Van carrying Wild’s equipment catches fire

A van carrying equipment for the Minnesota Wild caught fire on

Friday and left the team scrambling ahead of its game Saturday

against the Ottawa Senators.

The fire occurred following the team’s afternoon practice at

the Kanata Recreation Center in Ottawa.

“There was a fire in an equipment van in the parking lot at

Scotiabank Place this afternoon. No one was injured, but some of

the Minnesota Wild’s hockey equipment was damaged,” the team said

in a statement. “The Wild is in the process of taking inventory to

determine the damage to the equipment.”

The team said that goaltender Nicklas Backstrom’s equipment

was destroyed.

The team added that its game against Ottawa on Saturday would

be played as scheduled, and according to the Wild’s Web site,

assistant equipment manager Brent Proulx was to return to Minnesota

to retrieve new equipment.

A plane scheduled to carry the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks home

after their game at Cleveland on Friday night will take Proulx and

two assistants back to Minnesota. The trio will then accompany the

gear to Ottawa on Saturday morning.

“I’ve never heard of anything like this in my life,” Wild

winger Martin Havlat told the Ottawa Sun. “When I first heard about

it, I thought it was some kind of a joke.”

The Wild beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 on Thursday night

and had traveled to Ottawa ahead of their game against the Senators

on Saturday.