15, 2008, Marian Gaborik was infamously injured while warming up for practice during a soccer hacky-sack game outside the visitors' locker room.

Clutterbuck arrived the next day, and never returned to the minors.

"I just had a carry-on bag," Clutterbuck said. "I remember I walked all around the building trying to get in and ruined my one shirt because it was so hot out. I had to go to the mall to get a new one. I thought I'd play here, maybe Tampa, then be sent back."

Clutterbuck thought his stay would be so short-term, he parked his car in short-term parking at Houston airport.

"I got a call 40 days later saying they were going to tow it. Cost me 700 or 800 bucks," Clutterbuck said.

Scandella, who turned 22 Thursday, similarly thought he would be recalled only for last year's Panthers' game. Then Brent Burns was suspended for butt-ending Steve Bernier in the face, and "That got me an extra two weeks."

Heatley was named MVP of the 2003 All-Star Game in Sunrise after scoring four goals and one assist on a line with Olli Jokinen and Jaromir Jagr. He also scored in the shootout.

"The fans loved it," Heatley said. "They tested the shootout out there with the idea it might come in later on, and obviously it did [in 2005]."

Harding is ill

Yeo said "there is a chance" Matt Hackett will make his second NHL start Friday night in Dallas. He is 2-0 with a 0.85 goals against average and .977 save percentage in three games.

Hackett originally was recalled Wednesday because Josh Harding suffered a "minor injury" in Tuesday's practice. An MRI was normal. Harding practiced Wednesday, but then Yeo said Harding got sick. Because he's not better, the team won't fly him to Dallas for the game.

Harding, who can become a free agent July 1, is also potential bait as Monday's trade deadline approaches. The Maple Leafs are one team looking for a goalie.

Ticket prices frozen

The Wild announced that all season-ticket prices for the 2012-13 campaign will remain frozen for a third consecutive year.

The team also announced season-ticket pricing for the 2012 playoffs. If the Wild makes the playoffs, season-ticket holders will pay their regular-season ticket prices for the first round. For ticket prices, go to www.startribune.com/russo.

Etc.

• John Madden, who played last season with the Wild, signed with the Panthers in December to add veteran presence to a young team. He didn't play Thursday night because of a foot injury. "His first couple of games, he was excellent," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "He played hard and had some real jump. [Injuries] the last week have taken a little wind out of his sails."

• Jose Theodore, who played for the Wild last season, started for the Panthers. It was Clutterbuck's first game vs. Theodore since he scored his first two NHL goals against him and the Washington Capitals on Nov. 24, 2008.

• Former Wild video coach PJ DeLuca is now video coach in Florida.

• Wild defenseman Justin Falk was scratched for the fifth time in six games.

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