By Brian Stensaas
Greetings from the Stensaas home office. I stayed over an hour after practice today, but it sure was fun. More on that in a second.
First, though, Craig Weller today dressed for a practice for the first time since being injured in a fight against the Oilers on Jan. 15. Weller has a concussion, he said, and though he did little more than just skate and shoot some pucks for a short stint the forward felt good to be back.
“The skates feel, like, a little harder than they were before and the same thing with the gloves,” Weller said. “But it definitely feels good to be back out there and to be on the last part of the progression.”
There has been some talk that Sheldon Souray used a wrist guard to level Weller during the scrap. But Weller said he has watched the fight and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.
“I was just trying to weather it,” he said. “I didn’t think that a short little punch from in that close would do be able to do too much damage. But I was hit in the right spot. If he would have hit me with a fist there, I would have gone down.
“I don’t think that he was trying to direct a forearm or anything.”
Weller will not travel with the team on this road trip, and hopes to bet back into full practices next week.
OK now for the fun extra. With the World’s Toughest Rodeo Toughest Cowboy taking over the Xcel Energy Center this weekend, rodeo crews are already in town setting up for the event. While the ice was still available, two cowboys traded their boots for a pair of skates and spent some time with Derek Boogaard learning the finer points of hockey. One rider even put on full goalie gear and took some shots from the big man. The other wore just skates, but took a hit from Boogey into the boards and went down like a ton of bricks. The entire thing was taped and, I’m told, is scheduled to air on Spike.
Off to do some work. Russo’s got you covered out West beginning tomorrow. Russo will also be on KSTP tonight at 6.