The under-card for the weekends events surrounding the stadium series has to be the Alumni Game between former Wild/North Stars players and Blackhawks players of yesteryear. The under-under-card could then be thought of as the auxiliary entertainment around the weekend, and today we learned what little extras the NHL will be throwing at us to accompany the Stadium Series game.
I guess the NHL isn't too fond of the local music scene here in Minnesota, as they are giving a band that hails from Illinois the "headline" spot on the weekend. Recent Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame inductees Cheap Trick, who hail from Rockford, IL will play during the intermission of the Stadium Series game. Besides their hits like "I Want You to Want Me", "Surrender", and "Dream Police", they are a band known for their heavy pop-influenced rock as well as lead guitarist Rick Nielsen's custom made five-necked guitar (and his groovy beard) along with his massive collection of unique 6-string axes. (The guy literally has over 400 guitars)
Proving once again, the NHL really doesn't think too highly of Minnesota, at least not enough to give a local act the prime spot during the big festivities this weekend. The consolation prize however is a decent one, and a group we are all probably very familiar with.
Local band Soul Asylum, led by the scratchy voice of Dave Pirner will play the pre-game show. Best known for their hits "Runaway Train" and "Misery", both tunes could be safe bets to hear over the weekend. Soul Asylum was a pretty safe choice for the NHL to give the big event some good local flavor. After all, it's not like we want Prince writing a song for the hockey team now, do we?
Also being featured during the event, the University of Minnesota Marching Band will be performing during the player introductions. Philadelphia native Jazmine Sullivan will perform the National Anthem while the Minnesota National Guard will serve as color guard. The requisite flyover will feature two F-16's from the 148th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard which is garrisoned at the Duluth Air National Guard Base.
The NHL will also give a special nod to the tradition of hockey in Minnesota, featuring former North Stars as well as current and former members of the Minnesota Wild and some special guests. The game is this Sunday, February 21 in case you've been wondering when all this will kick off.
Thinking about it, it's hard to say the NHL missed in the extra entertainment for the event. They certainly could have done more, but this is the NHL after all. Cheap Trick and Soul Asylum are bands that hail from the area's both teams call home. While that is all well and good, when it comes down to it I'd much prefer a competitive game over brain-melting guitar solo's (while at a hockey game of course). So what do you think about today's announcement Wilderness? Sound off in the comments below.