"It was a little disappointing at first," freshman defenseman Nick Leddy said, when asked about the Wild trading him to Chicago last Friday. "They are both good teams and Chicago has a lot of good guys that will be thre for a while. They're young. So I am not too disappointed."
Leddy said he was in a pre-game meeting when the trade was made, so he had his cell phone turned off. When he turned it back on, he had a couple of voice mails, including one from Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher and another from Chicago's gm.
"I listened to my voice mails, so that's how I found out."
Leddy said right now he has to worry about this season rather than anything else. "We got to get some wins here at the end," Leddy said, "and hopefully get more in the playoffs."
"[The NHL] is a business and it [trades] happens," said Leddy, who was taken by the Wild with the 16th pick in the first round of the 2009 NHL draft..
As for the Colorado College series, Leddy said it could be a turning point for the Gophers. "CC is a really good team ... It would be really big if we got some points this weekend," Leddy said.
Leddy was asked about comments by Tom Thompson, a Wild assistant gm/player development about the Gophers are not developing players well. "I don't want to make any comments about that," he said. "I actually didn't know he even said that so. It's really not my business to talk about that."
Do you think you are getting better? "Oh yeah, definitely," Leddy said. "Going from high school to college, you are bound to get better. Not that I am starting to get used to the game a little more, it is slowing down. From high school to college, guys are a lot older, faster, stronger, bigger than you. So you just got to get used to it."
Leddy has one goal and five assists -- all in the past 10 games -- for six points in 21 games. He is a team-high plus-6 and has only two minor penalties.
HOWE'S DAD TALKS
Dick Howe said it was hard on him to let Joe leave for the USHL as a junior. Joe played two seasons at Wateloo. "I missed the daily joking back and forth," Dick Howe said. "We'd do it daily for 5, 10 minutes. It was tough" without it.
Joe Howe played football and lacrosse until giving both those sports up about his sophomore year. He did not have enough time for them anymore.
Dick Howe, a former defenseman for Notre Dame, said being the father of a goalie is difficult. "It's terrible," he said. "I cheer for the defensemen a lot. I cheer for icing and play stoppages. The only thing I like are warm-ups."
Joe's father expects a couple dozen family members and friends to be at Mariucci this weekend, plus other friends of Joe. He said his son has a lot of drive and loces the game of hockey. He admits he sometimes worries his son is too wrapped up in the sport but ... "He's an excellent student, so he will always have his academics to fall back on."
Dick Howe, who has seen a number of CC games this season, including the two at Wisconsin, said the Tigers have great chemistry, work together and play good team defense. "It's the consumate team," he said.
THIS AND THAT
* Seven of the past eight meetings between the U and CC have been decided by one goal.
* CC senior forward Mike Testwuide (TEST-weed) has 18 goals, the second most in the WCHA.
* Senior forward Bill Sweatt is CC's top scoer with 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 poits.
* Freshman Rylan Schwartz is top rookie scorer in the WCHA with five goals and 20 assists for 25 points.
* The Gophers average 13 penalty minutes per game, the fewest in the WCHA.
* Freshman winger Zach Budish is the team's best faceoff man, winning 54 of 91 or .593.
* Senior center Mike Crman has the most shots on penalty kills, 13, but no goals. Tony Lucia, a senior wing, had two short-handed goals on five shots.
* The Gophers' special teams are at their best in the third period. The power play is 9 for 36 (25 percent), the penalty kill is 36 of 40 (90 percent).
* The Tigers are 13-12-1 in games at Mariucci Arena.
* Senior Nate Prosser and sophomore Gabe Guentzel each have 22 points, tying them for second in scoring among WCHA defensemen.
* CC freshman goalie Joe Howe has played a league-high 1,291 minutes in WCHA games. He s second in overall minutes with 1,590.
* The Tigers score in bunches. They have scored two goals within a minute three times, and twice within two minutes eight times.
* Junior defenseman Cade Fairchild has eight points over the past 10 gams and leads the D-men in scoring with two goals and 14 assists for 16 points.
* Freshman defenseman Seth Helgeson is looking for his first point. He is scoreless in 21 games.
* Sophomore forward Nico Sacchetti, senior wing Ryan Flynn and freshman forward Josh Birkholz are all scoreless in the past six games.