The term "beauty" in hockey circles is reserved for the most flattering of distinctions: a beauty is like the prom queen, your funniest pal, and most reliable acquaintance balled into one.
It's with that icy vernacular that came the name of arguably the most skilled NHL offseason event, which takes place every Tuesday and Thursday night at Braemar Arena in Edina.
On those nights, fans can come by and purchase tickets to watch a collection of local talent — college players, minor leaguers, and plenty of NHL guys — compete in a six-team league, which hosts three games whenever it meets.
After undergoing shoulder surgery late in 2014, Hunter Warner's season with the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League was cut short; Warner played in 24 games after making the jump from the United States Hockey League.
The surgery was just before his 20th birthday, a point on the development timeline for hockey players so vital in their on- and off-ice growth.
But 20 months can make all the difference. With that much time since a nagging shoulder injury finally required more serious attention, Warner played 79 games last season between the WHL and the American Hockey League.
Jason Zucker and Tucker Helstrom forged a special bond, one that underscored how sports can play a larger role in our society than just the games.
Though Helstrom passed away July 2 after an eight-month battle with a rare form of bone cancer, Zucker and his fiancée Carly Aplin are doing what they can to make sure Helstrom's legacy lives on.
This Thursday, Zucker and Aplin will host a charity event, with the proceeds going to Helstrom's family, and families like theirs at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital.
After two days of on-ice work with coaches and a scrimmage on Thursday night, players broke down into smaller groups on Friday for sessions with skating coach Andy Ness and shooting coach Scott Bjugstad.
Players skated in three sessions, with groups broken in two — half working with Ness on one end of the rink and half with Bjugstad on the other. Each player worked 30 minutes with Ness before switching ends and working with Bjugstad.
“A lot of the stuff that we do right now is teaching and explanation,” Ness said. “It’s not about just running through drills, it’s about trying to teach them. They video everything and give guys explanations written out so they can use that when they go back to wherever they are from.”
ST. PAUL — The Wild broke from its practice routine on Thursday to host the first of two scrimmages during the team’s Development Camp at Xcel Energy Center.
After a 60-minute 5-on-5 scrimmage and a five-minute 3-on-3 overtime session, Team Green and Team White finished tied 4-4.
More important than the score however was the performances of several key players that look primed to make a serious push for a roster spot in Minnesota during training camp this fall.
Alex Tuch and Sam Anas showed well for themselves on Team White, as did linemate Joel Eriksson Ek, who along with Anas, scored two of White’s four goals. Tuch set up Eriksson Ek’s goal with a nifty centering pass; Eriksson Ek’s initial shot was blocked but he gathered in the rebound and rifled it past Team Green goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen.
Today's scrimmage between Team Green and Team White will consist of two 30-minute running-time halves. Any penalties will be a penalty shot from center ice with a chaser. Regardless of the score at the end of "regulation" there will be a five-minute stop-time 3-on-3 overtime.
The first half of the game will feature Gordy Defiel in net for Team Green and Ales Stezka for Team White. The latter half of the scrimmage will have Kaapo Kahkonen in goal for Green and Adam Vay for White.
For the rosters of both teams please click here.
Catch the livestream of the scrimmage here. Come back to Xcel Energy Center on Sunday for another open (and free) scrimmage at 5 p.m.
One of Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold’s biggest regrets in life is that he never got to sit down and talk hockey with Herb Brooks.
So to honor Brooks’ legacy in his own way, Leipold is opening a restaurant in downtown Saint Paul at the Minnesota Club called Herbie’s on the Park, named for Brooks and the adjacent Rice Park.
“I wanted to do something that would be hockey, that would be St. Paul and that would be iconic for this area,” Leipold said at a press conference announcing the new venue.
ST. PAUL — The look and structure of day two at Wild Development Camp was similar to day one as players and coaches hit the ice for a second day of work at Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday.
Coaches pushed players through a high-tempo morning session that included plenty of work on skating. Team Green, which was on the ice second, spent nearly half of their morning session working on skating form and edge drills.
Many of the drills were led by Iowa Head Coach Derek Lalonde, who was much more vocal on Wednesday than he was Tuesday. While NHL assistants John Anderson, Scott Stevens and Darby Hendrickson were largely responsible for the action on the ice on Tuesday, Lalonde and his Iowa staff took more control on Wednesday.
ST. PAUL — Several new faces were interspersed with familiar ones as the first day of Wild Development Camp got underway at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.
Among the players on the ice were 24 forwards, 14 defensemen and four goaltenders split into two teams.
Both groups worked with Wild Assistant Coaches John Anderson, Scott Stevens and Darby Hendrickson, Iowa Assistants David Cunniff and Pascal Rheaume and Iowa Head Coach Derek Lalonde.
Brad Bombardir, the Wild’s Director of Player Development, played a large role in coordinating the camp, including the inclusion of 16 invitees to the camp that are not affiliated with the club.
Summer hockey is here. While the Minnesota Wild’s annual Development Camp gets underway at Xcel Energy Center this week, Da Beauty League is kicking off its inaugural season in Edina as well.
Two nights a week, six teams consisting of several NHL players, including Wild prospects and players, will face off at Braemar Arena. Games will be two 20-minutes halves, played four-on-four.
The purpose is simple: have some fun and catch some hockey during the summer. Some proceeds from the games will support charities.
Single-game tickets are $5, season tickets are $25 and anyone shorter than Dustin Byfuglien’s hockey stick will get in for free.
Playoffs take place on Aug. 9 followed by the Championship Game on Aug. 10. So head to Braemar Arena to catch Louie Nanne, Mike Reilly, Jordan Schroeder, Hunter Warner, Zach Parise, Mario Lucia, Alex Stalock, Zach Palmquist, Nate Prosser and Ryan Carter play in Da Beauty League.
For more information on the program, click here.