The Wild have released their 2009-2010 regular season schedule, so it’s time for the annual tradition of making my wish list of the games I want to attend. I usually end up with about 82 games on the initial list, which then has to be pared down based on feasibility. Here’s the top five for the upcoming season. In an ideal world I would get to see all of these in person.
Minnesota @ St. Louis [FRI – 10/23]
St. Louis is the closest NHL city, and there is some family of Mrs. Mak’s who live there, so a weekend game should work out. I’ll get to add St. Louis to my list of NHL arenas visited (it currently contains only a paltry 2 arenas – Xcel Energy Center [MN] and United Center [CHI]).
Minnesota @ Nashville [SAT – 12/5]
Mrs. Mak’s brothers both live in Nashville and we’ve been threatening to visit for a few years. I think a hockey game is just the excuse we need.
Minnesota v. New Jersey [SAT – 1/2]
Jacques Lemaire returns to Minnesota for the first time. And on a date where I might also be in Minnesota. What are the odds?
Minnesota v. Columbus [SAT – 1/23]
For the last three years, the Wild traveled to Chicago within two weeks of my birthday (which is the same as Wayne Gretzky’s – is it any wonder I’m a hockey player?). To keep that “hockey on my birthday” tradition going, a trip back to MN might be in order.
Minnesota @ Buffalo [FRI – 3/12]
One of my friends from grad school is a native Buffalonian, and he told me he’ll be back in Buffalo this weekend. Sabres games are a whole lot of fun, and with a guide, it should be a lot of fun.
There they are – the five that have the best chance of me being in attendance. To add to all that, here’s 10 more games that I would really like to see in person, but surely won’t be able to get to.
Minnesota v. NY Rangers [FRI – 10/30]
Gaborik returns. I have always been a big Gaborik fan, so I hope he stays healthy and dominates the Eastern Conference. I can’t imagine he’ll get the warmest welcome, but I’d love to be there to see it.
Minnesota v. Anaheim [TUES – 10/6]
The home opener would be cool. I don’t care who they play. But beating the Ducks would be wonderful to see.
Minnesota @ Chicago [TUES – 1/5]
For old time’s sake. I think I’ve been to more games at the United Center than in Minnesota, so it’s almost my “home” arena.
Minnesota v. Dallas [SAT – 4/10]
The final home game. Against Dallas. Celebrating a division championship (well, maybe). Sounds like a great game.
The rest of these are really one desire spread over six games – it’s an interesting quirk in the schedule that the Wild will actually visit all six Canadian NHL cities this season. I don’t think it’s possible to make it into one big road trip (especially as I can’t really take two weeks off to run around Canada), but all six Canadian arenas in one season would be something special.
Minnesota @ Edmonton [FRI – 10/16]
Minnesota @ Toronto [TUE – 11/10]
Minnesota @ Calgary [FRI – 12/11]
Minnesota @ Vancouver [SAT – 12/12]
Minnesota @ Montreal [THU – 12/17]
Minnesota @ Ottawa [SAT – 12/19]