Wild vs. Edmonton: OMG (lots of photos)

Thanks to the strangest work schedule known to man (yes, stranger than the Acid Queen’s), I had Monday night off, and so I was able to attend another game at the Xcel Energy Center here in Minnesota. The thing that made this special was that I went as a guest of Branko Radivojevic. Trust me, I know. What the hell? Who the heck am I that I get to be a guest of a player? Well, the truth is, I had never met the man until last night. The guy in our show who plays Timon played with “Radi” (I believe with the Belleville Bulls), which just goes to show, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. And in this case, it’s not just who you know, but it’s who that guy knows. When we got to the arena, there were four tickets waiting, along with four of these.

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Now, I looked at that, and I thought a family pass meant a pass that was for people who bought family packs or something (I know, I’m kind of thick). As we soon found out, it was for people who were family members, such as wives, girlfriends, and moms. And, in this case, us.
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That’s Dawn and Mike, two Canadians out on the tour with us. Mike works in puppets, while Dawn is being a tour wife right now. She is an actress in her own right, most recently on Broadway in Les Miserables, playing Eponine. The wall they are holding up is where the family members wait for the players. While we were waiting here, Gaborik, Demitra (yes, Jes, him), and Rolston walked by. Jacques Lemaire walked by, and Mark (our patron saint of getting us in) said “Hi, Coach.” Seriously, what balls. It was awesome.

Our seats were great.

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Right where you want to be. We could see everything.
How About A Penalty-1

The game looked like it was going to be a blowout, even if the first few minutes were kind of sloppy. Roloson got pulled after the first period, and I don’t think anyone was surprised. And let’s not get into the penalries. Forget that, let’s…
How About A Penalty

It’s hard to score goals when you have a third of a game in penalties. Is it any wonder that the Oilers are in the basement of the league (5-10-0)?

After the game, we took the walk backstage. Stay with me, I have a few pictures.
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This is where most people wait who have passes. We had different passes, so we moved on.
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Not that we went very far. Just past that rolling door. Hey, what’s in that truck?
Oh, just bags of gear.
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Want to be on the post game show? Just step forward.
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Then Radi came out and met us. At first, I felt like a hanger on. I was just there, and he didn’t know me. That didn’t last long, and it felt like we had known him for a while. Then he took us into the dressing room. At this point, I didn’t take as many pictures as I thought I would, because I didn’t want to look like a tool in front of Branko (but I probably did).

The first thing you get to is the work area, where the work on the skates and other equipment happens. Dawn got about three steps in, and then was quickly ushered out (no girls allowed).
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Then you make it into the dressing room proper. First up is the goalie corner.
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As soon as you walk in the room, you can smell the hockey.

There’s the big logo in the center. Don’t step on it.
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More dressing room.
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Then there’s the workout room.
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And the stick room.
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I never did get any pictures of Radivojevic. I didn’t want to ask, even though I’m sure he would have been fine with it. He was really nice, and I didn’t want to bug him too much. He was already going above and beyond for us.

After that, we left the arena. Hopefully he can come to our show on one of his nights off (they have most of this week before heading to Colorado) so we can do something to return the favor. Aside from going to the game, we got a whole other experience, something I have never gotten to do. It makes you feel even closer to the game.
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OK, maybe not quite that close.

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Comments

  1. Great pictures and looks like it was a heck of an experience. Loved seeing the inside shots of the locker room/workout area.

  2. That’s fantastic! Geez, I never get to do anything that cool. :)

  3. Shane – I was smiling for hours after.

    A – You never? What do you mean? You are big time. You have contacts. Get thee to the rink.

  4. Great stuff, Tapeleg.

  5. That looks way awesome, it must have been a great experience! And like Alanah, I’ll probably never get to do anything that spectacular.

    I’m sort of amazed by how PERFECT that last picture is. Perfect angles and everything!

  6. KB – Thanks.

    Sherry – The only problem with the last picture is the guy in it (Zing!)

  7. hockeychic says:

    That is so cool that you got to do that. Great pics too! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  8. Cupster33 says:

    Lucky SOB so when you going to the sobo for a game?

  9. Tape -

    Not to get on the soapbox here, but when we talk about increased access for bloggers in NHL arenas, this is a good example of what can happen. It’s that fan’s-eye view and level of awe that’s missing from MSM coverage of pro sports.

  10. Nice pics and congrats on the insiders tour.

    Now, why the hell didn’t you score me Pavol’s autograph? *fumes*

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