By Michael Russo
Just jumping on for a quick hello.
1. Marian Gaborik: Tom Lynn says “we’re in the process of negotiating,” so they’re not going to give a play-by-play. But that means the Wild’s made a variety of offers ranging in term.
1(a) addition. Link to Tyler Cuma feature in the Ottawa Sun. The story was written by Donny Brennan, who wrote this graph in all the Sun newspapers during the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals: The Minnepolis Star Tribune’s Mike Russo had to do some unscheduled boxers shopping when his luggage didn’t have the same success as he did in making the trip to Ottawa from Anaheim. “We have underwear in Canada,” C.J. Stevenson told him. “And it’s not all long.”
Thanks Don. And I apologize for the image, Canada and now Minnesota.
2. Kurtis Foster: I talked to him Monday. He’s been given the green light by orthopedist Joel Boyd to take a twirl on the ice. It’ll be short and painful, but it’s a start. But because Foster’s gear is at the rink and the Wild isn’t allowed in the arena because of the RNC, Foster plans to take a few more weeks before going on the ice for the first time next month. He’s still a long way off from playing obviously.
He still limps but has been without his cane for two weeks. He calls rehab a full-time job. He works out two hours in the morning, then does two hours of therapy, goes for lunch and returns for pool therapy for at least an hour three days a week. He had a lot of good anecdotes about his summer, but I’ll do a Foster story sometime next month.
3. I went out to the Octagon camp yesterday morning and there were a bunch of Wild players, other NHLers, college and high school players out there. Off the top of my head: Brent Burns, Derek Boogaard, Josh Harding, Stephane Veilleux, Mark Parrish, Florida’s Keith Ballard, New Jersey’s Paul Martin, Pittsburgh’s Aaron Boogaard and Alex Goligoski, Tampa Bay’s Mike Lundin and Brandon Bochenski, Carolina’s Tim Conboy, Chicago’s Dustin Byfuglien, the Islanders’ Tim Jackman, Erik Rasmussen, Wyatt Smith, Ben Clymer, Mike Stuart and others. Ryan Malone was there Monday. A number of high school players were there too, including Minnetonka’s Max Gardiner, the younger brother of Jake Gardiner, who is Wisconsin-bound and was drafted in the first round by Anaheim in June. More Wild players will be showing up the next three weeks as players arrive back in town.
4. Harding let me take a look at his new mask yesterday, and like all of Josh’s masks, it’s very creative indeed, and very cool, especially for his buddies. On each side are 12 of his best friends skating on a pond outside his Saskatchewan house.
5. Derek Boogaard is still big. I know this because a couple friends brought their children to the skate, and the Boogeyman took pictures with them. And Kyle and Brenna came up to Boogaard’s hip and knee, respectively. Boogaard said he’s had no flare-ups with his back this summer, and he’s looking forward to a healthy return to the ice. He also was hysterical as usual in telling me about his summer. I’ll be doing a Boogey story next month, no doubt.
6. Mark Parrish is frustrated but trying to be patient. He’s had some offers, but I think he’s really hoping for Vancouver to make an official offer. But the Canucks are in limbo waiting for Mats Sundin. I think Parrish wouldn’t mind facing the Wild six times a year.
OK, that’s it. There’s a lot of other cool feature stuff I’ve been gathering on Wild guys, but I’ll save it for next month when things start hopping again and you’ll see daily stories again. Adios.