A few news and notes, now that I'm back in Kato ...
Former Minnesota State captain and standout forward David Backes on Monday was named to the U.S. National Team's orientation camp that will help determine next winter's Olympic Team. The camp is scheduled to take place at the end of August near Washington, D.C. Backes, the St. Louis Blues' captain, played for Team USA in the 2010 Winter Games, helping that team to a silver medal. There has been talk in the Twitter world that Backes might be a candidate for a captain's spot at the February games in Sochi, Russia.
Meanwhile, several other MSU alumni were in Mankato on Monday for the annual Dan Meyer Blue Line Club Golf Classic. The group included NHLers Ryan Carter and Tim Jackman. Other former players present included Andy Hedlund, Aaron Forsythe, Justin Martin, B.J. Anderson, Todd Kelzenberg, R.J. Linder, Brian Kilburg and Matt Tyree. Read more about their visit in my Free Press column here. As I wrote in the column, Mavericks coach Mike Hastings had some high praise for the alumni who came back for the event.
Finally, if you've taken a peek at MSU's roster for the upcoming season, you may have noticed that Charlie Thauwald's name was missing. Thauwald, the Rochester native and walk-on who would be a junior, is transferring to Division III Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The Blugolds won the national title at that level last year, so he's going to a good program. Watching him in practice the last two years, I think he will be an absolute beast in that league. Thauwald played in just eight games for the Mavericks, one last season.