05 March 2010

Greetings from Toronto! - UPDATED

Fresh off of their 3-0 win over the Marlies yesterday afternoon, the Wolves are back on the Ricoh Coliseum ice for practice in preparation for this weekend’s ninth three-games-in-three days set of the season.


Defenseman Chris Chelios cleared waivers yesterday and is out practicing with his teammates. Now property of the Atlanta Thrashers, Chelios can now be called up to the NHL without having to re-clear waivers.

Yesterday was the NHL trade deadline, but the Wolves roster is still intact. The Atlanta Thrashers only made one deal yesterday, sending a third and fourth round pick in this year’s NHL draft to Buffalo in exchange for center Clarke MacArthur. MacArthur has appeared in 60 games with the Sabres this season, notching 13 goals, 26 points and 47 penalty minutes. He last played in the AHL in 2007-08 when he split the season between Rochester and Buffalo.

The Wolves will play their final regular-season game in Canada tomorrow night against the Western Conference leading Hamilton Bulldogs at 6:30 p.m. It seems that the Bulldogs have had the Wolves number as of late. Chicago has dropped its last five meetings with Hamilton dating back to last year, which includes all three matchups this season. The last time the two clubs squared off on Jan. 30, the Bulldogs skated away with a 3-2 shootout win. That contest is the Wolves lone loss in their last 14 games on home ice. Let’s hope the Wolves can buck the trend and break through against the Bulldogs to sweep their final trip north of the border.


UPDATE: Sights in Toronto


After the Wolves finished a spirited practice at Ricoh Coliseum, the team bused back to the hotel where everyone went their separate ways to get lunch.

We headed to Wayne Gretzky’s Restaurant, which was only about a 15-minute walk from the team hotel. The temperature in Toronto this week has been pretty nice for early March. The thermostat may have read 40 degrees but it feels a bit warmer because the sun is shinning brightly during the day.

When we got to the restaurant, eight players were already dining there. The food is not only good, but there is a ton of Gretzky memorabilia throughout the restaurant. Also, the NHL Power Play show on XM radio is broadcast live from Gretzky’s. Wolves general manager Wendell Young, head coach Don Lever and defenseman Chris Chelios all have appeared on the show this season.

After lunch we decided to take the long route back to the hotel to see some of the sights in Toronto. We walked past the Air Canada Centre, CN Place, and the Rogers Centre. We even tried to see the home of the Blue Jays but sadly Disney on Ice is at the Rogers Centre this week and we couldn’t get a look.


UPDATE: Live from the Team Bus


The Wolves loaded up to hit the road for Hamilton this afternoon, so you are getting this update live from the team bus. I can assure fans in Chicago that the traffic in Toronto would make you feel right at home. We’re trucking along at a stop-and-go pace, even at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

The team had a leisurely morning today with no practice before the bus trip – which is nice, since the weekend will be anything but leisurely from here on out!

When we roll into Hamilton, the team will suit up to take on the Hamilton Bulldogs – the only club in the Western Conference with a better record - at 7:30 p.m. (6:30 in Chicago). After the game and a quick postgame meal, it’s back to the bus for a trip to Buffalo, N.Y., where they will grab a few hours of sleep before an early morning flight back to Chicago.

After touching down at O’Hare, the team will try to get some rest before the big Amtrak Rivalry home matchup with the Milwaukee Admirals tomorrow at 7 p.m., and then a quick turnaround for a Sunday tilt against former Calder Cup champion Wolves Darren Haydar and Brian Fahey and their Lake Erie Monsters at 3 p.m.

It’s a busy weekend for this team, to say the least, so make sure you turn out to give the road-weary squad a big home crowd welcome at the Allstate Arena on Saturday and Sunday! Sunday is also the debut of this season’s snappy St. Patrick’s Day jerseys and the 12th annual Baby Derby, presented by Jewel-Osco and College Illinois!, so there will be plenty of action to keep everyone entertained (and hopefully, the team awake!).