Saw the comment about the United Center being nicer than Savvis Center: I'll agree, and I'm a Blues fan. Granted, both arenas are a few years older than GEC and things put into there and places like the Pepsi Center in Colorado weren't available when Savvis was built. However, Dave Checketts has said there will be improvements at Savvis to make the experience better. (I've heard the in-arena experience at Savvis is the worst in the league, and I'd believe it - and I last went to a game in November 2003.)
However, the hotel is just about next door (depending on which one they're staying at). The Hyatt is at Union Station, 2 blocks away; the Sheraton is just about across the street, and the Westin is maybe 3 blocks away next to the new Busch Stadium. It's all right there next to City Hall (which looks like some relic from the 1800s or what you'd see in Batman).
If you get the chance to visit with the family, everyone knows about the Arch; you'll want to go up and take a look, plus there's the museum underground that's very cool. Few take the time to go to the St. Louis Zoo; fantastic place to spend a day, and no charge to go in.
Back to the topic at hand: you two realize that a lot of us would kill to have spent even half a day around their favorite team, and you got 2 days? Just freaking' wow!
P303 and handtrick- this is just awesome! didn't get any info like this when my nephew went on his team trip. Thats what happens when you aren't shy about talking to people and maybe a little "star struck". Wow, thanks for sharing, I feel like we all won that trip!
Many posters have asked me if i got to ask Trotz, "why is Sully out on the point on the powerplay" and this was my response:
yeah...this is the one area we wanted to explore in more depth, but ran out of time......when Trotz is telling you about his reasoning for line combos and what he thinks about specific players.....you don't just interrupt and say, "hey what the **** is Sully doing out on the point on the PP"......just kidding, but you get what I mean....you kind of go with the flow when you are in that situation.
Also they were working with Yanic Perreualt out in front of the net on the PP....you could tell he is just not meant to live out there in a Holmstrom type of role.....it was interesting that as he was going off the ice after the morning skate in St. Louis, Mitch Korn asked him to come and work on some deflection drills in front of the net.....some of the other players on the bench started snickering, and Mitch told them...."hey, he is coming off an injury, and we just want him to get his hands back".....the same players just kept snickering as Korn skated off. It obviously paid off that night as Perreualt had the deflection over to Timonen for the first goal....not pretty at all.....but effective.....
BTW the king of the deflection drill is Scott Hartnell.....he put 18 of 20 deflections on net one practice.
Thanks for the great read guys. I don't watch the Preds that regularly so I don't particularly know the tendencies and characteristics of all the players, but you guys did a great job explaining what goes on behind the scenes.
Of course, there's probably much more interesting things that you can't post here, but I guess that's what you pay for, an intimate look at the lives of NHL players.
I think the only thing the preds organization needs to work on is the Gaylord Entertainment Center
My Bro went down to Nashville for business and said the rink isnt as good as he thought and the fans were into it but there werent enough. As a hawk fan we are spoiled to have a rink as big as the UC but we dont deserve it.
O and also change your jerseys, they look like Picasso barfed on them. The preds sound like a great group of guys... I cant wait till Sully comes back to the Chicago.
I will pull some things together here from observation, but also published in different types of media....I won't bother footnoting them.
Kariya is one superstitious guy.
Pred303 outlined a snippet in his intro, but I can add a couple of things.
In addition to wrapping the handle and blade precisely thirteen times with tape, they are cut to the EXACT same length, and no one else is allowed to touch them.
He is the first one off the ice at every practice and every game...watch this yourself, even after he wins the shootout he is the first one to bolt off the ice.
His stretching routine is quite unusual....Chris Mason commented about how he has "these funny little breathing techniques" when asked the question in a publication...."What is the strangest superstition that you have seen?"
We didn't see Paul much out and about, and with what I knew, I probably wouldn't have approached him, and highly doubt whether he would have approached us.
All I can say is that I'm jealous. You guys seemed to handle the trip in a much more mature way than most people would. I'm surprised at how much inside info you guys got from players and coaches, not to mention they were actually asking for your opinions. Playing at the NHL level seems a lot more serious than glorious as most would assume. The relationships between players and coaches are family-like and free time (what little there is) is spent more quietly than out clubbing and what not. Personally, I think it has more to do with the backgrounds as most Canadian hockey players seem reserved and low-key.
i don't think this is secret or even surprising information... and i won't tell names
...but there were two strong camps internally in the pred organization draft before last...one camp wanted to draft suter...the other camp wanted to draft phaneuf..
split about right down the middle... suter was considered "safer" in that he was judged as a guy that couldn't fail in the long run to be a top 4 type d-man, while phaneuf was known to have huge upside at the time (pre-juniors), but also it was the consensus of many that he had big risks to go along with that upside (some questions about his skating and penalty taking back then among many scouts evidently)..
however several argued those risks were lower than others somehow thought.. and not that the phaneuf camp thought that suter wouldn't be a great player, everyone did.. but the pick phaneuf group thought that phaneuf fit pred needs more (big physical d-man, with a booming point shot on the pp) much more so than the pro-suter camp.. the pro-suter group argued that having many midsize,quicker good puck moving d-men was the way to go..
the drafting of weber the next year and then the addition of witt was the final throwing in of the towel for the group with the line of thought that a team could have 6 quick but smaller d-men and succeed..
evidently, we also had a pretty good idea suter and phaneuf would both be available once our turn came, as we pretty accurately knew who each team would take ahead of us.. was even told that calgary evidently was probably going to pick suter if both suter and phaneuf were available when their turn came
now none of this is meant to reflect negatively on suter...everyone in the entire organization thinks he has the tools to become that top 4 d-man in a couple of years... but there is some internal second guessing about this one