Wilderness Walk 11-12-13: MOAR DAYS OFF!

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

The Minnesota Wild have yet another day away from games today. Of course, that doesn't stop the news from happening, and we got your links folks so say it with me: LETS! PROCRASTINATE! AT WORK!

Good morning Wilderness, and welcome to a third consecutive day off from games. During the season, I'm not sure since I've been on staff I've had a stretch like this where I didn't get to write-up a game day walk on at least one of the 3 a week I do the walk. Oh well! No games has never meant no news, especially when there are 29 other teams in the league to keep us busy.

I don't know if you saw this yesterday folks, but this tweet from @mnwild got me pretty excited, check it out!

Now I don't mean to diminish the awesome work Zach Parise, Nate Prosser, Clayton Stoner and Zenon Konopka did with the kids for the Defending the Blue Line clinic yesterday, but do you see what I see? Outdoor ice folks! Of course The OVAL in Roseville has the benefit of a refrigerated surface which aides in obtaining and keeping their ice for longer periods of the cold months than your standard outdoor rink, but ice is ice!

This is my time of year. I know it will still likely be a few weeks before the local rinks are flooded and dawn the chain link goals, but this is my absolute favorite time of year. Nothing beats getting out on the outdoor ice and having kids a third my age skating circles around me in a pickup game of hockey. Personally, I spend a lot of time on the ice behind the Apple Valley Community Center, look for the guy in the Richard Park jersey.

Quite a few links to get you to today so without further ado, we walk...

Wild News

Minnesota Wild: Keith Ballard sidelined with upper-body injury - TwinCities.com
Ask and you shall receive. The loyal readers here by request would like to see Chad Graff articles, so Chad Graff articles you shall receive! Personally, I subscribe to the Strib, so pardon me for forgetting about the fish wrap factory east of the river.

Wild practice: Ballard out two weeks, while other players rest and practice | Russo's Rants | StarTribune.com
Russo needs to work on his pre-record face with these Wild Minute's he does. Always some sort of goofy freeze frame with this guy.

Yeo bites his tongue, accepts more risk in Wild’s offensive game | ProHockeyTalk
Wild getting some focus with some of the national media lately, can't imagine why.

30 Thoughts: Wild prosper from playing puck more | Hockey | CBC Sports
This was linked in the comments yesterday, but it is well worth its own post here today. Hockey Night in Canada loves them some Minnesota Wild!

Wild's defensive depth to be tested with Ballard out two weeks | Star Tribune
With Ballard out, again, it is time for some of the kids to step up, again.

The Team of 18,001: Monday Thoughts
But... It's Tuesday!

Tending the Fields

AHL Hockey: Iowa Wild thump Charlotte on the road | The Des Moines Register | desmoinesregister.com
Forwards Erik Haula, Kris Foucault and Zack Phillips each scored a goal and added two assists to lead the Iowa Wild past host Charlotte Sunday 7-2 in American Hockey League action.

CHL Notebook: Mallards proving they can be opportunistic
The Quad-City Mallards, who lead the Central Hockey League in shots per game, are starting to show they don't need to be a shooting gallery to win games.

Off the Trail

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman addresses World Cup, expansion talk, icing - NHL.com - News
Gary Bettman, giving NHL fans a reason to boo since 1993.

Notable quotes from day one of from the PrimeTime Sports Management Conference | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com
All I can imagine is that Ger is giddy as a kid in a candy store with this sort of event taking place.

Capitals fan shows off greatest facial hair tribute to Alex Ovechkin (Photo) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
I was tweeted this picture from a buddy of mine yesterday. Now, while a appreciate the tribute to my cat Ovi! through facial hair grooming, a simple "Thank you for having an awesome cat" would have sufficed. By the way, yes, the exclamation point is part of my cat's name.

What We Learned: Edmonton Oilers’ strange path to problem solving | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
This goes on top of what we already know. The Oilers are a horrible, horrible team.

Steven Stamkos has broken tibia, will require surgery (Updated) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Yikes! Ouch and double OUCH! Not good news for Stamkos, the Tampa Bay Lightning and quite possibly the Canadian Olympic team.

Yakupov’s agent to meet with Oilers, ‘willing to make a move’ | ProHockeyTalk
So Wilderness, what do you like better? #NailWatch or #YakupovWatch? Perhaps #FourthLineWingerWatch?

Jordan Leopold to have surgery on hand, will miss two months for Blues - CBSSports.com
Golden Valley native Leopold to miss a bunch of time for the Blues.

Women’s hockey brawl sets NCAA penalty minutes, DQ records (Video) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Bemidji State Beavers showing that Minnesota nice does not always apply.

Laxidasicle Meanderings

Swarm re-sign pair, sign two more | National Lacrosse League
Minnesota Swarm season is fast approaching lacrosse fans.

Legal challenges weigh on Swarm | Star Tribune
Unfortunately, as with any professional sport, the ugly side or "business" tends to creep its head in once and awhile.

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