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-   -   inside info from the CHI/STL roadtrip (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=239325)

Pred303 04-07-2006 11:36 PM

inside info from the CHI/STL roadtrip
the trip of a lifetime for me and handtrick... what a frigging experience it was traveling with the team on this roadtrip..

the two of us are kind of in a difficult spot to be honest, because much of the stuff we got directly from players/coaches/management was information told to us "in confidence", or "off the record", or we were flat out asked to not mention to anyone else. but there are tons of things we saw/heard/experienced that we can share. almost impossible to remember there was so much in fact..

so if people will bear with me, i'll try to post a few bullet type of things that might not be known or people might wonder about..

...what a great organization we are have. senior management, coaches, broadcasting crew, admin group all extremely sharp and professional. great group of players, guys just like us when you sit and talk to them. makes you proud to be a predator fan to be honest. a class organization from top to bottom.

Broadcast Crew..
...terry crisp and pete weber. cann't say enough about these two guys. they live and breathe predator hockey. we all hit it off so well, terry made us come sit in the broadcast booth for both games and took us to dinner and drinking one night (tuesday). man are we lucky to have these two guys.
...terry is a gem for this organization. not many guys in the history of this league with three rings and even fewer with a cup as both a player and a head coach. the guy is one of the funniest guys you could imagine. when the preds travel, it's crisp that everyone knows in every arena and thru out the NHL. the guy is a frigging celebrity in STL and CHI. when things get tough, management and the coaches come to him for his viewpoint, trust me.
...talked long and hard to pete about how us as fans want the postgame show to be better. he knew us beforehand, and wanted our input. basically what we told him is we have to reduce the number of idiots calling in. he was all for it. his idea was that maybe he and terry would tape a 3 to 5 minute post game segment to play then, and that wily would make sure that the entire trotz postgame conference would be covered every night instead of just a snippet like we do now (and that another mike be added so we could actually hear the questions). we also asked if maybe we could have wily give more stats instead of taking as many calls. and also for them to give an 'around the league' score update segment then... pete, who is really in charge of this was all over it all and promised us something would be done to make it better here in the next game or two, so hopefully we see some improvements soon

Coaching Staff
...trotz. my personal opinion of trotz has gone way up after this trip. he's intense, much more so than he might come across thru the media. we were fortunate enough to talk to him both before and after the games and the guy is driven. anyone thinking he doesn't show enough fire on the bench should have been outside the locker room against Chicago. turing tables over and screaming after the first period. then after the game peeling the paint off the walls before he let the team on the bus. (when we asked trotzy the next day after he had calmed a little, did we need to repaint the walls after the game he kinda mumbled well we probably will have to replace the carpet too). the guy sat with us and talked about strategy and why he did some of the things he did about lines and the pp and who he scratched and why. also really gave his personal opinions about several players that he asked us not to repeat, which of course we won't.
...if there has ever been a more somber bus ride and plane trip then the one after the CHI game heading to STL i wouldn't have wanted to be on it. if you somehow have any doubts the coaching staff and management cares less about winning and losing than you do. well trust me, you're off base by a mile. after the CHI game trotz personally stayed up until 4 in the morning getting ready for the STL game the next day. as fans we have to remember, to us, even though we're fanatics and think we live and die with this team, these guys very jobs and livelihoods rids on the outcomes. you could literally see the pressure and dissappoinment in trotz's, peterson's and horachuk's faces after that loss.

Daily Schedule
...very structured on the road of course. and a much more regemented life than many might think
9 wakeup call
10 breakfast
11-12 practice
12-1 strategy meetings for the game
2-3 pregame meal
3-4 rest (almost all players take an hour nap religiously)
4 checkout
5-6 special team strategy review
6-7 warmups
7-10 game
11-1 travel to the next city and do it all again
...very little free time except the nights of off days, no real exposure to the world outside of the hotel and arena on road game days
... preds have a traveling secretary (greg harvey) whose entire job is basically to do everything where a player only has to think about hockey. hands the player their keys and room assignments, schedule, and per diem money as each steps off the bus and takes charge of all transport and baggage. a very difficult job to be honest, bacause it cann't go wrong and it's all very hectic and intricate

...we have a great group of guys. some strange eggs, but a great group of guys
...take paul kariya for example. he doesn't like to walk. anywhere. he's probably the most superstitious guy on the team, when he rides to a game with his fiance, she has to ride in the seat behind him where he cann't see her. his sticks have to have thirteen turns of tape on them. the tape has to end exactly the same place on both the toe and heel.
...hordichuk, what a hoot. the guy is into everything and the other players all laugh at him nonstop.
...mason. great guy, was sick after the CHI game, literally sick. great to see him bounce back and get the shutout in STL, couldn't happen to a better guy. i laugh at the posters that think we should ditch mason and use rinne as the backup, because there is a much bigger gap in readiness between mason and rinne than there is between mason and vokoun even. no one knew better than him and rinne they let the team down in the chicago game.
...rinne. young deer in the headlights right now. is going to be a good player. but you could see the fear and panic is his face even before the game knowing how important this trip was. trotz and mithc korn love the guy though and know in a couple of years he could be a player. would now think that not next year, but maybe the next they would like to see rinne backing up vokoun.
...sullivan and vokoun. neither of these guys had a chance of being well enough to play either game on this trip. but both came to support and cheer on the team despite the injuries. both were at every pregame skate supporting the team. was real leadership on these two guys part coming on the trip, most players wouldn't have come, much less two star type players.
..vokoun's injury seems worse than they're letting on. he could hardly walk thursday his back is so stiff after trying to skate a little wednesday. no way will he play saturday and probably not for a few more games
...sullivan. they talk about a groin injury, but he's walking around with a compress bandage like it's a sports hernia type injury on his abs. worrisome stuff, this is his team right now.

too much more to talk about in one sitting, i'll try to do it over series of blurbs here

Pred303 04-07-2006 11:36 PM

...thought it was interesting to see how the players kind of 'group' together when they off by themselves out on the road...you see the western canadian guys kind of follow each other around, then you see the old admiral guys are grouped going out, and the vets tend to hang together, and the foreign players all kind of click..

..room groupings tell a little something, guys with more than 600 games get their own rooms (walker, perreault, vokoun, markov, sully, kariya, sillinger, johnson, witt),but others get to choose their roommates.. here were the pairings..eaton/hamhuis, erat/rinne, fiddler/smithson, hall/suter, hartnell/timonen, hordichuk/upshall, legwand/nichol, mason/weber

..witt really fits in the locker room. trotz specifically mentioned how great he was in the locker room to us, and the story about him dogging sullivan was hilarious... while he riding sully he was walking around flapping his arms and clucking like a chicken to sully. could tell the guys loved the guy.

...handtrick is dead on about weber. the guy is going to be a stud. trotz really bragged on how coachable the kid was and how he listened and worked. we were asking trotz about why weber hadn't dressed for the CLB game because we needed his righthanded shot on the pp... trotz agreed completely, but said that game no one knew if eaton and markov were well enough to play big minutes, and because of that he had to go with as much experience as he could... showed how many things have to go into a simple who gets scratched or not decision that we all might not think of in the second we spend thinking about why was this guy scratched

..guess who crispy's favorite player is?..scott upshall.. he loves the guy and thinks he is going to be a special player..

..suter is struggling obviously. kind of in the doghouse right now you can tell. they really want him to improve his shot from the point and worked him like a dog in the pregame skae on doing just that.

...heard some mumbling from who i cann't say, that hamhuis had to tighten up his game too. that he was having entirely too many turnovers in his own zone and had to fix it.

...the leadership on the team...lots of discussion on here about it.. bet you didn't know there is an "unofficial" group of 5 who are in charge behind closed doors among the players... walker, johnson, vokoun, sullivan, and either timonen or kariya(we couldn't get it spelled out to us which of these two)... these 5 are the ones tasked to take charge in the lockerroom..

..on another side note, was walking out of the first morning's pregame skate with johnson and walker... johnson turns to walker and says, "walks, you played like crap against Columbus".. walker simply said, "yeah i know, i'm going to try to fix it tonight"

...erat. crispy made us laugh about him. said if he was playing on a line with him, "he'd simply go to the front of the net and wiat for the puck to get there when he shot it, because he sure wasn't going to pass it to you".. the exact thing we have been saying many times about erat skating with his head down and not giving the puck up when he should...

..management (shero,poile,trotz) weren't really happy after the STL game...it was more like relief you could see on their face then joy... can really see the pressure these guys feel

...shero is an intense guy, crispy whispered to us that he could peel the paint off the walls himself if things weren't going well... crisp said no one wants to be on the bus with him after the CHI game

..radulov...trotz first hand told us, the kid was the best forward we had in camp, but he felt another year would make him even better. others mentioned the same thing trig and i have been telling everyone. the guy is a potential phenom

..thought it interesting that greg johnson moved his family back to detroit during the strike and then not back to nashville. something i didn't know. looks like a guy planning on not being around next year possibly. trotz then talked a little about the center problem, and "how could he not try to resign two 25 goal scorers next year? they're cheap and we've gotten production" (perreault and sillinger)

..people are happy with legwand's defensive game. but think he needs to drive the net more to create lanes...but they admitted maybe it was the bad knee that was keeping him from doing this as much as they want. all were pretty amazed he was basically playing without an acl and playing well

...nichol, fiddler and smithson are exceptionally hard workers. and like handtrick said, hordichuk is always the last guy off ice working on improving his game

...markov is a great guy. he is always friendly and open, walked back with him after the stl pregame skate. his ankles are really banged up right now, both of them. it's a wonder he's playing as well as he is. has to take ice to the room after every practice and game to ice them down. he's also the only pred that smokes that i could tell. marlboro reds. always has a pack with him evidently.

Pred303 04-07-2006 11:39 PM

something else that was strange...the amount of security the players all have to go thru to get on the bus and plane...here they finish the game, we walk down in the tunnel to the bus and all have to stand in line while security guards check their baggage and make each guy get the metal detector wand passed over them... then everyone has to show a picture id to prove who they are!..

was actaually surreal looking to see kariya in line behind me having to hold his arms up and get checked for bombs and then of all things have to pull out his wallet and show his driver's liscense so they could check him off the list

...john glennon. have to give the guy credit, he works hard at the games unlike many up on press row. seemed like a really sharp, nice guy himself. and we need to be honest...his two or three articles on line every morning are a huge improvement in coverage for the preds this year over past year..

..speaking of press row..handtick and i are sitting in the pred radio booth right next to the long press row in STL...every time the preds do something we stand and yel "atta boy" or something along those lines...we weren't supposed to be cheering in press row, was considered "unprofessional"...grin..of course we could have simply said well helll we're not professionals... but was funny to try to watch handtrick not jump up and yell out loud when weber scored that big goal...he jumps out of his seat and remembers he cann't yell out loud and just sits back down real quick.. was funny stuff

..crispy with some hilarious stories about the old braod street bullies and scottie bowman..not many that i can tell on here though

...united center is a much nicer hockey arena than savis center if you've never been to both of them, neither near as nice as the gec

..by the 2nd day handtrick and i had just about totally wormed our way into the inner circle of the team.. the first day they were kind of worried that we would act like some autograph hounds or something, but pretty soon after they found out we actually knew hockey and weren't just some pains in the azz and would respect their privacy when they wanted it, they just took us in as part of the team...by day three everyone is coming up to us an asking questions and wondering what we think about things and joking around with us..hell, two more weeks and handtrick might have been named an assistant gm

...very few of the players carry laptops on the road.. of course they have a few more important things to think about

..one guy, i won't say who, confided in us that the most infuriating thing about the team right now was the fact that we're having different problems almost every night we struggle..one night it's lack of having someone drive the net, the next it's we're not taking the point shot, the next it's the pp, the next it's the pk, the next it's the defense is too passive, the next it's we're taking too many penalties, the next we're simply giving up too many shots... no one single thing to fix, no one group to blame.. mentioned how tough this was as a coaching staff to fix when it might be a different thing every night

and for those that wonder if the pred players are keeping up with the scoreboard and into this whole race thing...last night late as we were flying home... a quick cheer goes up from the back of the plane where a bunch of the players are sitting... someone has a blackberry showing the scores of the Dalllas-Anaheim game going final...and dallas had just won...so yes, they know exactly what the deal is

tons of stories to go, let me think on them and what we can and cann't say and i'll put up some more in the morning

SmokeyClause 04-07-2006 11:51 PM

Thanks a ton for this info. There might be more valuable info. on a specific NHL hockey team in those three posts than in any thread that's graced these boards in 4 years.

Enoch 04-08-2006 12:31 AM

Great job 303! I'd love to pick your brain about some of the players and man its hard not to write down players names and ask what was said about them! Still, I love the posts, and I respect you guys for being tight-lipped in this situation!

Speaking of the post game shows - I try to call all the time, but never get through....any tips on getting a call through?

handtrick 04-08-2006 12:39 AM

Like Pred303guy said....what a wonderful, insightful trip.

I'll have to remind you that we have to be very careful what we say.

Just a few more things about some of the players:

-These guys get hounded every time they step on or off the bus, and in or out of the hotel by autograph hounds....not the family with kid variety, but the "sell it on ebay variety" the same men out with their folders, binders, jerseys, sticks, day in and day out. They handle it much better than I would. They never say anything to them, just sign and go on to the next one. You can tell they don't like it, but they just do it anyway....some more willingly than others....no names here.
So remember what the guys go through when you are asking for their autograph. I get the feeling they appreciate a kind word and respecting their space when you see them in the community more than anything else. Many comment how nice Nashville is for them in that regard.
The complete opposite [autograph-wise] was demonstrated when Tomas was at the Pregame skate in his suit at the bench before the Saint Louis game....a 4 year old kid in a Preds jersey leaned over and handed him his ticket and Tomas gladly signed it a gave him a smile, and the equipment guy emerged from the tunnel and handed him a puck. Tomas has a very soft place in his heart for kids, and Kariya does to, as well as Trotzy.....they do things and donate large sums to many things for kids in the community that is kept very quiet at the player's and coach's request. Many of the others have that soft spot for kids, you can tell.

Brendan Witt..... what a HUGE addition to this team both on the ice and in the locker room. You can tell he is a big leader, by just his interaction with the other "stars"....Sully, Kariya, etc. He was blowing Sully major sh|t for coming on the trip to "soak up the room service and On Demand TV in the room".....and wondering "wasn't he supposed to be at home babysitting the kids"......Sully responded by asking him if he was "gonna stay in through the entire game tonight for a change" as he was just coming off the one game suspension. Witter is as down to earth as they come. He talked to me about getting a house rented and a place for his horse to be boarded and he couldn't believe that the boarder only wanted some tickets in return. He commented how "nice" and "refreshing" the people are here. The key here is for him to feel that "fit" both in the team and the community, in order for him to consider signing here long term at the end of the season.....it sounds like we are off to a good start so far......

Dan Hamhuis......very quiet guy.....the morning of the preskate in Saint Louis he came out by himself and sat on the bench by himself and just watched the Zamboni clean the surface of the ice for 10 minutes, and then quietly back to the dressing room, not to reemerge for the "optional" morning preskate which is on back to back games. I commented that he looked deep in thought, and he smiled and said, "We got to change things around here"......and walked off down the tunnel......quiet but intense.

Shea Weber.......this guy is going to be a STUD. His quiet intensity is all apparent on the ice. He is a sponge when it comes to coaching him. It was so cool to see the morning skate at the GEC working on the PP with him at the left point and see Horachek, Kariya, Sillinger, and Timonen come up to him after different segments on PP practice to teach him the finer points, then to see it pay off big time against St. Louis with 6 shots on net during the PP, a goal and an assist, with him utilizing some of the things they were teaching them. He is supposed to take all coaching very well, and never takes it as bad criticism. Coaches invision him to be an "Adam Foote" type of player. He and Suter seem to get along well, laughing together both on and off the ice.....which suprised me a little as they are both competing for ice time as the 6th defenseman.

Mike Sillinger.....what a great pick up he was.....he exudes leadership and is such a down to earth guy....loves baseball and the Cardinals and golf. He is always teaching the younger guys during the practices. Takes every chance he gets to spend time with his family.....he stayed in St. Louis Thursday night to spend a little more time before the game in Nashville Saturday.....kudos to the coaches for allowing him to have that extra family time......

Kimmo Timonen.....I had the pleasure of staying overnight in Nashville after a meeting a week ago in Nashville....and low and behold, who was in line ahead of me in line at the movie theater......Kimmo.....I quietly chatted with him while in line, trying not to draw attention to him.....he asked what I was there to see, and I to him, and I told him that I had the pleasure of going on this roadtrip in a few days....I wasn't sure it even registered, but at the beginning of the trip, he was walking past me back to the player section of the plane [we sat up in the "media section"] and he hit me on the arm and said "how was the movie"...."what did you end up seeing"......pretty impressed that he recognized me as I was just another average "Joe" to him. The guy may look to small to you but he is as solid as a brick house....didn't see him much "out and about" in Chicago or Saint Louis, as some of the guys spend a lot of the times in the rooms, room service, in room movies, etc.

Chris Mason.....I got to sit with him on one of the bus rides [usually we were on a separate "media bus" as well, standard for all NHL teams, but not this time coming home from the morning practice in Chicago]. He is the nicest, kindest, most thoughtful of any of the players that I met......although I am admittedly biased as I have had many interactions with him before around my son, Connor. He told me about his pregame regiment, how all he wants to do is just "do good," how how little of the cities they get to truly experience when they play their because of flying in the night before and flying out right after the games...he usually gets room service and likes chicken and pasta as his pregame meals. He said, surprising to me, that the goalie don't watch tape of the shootouts of the upcoming team, as to not "overdepend" on their tendencies. He and Tomas truly have one of the best goalie/backup relationships in the NHL....both like and fully support each other. Tomas came out in his back wrap and intently watched both Mase's pregame St Louis warm up and the morning skate in Saint Louis, no doubt, giving support to his buddy. Mase was very interested what Pred303 and I did with our free time on this trip, and everytime I would stop asking him questions [thinking I may be overdoing it] he would ask me another one.
The way he bounced back from the showing in Chicago and getting the shutout the next night in Saint Louis speaks volumes as to what this guy is made of and how much he cares about this team. He was focused and intense all day Thursday [pregame St. Louis], but still always acknowledged me, even from across the room.
There was no one happier for Mase, on this planet than me, at the conclusion of the shutout. Good thing, because the way Tomas looked walking around stiff Thursday, Mase should have at least a couple more starts in a row, I would imagine.
And Pred303 is right.....the difference in abilities right now of Mason and Rinne are lightyears apart, and the players love Mason, you can tell.....

Darcy Hordichuk.....There is nobody that is trying harder to improve his game than this guy. He was the last one off the ice at every session I saw taking extra time with the coaches working on his deflections, perimeter shots, drives to the net, talking strategy with Coach Horichek about when, where, who, and how to get under the opponents skin that night, etc. The players would hoot and holler when he would have a nice shot beating the goalie...with "blind squirel", "hands of stone" jokes, he would overcourse take it all well etc.....but if there is ever any tough guy that is going to work at becoming a more well rounded player.....I would put my money on Darcy.......we asked him to go along with drinks after dinner that Crispy was paying for, but declined because it was a $500 fine to be in a hotel bar if the players are caught in the bar where you are staying because he said "the coaches need to have a place to entertain if they need to" which I found interesting.....he reached up on his way off the ice for morning skate prior skate to give me a glove tap, and I asked him if "they were gonna rip St. Louis a new a-hole tonight, and he said if they didn't, they were gonna have to put some people on suicide watch around here......" So if you don't think these guys care....you are sadly mistaken.

The hotel manager in Saint Louis [right next to the Savvis Center and Busch Stadium] were commenting about the difference between hockey players and baseball players and how hockey players are so nice to his staff and down to earth and how all the baseball players were pain in the @$$ primadonnas, and how they have been serving the Preds for 3 years now and out of all the hockey clubs, the Preds seemed to be the best group of guys and was impressed about how they did things [eat, hang out] as groups instead of being off as individuals.
Most of us have always thought that the "culture" of this team is something that they go to great measures to cultivate and emphasize, and it is never so apparent than after this trip.....and that comes from the top on down, I am totally convinced of that.......

Enoch 04-08-2006 12:41 AM

Great to hear guys. I have definitely been impressed with Weber in his callups. Each game he seems to be showing more and more.....I wouldn't be surprised if he is the best defensemen we got in that draft.

handtrick 04-08-2006 12:41 AM

You wouldn't believe how quickly we get out of dodge after the game..... because we were getting on the bus [as were the players] within a half an hour of the game ending.....the bus ride to the airport was about 25 minutes.....the bus pulled right out to the charter plane on the tarmac....we carried all our bags on.....the flight was 45 minutes....during that time we were all served shrimp, cheese and crackers for an appetizer where you filled your own plate...given beverage of choice....then served a hot gourmet type meal....I had prime rib the first night and meatloaf the 2nd night.....then they bring around cookies and milk right before we land........

Contrast the 8 hour bus rides and probably bagged ham and cheese that you get in the minors and no wonder the guys want to stay up here.....and also no wonder why Trotz wants all players to spend some time in the minors so that they "can appreciate it" up here.....that is why I have no doubt that Radulov will spend some time in Milwaukee next year......

handtrick 04-08-2006 12:42 AM

There are two more things that I want to say, the first is regarding Terry Crisp.....

Of all the people in the Preds organization, he is the one I got to know best, mainly because of the shear volume of time spent with him.

I will say that the TV broadcast does absolutely NO justice to how smart, funny, and hockey knowledgable this guy is....don't ever forget that this guy has 2 cups as a player and one as a coach. I think it does come across about how much fun that Pete and Terry are having......I just don't think it comes across how much hockey insight this guy has.....

The 2nd is regarding Barry Trotz.....

There is a reason why this guy is the 2nd longest tenured coach in the NHL. My respect for him has increased exponentially. His honesty, sense of humor, integrity, and knowledge of each of his players in a way that a father knows [or should know] his kids is now fully apparent. I won't go into any more detail, but I will never again doubt his intentions when reading something about him calling someone out in the press or being strangely quiet about something or someone that, you would think, should be called out.

There are reasons behind all that you do or don't see, or do and do not read......

JussiM 04-08-2006 01:53 AM

Thank you so much for all this info. A great read. :clap:

sparkle twin 04-08-2006 02:37 AM

Very good info, I'm glad y'all post here to tell about it, thanks! :handclap: Sounds like it was a great trip.

If anything about the post game show gets changed, please make it so they play all of Trotz's post game conference. I like to hear callers, but just not the same ones that call every game (and they shouldn't take calls from kids under 15). If the post game show was longer, I would like that, too.

Sounds like we do have a pretty good group of players here.

Nitrous Mafia 04-08-2006 03:25 AM

Thanks so much for taking the time to give us all that information what a pleasure to read!

golfmade 04-08-2006 03:51 AM

Great information thanks so much guys, and i'm so glad you got to experience this!

RollingPredFan 04-08-2006 07:35 AM

Took me a bit to read all this haha, but I read every word... LOL Great stuff guys thanks for sharing :handclap:

Joe T Choker 04-08-2006 10:41 AM

I sit in 330 C 14 ... Hartnell Jersey ... and either a Red Sox or Preds (autographed hat) ... I want to hear everything you couldn't tell online :) ... thanks for the road trip recap :clap:

braindead 04-08-2006 11:25 AM

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: Great job.

I missed the story-- did you guys win, buy, or barter the trip? Great read. Thanks again.

handtrick 04-08-2006 11:29 AM


Originally Posted by braindead

I missed the story-- did you guys win, buy, or barter the trip? Great read. Thanks again.

For those of you that don't know, Pred303 and I bid on it and won it at the Unmasked Ball this year.....and NO....we won't say how much we "donated" to the Predator's Foundation to "win" it......

barrytrotzsneck 04-08-2006 12:27 PM

i am, to use a cliche, "green with envy."

I've had the pleasure of doing some stuff behind the scenes\hanging with the players a bit, but nothing like this. Great info, and we thank you for it.

SmokeyClause 04-08-2006 12:37 PM


Originally Posted by nomorekids
i am, to use a cliche, "green with envy."

I've had the pleasure of doing some stuff behind the scenes\hanging with the players a bit, but nothing like this. Great info, and we thank you for it.

I'm very tempted to link this to the main page because I think every hockey fan would enjoy reading this. It's information that is just not normally available to average fans.

barrytrotzsneck 04-08-2006 12:40 PM


Originally Posted by SmokeyClause
I'm very tempted to link this to the main page because I think every hockey fan would enjoy reading this. It's information that is just not normally available to average fans.

I agree, and think you should do it. It's a great read, and a good insight as to what goes on behind the scenes.

Pred303 04-08-2006 01:06 PM

over drinks one night crispy told us some many hilarious old hockey stories.. very few which of course we can repeat in a public forum..

one was that one night was they were off on a roadtrip when scotty bowman coached the team and crisp was playing for him.. crispy was telling how scared everyone was of the guy and his temper.. well he said many of the guys would sneak out after curfew and go out drinking...

about 4 oclock in the morning bowman calls a surprise team meeting.. stands up in front of all the players and says "ok, i know 5 of you guys snuck out after curfew last night... i want those 5 guys to be down in the lobby at 7 oclock" and turns and walks off

crispy says he was of course one of the guys that snuck out...but he says "i wasn't going down there"... so come around 7 he peeps down off his balcony.. and low and behold there were 7 or 8 guys all standing there looking at each other, and obviously counting how many were down there....

and crisp says he looks across the balcony and there is bowman peeping over the rail and taking names (obviously he had no clue who had been out before tricking them to show up in the lobby)

....another couple of things i noticed but haven't mentioned is that perreault really seems more comfortable around the team.. i thought he was kind of ackward and standoffish with the team at first this year... but on this trip he really looked like he loved the team... saw him kind of following hordichuk around and laughing at him several times

sillinger is a huge cardinal baseball fan like handtrick mentioned somewhere.. he came over to us as he was getting ready to go to the arena in STL and talked about us catching the cardinal baseball score before we left.. you also cann't help but like this guy... on a team that really needs veterans, him and witt seem to be a leveling type of inflluence off the ice on the younsters

all the players love chicago and thought it was one of the best trips.. and who wouldn't,great city now

handtrick was dead on about the ebay geeks who follow the team around everywhere... most picture lots of puck bunnies waiting for the team everywhere...but no, what you get are a bunch of poneytailed, simpson comic book type geek guys with sticks and such to sign so they can sell them on ebay.. cann't imagine how guys have as much patience as they do sometimes, these guys know every move the team makes and are always there with their hands out

STL is a much different venue than CHI.. team stays at a hotel half a block from the arena and simply walk over instead of busing..

crispy is close friends with hartnell's family...and he absolutely loves the guy.. him and upshall are two guys crisp said he would start a team with.. crispy said he talks to hart's mom every now and then

for some reason harts seems to be being picked on as far as penalties by the refs, which some don't believe he's entirely responsible for

trotz specifically said he talked to fiddler about wanting him to be around with the organization over the next year or two, and that he asked him to be patient thru these times with all the players on the roster.. you walk away thinking trotz values fiddler as insurance in case perrault and sillinger cann't be re-signed for next year.. in practice, fiddler works very hard and has a great attitude it seems.. and actually stands out in practice as a great practice type player

hall was very private on the trip, but seems to be a very intense, private type of guy... if i would guess or put words in mangement's mouth, i would think his size is valued greatly on a small team like ours... but that everyone thinks his production should be higher even strength.. and that he has the potential to improve dramatically in everyone's eyes... they're just waiting to see it

didn't really get to isolate on upshall much or talk directly to him... i do know how much crispy loves the kids game... and how he expects great things out of him in the next year or two

Testify 04-08-2006 01:08 PM

Great great great read!!!

you guys were really luck to be on that trip!!

just this read made me be more proud of being a Preds fan! :)

:yo: :yo:

Basher 04-08-2006 01:14 PM

Definitely so, link it - this is amazing stuff. Especially Hamhuis, arguably my favorite Pred, saying "We gotta change some things around here". I think he is pressing a little bit, but understands the situation.

Typicaly, Pred 303 is little long-winded for me, but now he can't give me enough.

Thanks guys for your reporting!

barrytrotzsneck 04-08-2006 01:20 PM

I went ahead and created a link to this on the NHL board.

The Mars Volchenkov 04-08-2006 01:42 PM

I'm jealous. Nice read guys.

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