TUESDAYS STORYLINES: When Casey Wellman takes the ice tonight in San Jose it will be his first time playing in his hometown arena as a professional hockey player. Wellman isnt a stranger to the ice at the H.P. Pavilion, as a child Wellman was part of the Junior Sharks Program and skated between periods at the Sharks games.
I am really excitedMy parents have never seen me play a professional game yet so it is really good to get in front of them, said Wellman of playing in San Jose tonight.
The 24 year old is one of four active players born in California and the Sharks were a big part of his youth. Wellman was four years old during the Sharks inaugural season in 1991-92.
Just to see that level and come and see it in real life is good to view it, I think they were a big influence, added Wellman.
Wellmans father Brad was a professional baseball player, and though Wellman played baseball as a child, he found hockey to be his true love.
My dad loved hockey and was a big fan of it, when I wanted to stop playing baseball he was ok with it and wanted to make sure I was going to give everything to hockey.
Giving everything to hockey has paid off for Wellman. After playing at UMASS Amherst, he signed with the Wild on March 16, 2010.
Since he signed, Wellman has had a few stints with the big club and appears to have found a spot in the Wild lineup for now. The speedy Wellman, who was recalled from Houston on November 28th, has two goals and one assist in his last 3 games. Wellman has been impressive on a line with Matt Cullen and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
Mike Yeo said if Wellman keeps playing the way he has he will have a happy homecoming.
Hopefully he will come here and do what he has been doing, and if he does that, he will put on a good show. I have been real happy with the way he has been playing, said Yeo.
HE SAID IT: We are excited, we are very excited. We talked about it the last couple of days, we havent played a road game in our time zone yet, which is pretty remarkable really. I would say from a travel standpoint, certainly economically, it is going to make a difference to our club. But, more importantly to me travel wise, the amount of sleep that I think guys are going to get. Our group not having to go across the border, clear customs all the time, changing time zones day after day. It is amazing how that can deprive your sleep, it is also amazing how it can affect your practice schedule. It certainly will make a big difference to us. Yeo on realignment