Sunday, 1:00 PM - Hey Aeros fans, it has been an eventful weekend here in St. Paul, Sunday's scrimmage has just ended and the guys are in the locker room getting ready for exit interviews and dinner tonight. Aeros Head Coach Mike Yeo is now 2-0 after claiming victory both Saturday and Sunday. Each scrimmage was 60 minutes, two 30 minute halves followed by a shootout. Posted some pics below along with interviews with Aeros Head Coach Mike Yeo and Aeros Assistant Coach Darryl Sydor.
Interview with Aeros Head Coach Mike Yeo.
Interview with Aeros Assistant Coach Darryl Sydor
Aeros Head Coach Mike Yeo talking to the White team at halftime.
Aeros Assistant Coach Brian Wiseman leading the green team.
Yeo on the bench.
Friday, 1:00 PM - Ok, I am back in the Wild front office after a fun morning over at Xcel Energy Center. JB Spisso (Elite Leadership Training)was brought to St. Paul to put the guys through leadership training. It was a lot of fun to watch and I was even able to partake in a couple of the activities with Wild Head Coach Todd Richards as my partner. I overheard Aeros Head Coach Mike Yeo say next year the plan is to have the staff get a team together to go alongside the prospects.
The players were broken down into teams of about 6, and they had a set time to finish multiple tasks. The tasks were given to them one by one over the course of the allotted time. It began with lego pieces, the players had to go in pairs to the zamboni tunnel, memorize an image posted on a door, return to the locker room and build the legos into a truck (the image had visual instructions on how to build the truck with the pieces given).
Working with the legos.
Visual instructions on how to complete the truck. The players were not allowed to write anything down or explain how to build the truck to their teammates when they returned to the locker room. They had to build it off of memory.
After a few minutes, the players were given a bag with different supplies (including cups, tape, straws, wooden sticks, paper bags, paper). Each bag had different supplies and they were told to build the tallest structure possible with the supplies given. What most missed in the briefing was they were able to work together as groups and trade items between each other which did not happen, but they still came up with some creative structures.
While they began building, they receieved a paper with a code. The players had to figure out what each symbol meant (which letter of the alphabet) then crack the code to find a couple sentences. Marco Scandella was given credit as the most successful at cracking the code as he was the first to finish both the codes given.
The other test that was given was a memorization test they call a KITS Test. The players are given a piece of paper with nine boxes, then on the screen is a similar setup with items inside each box. Each team had to memorize what was in each of those boxes, then draw or write on the paper exactly what was in the boxes they saw...and JB meant EXACTLY (color, font, shadows, etc). Memorization and attention to detail were the key and the players completed a few different KITS tests.
One of the KITS Tests, the players had roughly 30 seconds to look at the screen and memorize it down to the last detail. The test was a reminder why I am not an artist.
Upon completion, the players had a quick break before sitting back down in the locker room. JB then had a power point presentation for the players to watch, talking about leadership and what makes a great leader. It was a great presentation and a real eye opener, JB told multiple stories of his experience in combat as well as other stories from his training days and the experiences of his friends in combat. I am very appreciative of the opportunity to be in there for the presentation and would advocate going through the experiene with him if possible.
PJ Deluca, Todd Richards, JB Spisso and Brian Wiseman.
After lunch JB is showing a video which they will all discuss after. Tonight the players will be at Target Field as the Twins host the White Sox. Tomorrow is the first of two scrimmages this weekend, tomorrow's scrimmage is open only to season ticket holders. Sunday's game at 11:00 AM is open to the public.
Friday, 8:30 AM - Good morning, I am here inside the Wild office as we get set for day 5 of the Wild Prospects Camp. The guys are finishing up their breakfast right now at Downtowner Woodfire Grill before heading back here to the arena. Today is team building day as the guys get a day off the ice. I will be heading over in a few minutes to catch up on the activities. I plan on meeting Aeros Assistant Coach Brian Wiseman who flew in to St. Paul last night. Also to note, the players will get a fun experience tonight as they will all go watch the Twins host the Chicago White Sox at the new Target Field. I will be back in a bit with another update.
Thursday, 4:15 PM - Good afternoon Aeros fans, I am back in the Wild office after spending some time over at Xcel Energy Center. The players went through power skating this afternoon, both teams were on the ice for an hour. I have photos posted below and a video soon to come. Also should have some interviews with Aeros Head Coach Mike Yeo and Assistant Coach Darryl Sydor up here in a bit. Assistant Coach Brian Wiseman is on his way to St. Paul and will be arriving around 8:00 PM tonight so I am looking forward to meeting him tomorrow.
I had a good chat with Brandon Buck before he took the ice earlier. He took about a week vacation after the season before starting his summer training back home in Delaware, Ontario. He has been enjoying the camp this week and said yesterday's fight training was fun. He did mention that he trains with someone who used to be an MMA fighter so he goes through some of those workouts about once a month, but has never done anything that intense before. He has a trip scheduled for Mexico coming up before he gets ready for camp and the season.
Starting a drill.
Skating around the cone.
Wild Director of Player Development Brad Bombardir watching intently.
Aeros Head Coach Mike Yeo and Wild Goalie Coach Bob Mason working with the goaltenders.
Cody starting the drill.
Thursday, 11:30 AM - Good morning, just a quick update on my day so far. Nothing to report from the arena as I have not been over to the camp yet. The prospects went through on-ice strength training this morning. Currently the players are at lunch and going through a nutrition presentation. I will be heading over to the arena this afternoon, Team 2 will be on the ice from 2-3 PM for power skating, Team 1 will take the ice from 3:15-4:15 PM. Another quick note, new Assistant Coach Brian Wiseman is flying in this afternoon so I will see him at Xcel Energy Center later today.
I want to thank everyone that has been following my blog this week. A reminder, I will be here through the scrimmage on Sunday so please continue to check back for more of what is going on here from St. Paul. For those who have been following I will reward you with a bit of news...something we have been working on here the last few months is an iPhone application. We have been going through meetings and are about to start developing the application with Onseeker, a local Houston company. Look for the launch of the application later this summer, we will keep you posted.
Wednesday, 6:45 PM -Good afternoon, I am back inside the Wild office after a busy day. Players were on the ice this morning going through drills. I dropped by for a bit before I went to lunch with Aeros Executive Vice President Jamie Spencer.
After lunch the prospects went to Minnesota Top Team for fight instruction. I hopped on the bus for the final session and thoroughly enjoyed watching the guys go through different drills. The main focus was to simulate hockey fighting in a gym. There were 12 different stations set up with most of the drills focusing on the players strong hand. The event was led by Jeremy Clark, the Hockey Strength and Conditioning Coach, who has worked with NHL players like Derek Boogaard and Pavel Datsyuk. Helping Jeremy for the day was Aaron Boogaard, brother of former Wild tough guy Derek. Photos and a video (courtesy of the iphone) are posted below. Note that better quality videos from the week will be coming later from the Wild.
Storm I had to run through to get to the bus...I'm finally dry 3 hours later.
Cody Almond doing a drill with Aaron Boogaard.
Jeremy Clark, Hockey Strength and Conditioning Coach.
The final group getting ready.
Going through warm up drills.
Brad Bombardir fighting the wall, he learned by now not to bang his head against it.
Wednesday, 9:15 AM -Good morning Aeros fans, back here for day three of the Minnesota Wild Prospects Camp. Had some excitement yesterday afternoon with rental cars due to my decision to extend the trip through the weekend. Luckily I have some great friends up here and one of them was able to help me out last night. I have now stayed in six different houses in the last six days (dating back to my last night in Houston) but it has been great to spend some quality time with friends up here that I haven't seen since I moved down to Houston last July.
I have a busy day on the schedule today, getting ready to head over to the arena to catch up on the Prospects Camp. I also have some office work to do from the Wild offices at 317 Washington. Part of my focus today is looking for an intern for the 2010-11 season, anybody interested can check out the job description here. I also have an interview request from a sports station in Edmonton for new Aeros assistant Darryl Sydor, so I will be setting that up this morning with Darryl when I see him at Xcel Energy Center. I plan to talk to Aeros Head Coach Mike Yeo today as well as a couple of the young prospects here at camp. Last thing I can think of is my lunch with Aeros President Jamie Spencer at noon today. Time to grab a little breakfast and head over, I will check back in later.
Tuesday, 3:00 PM -All right, back from the arena and it has been an eventful day...beginning with the announcement of our new Assistant Coaches in Houston, Darryl Sydor and Brian Wiseman. I had the pleasure of meeting Darryl after he arrived to Xcel Energy Center earlier this afternoon, he will be here the next few days to take a look at the prospects here. Brian will be flying in later this week to be a part of the latter half of the camp.
Over at the camp was the first session of power skating this morning. The players were broken down into two groups and spent about an hour on the ice going through skating and stickhandling drills. Afterwards, the players took some photos and ate lunch. Team 1 is now back on the ice until 4, before Team 2 takes the ice from 4:15-5:15.
I snapped some photos and also sat down with Justin Falk for about 5 minutes, CLICK HERE for the interview. I will also be talking to Aeros Head Coach Mike Yeo to get his assessment on the first couple days of camp as well as the hiring of his new assistants. Other player interviews to follow as well.
Aeros Equipment Manager Doug Tretiak
Doug once again.
Team 1 taking the ice.
Getting ready to start a skating drill.
Wild/Aeros staff watching Team 2, included in the group are Aeros GM Jim Mill, Wild Head Coach Todd Richards, and new Aeros Assisstant Coach Darryl Sydor.
Tuesday, 10:30 AM -Good Morning, Aeros fans. Here for day two of Prospects Camp and I have some good news...I will now be here for the duration of the week so stay tuned to Aeros.com as I continue to bring you updates all the way through the festivities this weekend in St. Paul. Now that I have figured out my flight situation and rental car, it is time to head to the arena and check in on what is going on today. The players are taking the ice for the first time this morning without media access. There is another ice session this afternoon in which media is invited so I expect to see the usual gang led by Mike Russo from the Star Tribune.
Monday, 3:15 PM - Finally back in the office from Xcel Energy Center as the players were a little late finishing up their testing. After the testing we had a group meeting with the players and hockey ops, everyone on the staff was introduced by Aeros GM Jim Mill, followed by the players introducing themselves, where they are from and where they played last season. Aeros Head Coach Mike Yeo took the floor after that and talked to the players about hard work, respect and having fun. Wild Head Coach Todd Richards also made similar comments to the group before they were dismissed. Some players still had to shower and eat lunch and then the team hopped on a bus for an afternoon BBQ.
Before everyone took off I was able to talk to Carson McMillan for a few minutes. He said he's been spending his summer working out and trying to stay busy, although "there's not much to do in Brandon, Manitoba," according to Carson. Also talked to Colton Gillies, Chad Rau, Justin Falk, Cody Almond and Brandon Buck. They had similar statements as Carson, trying to enjoy the summer and working out. Justin is also getting ready for his marriage in just a few weeks.
The players will be on the ice for the first time tomorrow. I will be back here in the morning to cover the festivities. I have also coordinated with Wild Website Content Coordinator Travis Brillowski who will be helping me get some video content. Stay tuned to Aeros.com and don't forget to submit your questions on Facebook or Twitter. You can ask a question for Cody Almond, Chad Rau, Casey Wellman, Marco Scandella, Nate Prosser, Matthew Hackett or Aeros Head Coach Mike Yeo.
We got a question from Josh on Facebook about the Assistant Coaching search. At this time we are not going to comment on his search but thanks for the question Josh.
That will do it for me today, stay tuned tomorrow.
Monday, 12:15 PM -Good afternoon, I am writing to you from my old desk here in the Minnesota Wild Front Office. It has been a fun day here so far, running into many old friends. After former Aeros PR guru Ryan Stanzel gave me a parking pass, I went inside Xcel Energy Center to see the festivities. I first ran into recently named Director of Player Development Brad Bombardir. I was lucky to spend my year here with the Wild sharing a cubicle with Brad so it was great to run into him and see him again. Aeros GM Jim Mill and Head Coach Mike Yeo were not too far away either so we convened for a few minutes. I ran into Cody Almond and Justin Falk a few minutes later, they are on the list of 2009-10 Aeros players in attendance this week. I snapped a few photos (see below) of the ice which was just put in here at Xcel Energy Center. I will say it is more than worth the trip for any hockey fan to come see a game here, from the building, to the people around to the atmosphere inside, it is a great experience. I will be heading back to the arena momentarily, I am still waiting for some questions on Facebook and Twitter, don't be shy. I will also open up the questioning for Aeros Head Coach Mike Yeo. Log on to Facebook or Twitter and post the name of the person and the question you would like them to answer.
View of the ice from the Wild bench.
View of Xcel Energy Center from the Wild bench.
"Going Green," recycle bins outside the locker room.
Monday, 8:50 AM - Good morning, just about to head to the rink to check in on the players going through physicals. If you would like to ask a question to Cody Almond, Chad Rau, Casey Wellman, Marco Scandella, Nate Prosser or Matthew Hackett, do so by logging on to Facebook or Twitter. Post the player's name followed by the question. I will check back in later.
Sunday, 8:30 PM - Hi Aeros fans, Communications Manager Robert Desimone coming to you here from St. Paul, Minnesota. I am here for the 2010 Minnesota Wild Prospects Camp and will provide you exclusive stories and interviews over the next three days. I am also going to offer fans the unique opportunity to ask questions for forwards Cody Almond, Chad Rau and Casey Wellman, defensemen Marco Scandella and Nate Prosser, and goaltender Matthew Hackett. Log on to Facebook or Twitter and post the players name, followed by the question you would like to be answered. I will get as many of the questions answered as possible and will post them in my "Mailbag" section of the blog. On the itinerary tomorrow for the players are physicals followed by lunch at the arena. In the afternoon the prospects will have a BBQ with various activities. It is time to enjoy a beautiful evening in St. Paul, I will be back here tomorrow after Day 1.
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