Got out of bed yesterday and realized that I won’t see my own pillow for another seven nights. It’s the first of two, week-long (7+ day) trips for the Condors in the next four weeks (San Diego + Tucson being the other).
So with that we’re going to talk about the second-most important document you need to have on the road. Itineraries. And since it is #CondorsWeek on EdmontonOilers.com, we’ll make sure to highlight their coverage.
You may think it’s just another piece of paper, but as I’ll remind you, it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want.
Now for the blog.
– MONDAY, January 15, 1 p.m. – The Condors ready for San Jose in what has become a traditional afternoon game on MLK Day in San Jose. Bakersfield grabs a point meaning a 5-1-3 record (.722%) over their last nine games and the end of a four games in six nights with travel stretch. All four of those non-wins come with a caveat since the team had a lead in the third period in each of those games. Improvement, but not satisfied. Get started with a little slo-mo Monday.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) January 15, 2018
– MONDAY, January 15 4 p.m. – Always the post-game go to in San Jose, Whole Foods. The smart ones head for the pizza line. Most stock up a cart of entrées or sushi for the ride home. It goes nicely with a piece on Ryan Mantha & Eric Gryba, who both share a love of the outdoors.
– TUESDAY, January 16, noon – Condors Assistant Coach and Manager of Hockey Ops. Tony Borgford puts the final touches on the upcoming long trip, checking it with busses, making sure rooms are set, and meals are scheduled. The per diem is packed and the itineraries are sent out. Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear, two rookie d-men, talk about life in the pros and on the road in this OilersTV video.
– WEDNESDAY, January 17, 10 a.m.: Monster trucks are in town which moves practice over to the Ice Sports Center a.k.a. the coldest place in Bakersfield. Dillon Simpson just got done modeling the team’s Star Wars jerseys to be worn on Saturday, Jan. 27. You can check them out here. He’s the biggest Star Wars fan on the team and apparently has a pretty good outfit for the evening.
– WEDNESDAY, January 17, 1 p.m.: After the equipment truck takes off and a quick bite to eat, the team boards the bus headed for an LAX Airport Hotel. It’s technically the second city on a four games in four (five*) cities road trip. Dinner, bonding, and sleep, before the early pulsing tone of the alarm. Gerry Fleming and Nick Ellis are up on #CondorsWeek coverage.
– THURSDAY, January 18, 6 a.m.: GET TO LAX. Terminal 4. American Airlines. Alan Oman and Alec James, the Condors equipment staff, have the bags loaded and the tickets ready. Grab a quick bite, get on the plane, and head to the Midwest. Oh, and publish a blog while in mid-air!
– THURSDAY, January 18, 4:30 p.m. CT: Arrival in Des Moines, Iowa. I’ve never been, but three members of the Condors front office are from Iowa and offer a varied selection of where to go. Haven’t nailed down exactly where to go yet, but don’t worry, I’ll offer up pics. Dillon Simpson has been to Des Moines plenty and he and Keegan Lowe, who grew up together, are featured today.
– FRIDAY, January 19, 9:45 a.m.: Bus to Wells Fargo Arena for the first-ever meeting with the Iowa Wild. Mind you, it’s an Embassy Suites, so free breakfast. I’ve never turned down a free omelette bar. *NOTE: Always tip the chef/wait staff* It’s the beginning of three Central Division games for the Condors. Morning skates are usually spent telling stories, watch last night’s highlights, and setting up for the evening. I’ll film a couple interviews (Grayson Downing spent two seasons in Iowa) and head back to the hotel.
– FRIDAY, January 19, 4:30 p.m.: Bus back to Wells Fargo Arena. After putting together the Road Report, eating lunch, and doing a little prep, we’ll make our way to game time. The Condors have points in five straight games on the road, fifth longest in the league. Hopefully it extends to six. You can watch the game (and Saturday) at The Padre Hotel; they’re both really good TV feeds and start at 5 p.m. in Condorstown.
– FRIDAY, January 19, 10 p.m.: After the game and a quick bite, the bus will be loaded for the team’s longest overnight back-to-back bus trip of the year (5 hours) to Rosemont, Illinois. We’re spoiled in the Pacific Division.
– SATURDAY, January 20, noon: There will be no morning skate after the 3 a.m. arrival. Lunch and some hotel interviews to get ready for the Chicago Wolves.
– SATURDAY, January 20, 4:30 p.m.: Bus to Allstate Arena. Chicago is wearing specialty jerseys, which don’t get me wrong is for a good cause, but a shame, because I like their thirds and was hoping to see them. Business at hand for the Condors though on the back-to-back. The Wolves stole two points and the Condors only regulation loss in nine games a week ago. It’s the first game back for Ty Rattie, who torched the Wolves for two goals last week in his first game against his former club. It’s back to the hotel post-game.
– SUNDAY, January 21: OFF. The three best letters on the road. The Patriots are in the AFC Championship game and my family is coming in from Boston for the weekend. There won’t be any press releases written. There will be a Ryan Hamilton in depth feature posted though, so keep an eye out.
– MONDAY, January 22, 8:30 a.m.: After shaking out the cobwebs and hopefully beaming from a Patriots win, it’s off to practice in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, former home of the Chicago Express (RIP). After practice, everyone has the afternoon and evening to themselves. I’m usually in charge of finding the food.
– TUESDAY, January 23, 8:30 a.m.: Bus to Hoffman Estates for morning skate. It’s unusual to not have morning skate in the same building as the game rink, but I like the fact we’re setting up home base in Greater Chicago. Grab a bite to eat, post some interviews, and get ready for the night.
– TUESDAY, January 23, 3 p.m.: Bus to Rockford, Illinois. It’s about an hour to 75 minute drive to Rockford. The Condors just beat the IceHogs in overtime last week. It’ll be the close of a lengthy trip.
– WEDNESDAY, January 7 a.m.: Bus to O’Hare, get on the plane, get back to LAX. Two games against the Gulls await before a four-day All-Star Break.
Hopefully, the plane has six points in the luggage.
Until next time Condorstown…
*If you didn’t pick up on the fact that your passport/license is your most important document on the road, then consider yourself educated*
Ryan Holt aka Holty is the Voice of the Condors in his 7th season. He will have AT LEAST one Italian Beef this week. Follow him on Twitter @CondorsHolty for more nonsense and updates from the road or shoot him an e-mail to RHolt@bakersfieldcondors.com with questions, comments, or blog ideas.