Welcome to the weekend! Here are a few talkers from off the ice that caught my eye from the interwebs.
More Winter Classic Speculation
Earlier in the week Russo held a live chat over on the Strib website. The one thing that caught my eye was that he answered a question about the Winter Classic. He stated that when we get it, it will be 2012 or later, and that it will be at TCF Bank Stadium. Obviously nothing is etched in stone here, but Russo is as inside as inside gets. This disappoints me a little. I really think Target Field is the sexier pick, as you can read here in an earlier post. Hopefully there’s still some fluctuation in the final details.
NHL Network Still Needs Work
I love the NHL Network for the most part. You get live games from time to time, great NHL feature shows, coverage of special events like the Winter Classic, World Juniors, presumably the Olympics. But the one problem I have with the network is that possibly it’s most valuable asset, NHL on the Fly, is unwatchable if you have an HD television. NHL on the Fly fills a void in the US left by NHL 2Night back in the ESPN days. It’s the only place you can get nightly NHL highlights. And so much of the other stuff on the network is in HD, they redid the studio, and still, no HD.
So I tweeted Kevin Weeks (@KevinWeekes if you’re so inclined), who is one of the personalities on On the Fly. I asked him if On the Fly is ever going to be in HD and his response was “We're pushing for it,hopefully next season (fingers crossed),it will make a huge difference for the viewer for sure !!”
Part of me says that next season is ridiculous when every other studio highlight show on MLB and NFL Networks, plus the ESPNs are HD, but alas I digress, and hope next season brings them up to par.
Upgrades at the X
It feels somewhat dirty to think about upgrades being needed at Xcel Energy Center. The X has been the NHL’s best building for the last couple years according to Sports Illustrated, and it’s been a big reason why the Wild have sold out every game in its 9-year history. It’s a fabulous building. But with TCF Bank Stadium and Target Field opening, apparently some things may need to be done to keep it on par with the new digs, and something that can be done is a new video board in the main scoreboard. More an upgrade in technology than anything I’d assume, HD and all that.
Wild owner Craig Leipold remarked in his most-recent blog that it’s something they are working towards. Obviously it would be a pretty big expense, and they need to work towards fitting it into the budget.
Before We Go
I’ll leave you with some good humor from the guys over at Hockey Wilderness. Go check it out, and laugh at our former #10.