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GoalieDad-ch1

"Unofficial" practice has started!

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I was there today for a while - looked to be around 15 players, most of them 'Canes. Here's the lineup, to the best of my recollection: Roddy B. (surprise), Justin Williams, Scott Walker, Nic Wallin, Dennis Seidenburg, Cam Ward, Ray Whitney, Chad LaRose, Jeff O'Neill, Aaron Ward, Bates B., Shane Willis, George Alves (practice goalie), and a few more I'm forgetting. They start off by running some shooting/passing drills, then scrimmage 4 on 4 for a while, not really going full speed, just having some fun and getting the rust off. For those of you out there who play, it was like the pick-up hockey session of your dreams. Rod stood out to me, putting some wicked shelfers on Cam - untouchable shots, and his skating is 100%. Don't worry about the knee. Jeff O'Neill looks fine - hard to believe he had a year off. His passing was a standout - his great ice vision was evident even in this relaxed "pond hockey" type atmosphere. Plus the guy's a physical beast, a real bull, the perfect hockey build. IMO, it was an easy choice gamble for the 'Canes to decide to look him over at training camp - I predict he'll last a while and there may be a tough decision for management to make at some point in late September. Cam looks to be his usual self - perfect positioning and the occasional mean glove hand. In all, a lot of fun to watch if you need a hockey "fix" during these final rainy days of summer.

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Should we be concerned that Cullen's not out there? I know this is unofficial practice ... but sure would make me feel better to hear he's out there.

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Great pics, Kara. It's funky seeing our Bates out there as a royal blue leaflet like a blue jay among snowflecked cardinals. Looks like the guys are enjoying the heck out of themselves.

Thanks for sharing, kara!

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Is Bates signed anywhere? Im not suggesting we "take a look at him", i just didnt know if he had a contract anywhere and was still playing? I checked the rec zone sched and they will be practicing on Labor day, if i read it right, i am sooo there!!! COME ON MONDAY!!! WOOHOO!!!

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No Cullen.

Trying my best not to read into anything here but this isnt good news. Unless of course he's on a vacation with his family enjoying some quality time away from Raleigh. *stays optimistic*

Thanks for the practice updates. Nice to get a little actual hockey to talk about :)

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No worries the Cullen family is not in Raleigh yet. They actually spend their off season in North Dakota, don't ask me why North Dakota, but they've got a house out there. Plus, last interview with Cullen about a month ago during his Cully Kids event he said that he's been skating. I'm sure he'll be in town after labor day along with the rest of the out of town crew.

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No worries the Cullen family is not in Raleigh yet. They actually spend their off season in North Dakota, don't ask me why North Dakota, but they've got a house out there. Plus, last interview with Cullen about a month ago during his Cully Kids event he said that he's been skating. I'm sure he'll be in town after labor day along with the rest of the out of town crew.

See, it pays to think positive thoughts ;) .

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Is Bates signed anywhere? Im not suggesting we "take a look at him", i just didnt know if he had a contract anywhere and was still playing? I checked the rec zone sched and they will be practicing on Labor day, if i read it right, i am sooo there!!! COME ON MONDAY!!! WOOHOO!!!

Bates is still under contract with Toronto and will be playing for their minor league team.

You should probably call the Rec Zone on Monday before heading out there. They haven't skated the last two years on Labor Day even though it has been listed on the Rec Zone schedule.

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Is Bates signed anywhere? Im not suggesting we "take a look at him", i just didnt know if he had a contract anywhere and was still playing? I checked the rec zone sched and they will be practicing on Labor day, if i read it right, i am sooo there!!! COME ON MONDAY!!! WOOHOO!!!

Assuming my little girl is FINALLY able to come home from the hospital this weekend, my parents will be coming up from Atlanta...so maybe I'll drag my dad to the RecZone, if they are indeed skating!! Thanks for the info, Nash-county!!

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Bates is still under contract with Toronto and will be playing for their minor league team.

You should probably call the Rec Zone on Monday before heading out there. They haven't skated the last two years on Labor Day even though it has been listed on the Rec Zone schedule.

Thanks for the heads up. I would hate to make the 40 minute drive from home to show up and see nobody skating!

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Tim Conboy is skating in Minnesota with other NHLers per the Wild's beat writer, Mike Russo. Octoagon is a player representation agency based in MN. I guess they rent out a couple sheets of ice every year for a couple of weeks for NHL players that they represent and don't represent. Hedican skated there last year.

3. I went out to the Octagon camp yesterday morning and there were a bunch of Wild players, other NHLers, college and high school players out there. Off the top of my head: Brent Burns, Derek Boogaard, Josh Harding, Stephane Veilleux, Mark Parrish, Florida’s Keith Ballard, New Jersey’s Paul Martin, Pittsburgh’s Aaron Boogaard and Alex Goligoski, Tampa Bay’s Mike Lundin and Brandon Bochenski, Carolina’s Tim Conboy, Chicago’s Dustin Byfuglien, the Islanders’ Tim Jackman, Erik Rasmussen, Wyatt Smith, Ben Clymer, Mike Stuart and others. Ryan Malone was there Monday. A number of high school players were there too, including Minnetonka’s Max Gardiner, the younger brother of Jake Gardiner, who is Wisconsin-bound and was drafted in the first round by Anaheim in June. More Wild players will be showing up the next three weeks as players arrive back in town.

http://ww3.startribune.com/blogs/wildblog/2008/08/27/wednesday-check-in/#comment-146711

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Watch it SOX fan...I am a Yankees fan after all, just so you know! :P

Well, the likes of Bates, Shane Willis, and Aaron Ward were all there...along with Brindy, Walker, O'neill, Rosie...even the Wizard made an appearance! All looked good, especially Bates and Oneill beleive it or not. One play, Whitney had a partial breakaway, and Bates came ALL the way diagnolly(sp) from the blue line, and caught up to him. Passing looked good from mostly everyone but LaRose, and his shooting/carrying the puck was a little suspect too. Hopefully that'll improve. ;)

Oh brother another Yankee fan. Thanks for the info!

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Oh brother another Yankee fan. Thanks for the info!

hahaa..no worries. I'm the nicest one out there! :D

So yeah, tried talking to Scott Walker after yesterdays practice, but the 'signature grabbing ladies' drove him off. he looked pretty upset too. Maybe because they are ALWAYS there getting autographs!

The more I see bates play, the more I possibly want him back!

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So yeah, tried talking to Scott Walker after yesterdays practice, but the 'signature grabbing ladies' drove him off. he looked pretty upset too. Maybe because they are ALWAYS there getting autographs!

Haha, are you talking about that skinny woman that looks like Olive Oyl? Everytime I have ever taken anyone anywhere to get something signed by a Hurricane, she is there with her friend. It makes me wonder if she gets autographs in some magic 24 hour ink.

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