“I hear we got a good view here.”
Minnesota Wild goaltender Alex Stalock wasn’t wrong with his first impression of TRIA Rink, Minnesota’s shiny new practice facility, located roughly four blocks from Xcel Energy Center in the old Macy’s building. The Wild practiced at their new home for the first time on Wednesday morning before flying out to Pittsburgh this afternoon.
Stalock’s comment referenced a wall of windows on the north end of the rink which looks into downtown St. Paul. Peeks of the Landmark Center’s green roof show through the heavily tinted windows. Bright lighting, open space and a fresh sheet of ice were among the favorite amenities of players and staff.
“It’s very nice. It’s very bright,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “The ice was really good. It’s not cold. Obviously we’re pretty anxious to see what the whole bottom end of it is like. The first impressions are pretty good.”
With the building not fully complete — locker rooms, offices and a handful of other elements have yet to be finished — Minnesota has not officially moved in just yet. Players crammed in to three separate locker rooms after dressing at the X and busing over for the hour-long practice.
The finished product, which is slated to be complete within the next month, will allow players the ability to practice, train and receive medical treatment all in one spot.
“It’ll be nice to be settled in here, ya know,” said Matt Cullen, who’s seen his fair share of practice facilities. “You think of the 82-game season, you have those days where a day like today we dress and drive is kind of a pain.
“When the facility is done we’ll be able to hit the gym, get training done and do some other work. … So to me that’s the biggest thing you get with having this facility. You have consistency and can get everything you need to get done, done.”