John Shipley / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL -- As we all contemplate the stark possibility of being non-essential, it’s somewhat comforting to know that something as non-essential as the NFL barrels on as if nothing has happened. The rest of the world might be stopped in its tracks, but it’s business as usual for the best football players and coaches in the world, assuring the future remains bright for, say, Kirk Cousins, who this week agreed to play an extra two seasons for the Vikings at an additional cost of $66 million. Tone deaf? Maybe.
ST. PAUL — It’s not just toilet paper and hand sanitizer leaving store shelves bare. The coronavirus crisis also has started a run on firearms ammunition, specifically 9mm rounds. “People are going crazy,” said Charles Davis, who makes custom AR-15 style rifles out of his Battle Creek Armory in Edina. “It’s sold out almost everywhere, like the Purell.” Several Twin Cities firearms dealers and salespeople said Monday, March 16, they’re struggling to replenish 9mm and 22-caliber rounds, the most common bullets for handguns and hunting rifles, respectively.
Every major sports organization in the U.S. suspended or canceled operations this week, leaving millions of dollars on the table and a giant hole that has swallowed some of America’s most popular, ubiquitous and reliable obsessions indefinitely. Now comes the hard part.
ST. PAUL -- Zach Parise came here with a bang and very nearly left with one as part of what would have been the most interesting deal of the NHL trade deadline Monday afternoon. Alas, the left wing will suit up for the Wild tomorrow night and the team will slog on for the next month and a half as-is. What a disappointment.
Forty years later, the details get hazy, but members of the U.S. Miracle on Ice team agree on the general narrative. For a while there, hockey players from Minnesota and Boston University didn’t like each other. Really didn’t like each other. “It was just a rivalry that existed,” former Gophers player Rob McClanahan confirmed. “Both teams just wanted to beat the crap out of each other.” There were good reasons for the animosity. For one, the relatively close-knit community of college hockey was split roughly into East and West, with a few teams from Michigan and Ohio in between.
The surviving members of the 1980 Miracle of Ice team will travel this week for Las Vegas for a 40th anniversary celebration, with one notable exception. Mark Pavelich, who had a goal and six assists in seven games at the Winter Games in Lake Placid, N.Y., is being treated in a state psychiatric facility after being arrested for assault in August. “Unfortunately, Pav is dealing with some issues, some health and mental issues, and we’re hoping he gets the help and the treatment that he needs, and as a team we totally support him,” former teammate Mike Eruzione said. Pavelich, 61, was char
WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. — Among the souvenirs Ray Thering has kept from the 1980 Winter Games is a blue menu, faded to the color of a robin’s egg and, appropriately, speckled with food stains. It’s an impressive 52 pages, but that doesn’t come close to telling the story of Thering’s job as senior executive chef for the Athletes Village at the Lake Placid Olympics.
If the boys hockey players at Blake ever have a question about the Miracle on Ice, they have one of the world’s best resources at their disposal, head coach Rob McClanahan. McClanahan was a forward on the team that beat the heavily favored Soviets on the way to the 1980 Olympic goal medal in Lake Placid, N.Y., and he’s happy to talk about the experience — if you ask.
EAGAN, Minn. -- If two heads are better than one, as the adage goes, the Minnesota Vikings defense should be in great shape next season when a gang of three top assistants will work with head coach Mike Zimmer to improve a defense that underperformed by recent standards last season. After replacing defensive coordinator George Edwards with co-coordinators — linebackers coach, and son, Adam Zimmer and defensive line coach Andre Patterson — Zimmer added two-time head coach and former Green Bay coordinator Dom Capers as a senior assistant.
EAGAN, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings drastically improved their running game last season, fielded another top-five defense and won a first-round road playoff game at New Orleans — all positive steps in Minnesota’s quest for its first Super Bowl appearance since 1977. But a lopsided, second-round playoff loss to eventual NFC champion San Francisco left head coach Mike Zimmer entering the offseason with one big question: How do we get over the hump? New offensive and defensive coordinators have started working on an answer.