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04-07-2006, 11:36 PM
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Pred303
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Murfreesboro, Tn.
Country: United States
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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

Players
...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

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