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Risebrough takes to the air

A frequent traveler with the club, GM hits the airwaves from Long Island

Wednesday, 03.25.2009 / 3:00 PM / Minnesota Wild | Features
By James MacDonald  - Special to Wild.com
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Risebrough takes to the air
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- In his day job, Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough wears many hats as it is. On Wednesday when Minnesota faces the Islanders in New York, he'll moonlight in a new, and what he likely hopes for a number of reasons is a short-lived role. Risebrough will be sitting shotgun alongside Wild Radio play-by-play man extraordinaire Bob Kurtz, and he will, in the absence of Tom Reid, who is recovering from knee surgery, serve as Wild Radio analyst throughout the game.

"I think it's a unique opportunity for me," Risebrough said Wednesday afternoon, only about a minute after Kurtz had let him know what time and where they would meet up before the game. "It might be a different perspective than what a normal hockey guy might produce. I see the rhythms of franchises. I see the successes that some teams have had, what works and what doesn't work. And there will be times during the game where I can talk about that."

Throughout Reid's recovery, Kurtz has been joined in the booth by Kevin Falness and Mike Greenlay, and has even worked solo, but Risebrough offered his services for the game against the Islanders.

And while Risebrough may wind up lacking some polish, he is almost sure to cover it with candor.

"My personality is always to tell it like it is," said Risebrough, who also said he just wanted to help out. "I feel that's one of my strengths. I know that Bob is the best, so I know he'll be able to get me through it."

Risebrough is traveling with the team, which he does frequently, and he is not likely to forget that day job while he's on the air.

He was asked if he thinks players approach a game differently when they know he is with the team.

"You hope not," he said. "You try to develop a consistent routine -- like going to morning skates or not going to morning skates, or meeting with the coaches vs. not meeting with the coaches -- so that, regardless of the circumstances, nothing is unusual. Because I do believe the players read into a lot of that stuff."

Risebrough recalls a time when he went over to the bench during a practice to talk to Head Coach Jacques Lemaire, and the players' reaction was to wonder who was traded.

As far as the overall approach the team takes to road games, that, by nature, is different.

"I think the road always presents more challenges," he said. "And I think the way you measure overcoming those challenges is how you play as a team. At home, there might be potential to put on a bit more of a show. So the thing that's guiding me [watching road games] is how we're playing as a team, how collectively we're playing."

On Wednesday, he'll be able to let listeners know exactly how he believes the Wild are living up to that expectation. He'll just have to remember to keep it clean.

"I want to make sure there is that delay, just in case there is something inappropriate," Risebrough said with a smile. "The officials can always get your blood boiling."







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