Wild On The Road
Between managing players, staff and equipment going on the road means a lot more than just visiting a different city for a few nights. As the Wild head west for four days on a two-game road trip to Los Angeles and Phoenix, we'll give you a behind-the-scenes look into all the happenings on the road. Make sure to check back in each day.
Check out all the behind-the-scenes photos: Wild On The Road Photo Gallery
Day 1: Flying to LA
8:45 a.m. (central time) - Arrive at Wild’s charter terminal. Park car in spot where it can easily be jumped upon our arrival Friday afternoon. Met by the Wild’s NHL security rep, Bill Johnson, who is on hand to greet team upon each departure from MSP. The Wild flies on a charter aircraft, but is still subject to screening which is done by a private company, and is subject to TSA rules. TSA is often on hand to make sure screeners follow protocol. This happens each time the Wild goes in the air, not just at home.
8:50 a.m. - The first non-digital members of the Wild’s traveling party arrive - radio man Tom Reid and assistant coach Rick Wilson. Kevin Gorg is not far behind.
9:30 a.m. - Team begins boarding Air Force Wild. Catering was a bit late getting boarded, so the back entrance of airplane is also open. Some who had left a winter jacket behind did not like this development. Also on the flight are Jon Blum and Erik Haula, recalled this morning from Iowa of the AHL.
10:15 a.m. - Official announcement made by Switzerland about the country’s Olympic team which includes the Wild’s Nino Niederreiter.
10:24 a.m. - Flight takes off. 3:14 travel time to LAX.
11:05 a.m. - We submit requests to Twitter to delete a lot (way too many, really) fake Twitter accounts.
11:15 a.m. - Food service begins, including New York Strip and salmon. The team skates upon landing in Los Angeles, so need the nutrients. So does the dot com staff.
12:55 p.m. - This is the point in a 3-hour, 14-minute flight that everyone starts getting a little bit restless. Guys have had their lunch, napped, looked at video. A lot of milling around and stretching.
Switching to Pacific Time…
11:47 a.m. - Wild arrives in sunny (had to throw that in) Los Angeles.
12:10 p.m. - The Wild bus gets to Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo (basically across the street from LAX, hence the short trip). The team announces that Mikko Koivu will miss four weeks after undergoing surgery this morning for a fractured ankle.
12:20 p.m. - PR guru Aaron Sickman gets Nino Niederreiter for WildTV, so we can have video before/during practice on Nino making the Swiss Olympic team. It’s pretty chilly at Toyota Sports Center, hence the toque on Nino’s head here in Southern California. Watch that video here.
12:38 p.m. - Since the Wild’s flight is early, the team has plenty of time to get ready for practice. While a rec league takes the ice at Toyota Sports Center, some guys watch video, some grab a bite to eat at the pro shop, some heckle the PR staff. As always, the equipment staff is hard at work, including Rick Bronwell who is unloading gear.
With the Clippers game at STAPLES Center tonight, the Wild is skating at Toyota Sports Center, not too far from LAX in El Segundo. It’s the Kings official facility. Later today, the gear will all be transported from El Segundo to LAX, where Wild equipment managers and trainers will unload it into the Wild locker room for tomorrow’s 11:30 a.m. (Pacific) morning skate.
2:00 p.m. - The Wild steps onto the ice with Darcy Kuemper and Peter Nordell leading the way. Niklas Backstrom was given a maintenance day as they call it in the business, so goalie coach Bob Mason was on the phone earlier today to find someone for practice. Nordell, a Grand Forks native who went to Maine, was the choice.
2:48 p.m. - Practice is wrapping up, the team is about to start media availability.
3:45 p.m. - Team bus departs for Los Angeles. Morning skate tomorrow, 11:30 a.m.