Afternoon from Stensaas (Stencils to some of you regulars; @stensation on twitter).
Quick question for you all: Why are you sitting in front of a computer reading? Have you BEEN outside today? Got a sick day - use it. Stunningly wonderful out there. I think I might take my computer outside to finish
While it doesn't feel like hockey season outside, one glance at the calendar shows the Wild has precious little time left before its 2011-12 season opener. The team has just two more preseason games (tomorrow in Columbus and Friday at the X) before a bit of team-building time, part of which (Oct. 2&3) will be spent in Duluth.
Mike Yeo today held a pretty basic practice - a lot of work-out-of-the-corners stuff - before the team participated in a shootout, much to the delight of a large number of Wild staffers who were on hand for an all-employee on-ice photo. The shootout came down to Dany Heatley and Cal Clutterbuck. The new guy (who, I don't know if you heard, went to Wisconsin) ultimately won the battle. But in the process, Clutterbuck did his best Dean Youngblood impression to stay alive. Though clutterbuck wasn't even born when the movie came out, his performance was dead on to Rob Lowe's:
Anyway, enough about that. Biggest news out of camp is that Yeo said Drew Bagnall is still not yet cleared to playand he will do the rest of his rehab in Houston. The other injured guys (Matt Cullen, Jared Spurgeon, Cody Almond and Mike Lundin) were all out of practice as well. Yeo sounds the most concerned about Almond.
"He's progressing slowly, let's put it that way," Yeo said. "I'm disappointed for him, and I'm sure he's pretty upset about it. He worked his rear-end off this summer to come in here and have a good camp, so I feel bad for him."
Definitely something to start to really wonder about as we're just 10 days away from opening night.
That's it from me. Off to
golf write a notebook.
More from Star Tribune
More From Russo's Rants
GM Chuck Fletcher said the finish to the season after being the second-best team in the West during the regular season is "still incredibly disappointing. It still stings, let's put it that way."
The young forward, coming off a career year, missed three games at the end of the season with a lower body injury.
The 27-year-old defenseman is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for next season.
The defenseman is expected to be recovered by training camp in September.
The Wild held its end-of-the-year availability on Tuesday, and here's a synopsis of the morning sessions from the press conference room and the locker room.