Monday, June 30, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Catching Up With The Outgoing Scoreboard

Photo: Tim Nelson/MPR
In the wake of today's announcement that the Xcel Energy Center will be getting a new high-definition scoreboard for next season, the Team of 18,001 was able to get a few minutes of time with the outgoing scoreboard, before it departed the Twin Cities.

Ehrhoff vs Niskanen

Matt Niskanen (left) and Christian Ehrhoff (right) battle for the puck back in 2011.
Photo: Glenn James/Getty Images
With free agency set to open tomorrow at 11, there has been a lot of speculation about the Wild possibility signing a defenseman. Michael Russo has been reporting for the past few days that the Wild have been in touch with Matt Niskanen's agent, fueling the speculation that Niskanen could wind up in Minnesota next year.

Vanek Watch: Meeting In Minnesota

Photo: Dan Hickling/Olean Times Herald
Last night in an effort to gage Thomas Vanek's interest in joining the Minnesota Wild, Chuck Fletcher and Mike Yeo reportedly sat down with the former Gophers winger.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A New Face In The State Of Hockey: Pavel Jenys

Photo: Kometa Brno
Pavel Jenys
192 lbs
Shoots: Left
Born: April 2, 1996
Birthplace: Brno, Czech Republic

With their final pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the Minnesota Wild used their seventh round pick to select center Pavel Jenys from the Czech Republic.

A New Face In The State of Hockey: Reid Duke

Reid Duke
190 lbs
Shoots: Right
Born: January 28, 1996
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

With their last pick in the sixth round, the Wild drafted Reid Duke, a center who plays for Lethbridge of the WHL.

A New Face In The State Of Hockey: Chase Lang

Chase Lang
183 lbs
Shoots: Right
Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Nanaimo, Britsh Columbia, Canada
Acquired: Drafted in the 6th round (167th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft

With their second sixth round pick, the Wild drafted Chase Lang, a right winger from the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL.

A New Face In The State of Hockey: Pontus Sjalin

Pontus Sjalin
Shoots: Left
168 lbs
Born: June 12, 1996
Birthplace: Sweden
Acquired: Drafted in the 6th round (160th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft

With the first of their three sixth round picks in the draft, the Wild selected little known Pontus Sjalin, a defenseman from Sweden.

A New Face In The State Of Hockey: Tanner Faith

Tanner Faith
212 lbs
Shoots: Left
Born: October 5, 1995
Birthplace: Wilcox, Saskatchewan, Canada
Acquired: Drafted in the 5th round (139th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft

With their fifth round selection, the Wild drafted Tanner Faith, a defenseman from Kootenay in the WHL.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A New Face In The State of Hockey: Kaapo Kahkonen

Kaapo Kahkonen
200 lbs
Catches: Left
Born: August 16, 1996
Birthplace: Helsinki, Finland
Acquired: Drafted in the 4th round (109th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft

With their second pick of the afternoon, Minnesota selected goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen out of Finland. He played for the Blues Under-20 team in the Finnish Elite League, and also played for Team Finland in the World Junior Championship Under-18 tournament.

A New Face In The State of Hockey: Louis Belpedio

Louis Belpedio
190 lbs
Shoots: Right
Born: May 14, 1996
Birthplace: Skokie, Illinois
Acquired: Drafted in 3rd round (80th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft

After trading back one spot (79th to 80th), Minnesota's first pick of the morning was defenseman Louis Belpedio from the United States Development Team.

Friday, June 27, 2014

A New Face In The State Of Hockey: Alex Tuch

Alex Tuch standing between Guy Lapointe (left) and Brent Flahr (right).
Photo: Bill Streicher/USA Today
Alex Tuch
215 lbs
Shoots: Right
Born: May 10, 1996
Birthplace: Baldwinsville, NY
Acquired: Drafted in the 1st round (18th Overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft

Tonight, the Minnesota Wild watched as Alex Tuch, a player highly coveted on their draft board, fell to them at the 18th pick. Chuck Fletcher received a few calls from other teams as to if he wanted to trade back in the first round, but with Tuch available, he declined and took the Boston College winger.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Round One Targets

Photo: @pdecarl
Tomorrow, the Wild hold the 18th overall pick in the NHL Draft. Here are the five most players Minnesota should draft when they are on the clock:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Draft Day Trades

Photo: Getty Images
A big reason for draft day being one of the most exciting days of the year: the trades.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Time To Sign Iginla?

Photo: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
With winger Jarome Iginla likely headed to free agency on July 1, there became a bit of speculation as to if the Wild should go after their number one nemesis in franchise history (Iginla has the most points by any opposing player against the Wild).

The Best Draft In Wild History

Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
The label of "best draft in Wild history" was not an easy one to determine.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Trade Destinations For Niklas Backstrom

Photo: Dennis Wierzbicki/USA Today
Today, Mr Russo of the Star Tribune is reporting that the Wild are shopping Niklas Backstrom to various teams. In the story Russo says that the Wild would be willing to retain some of Backstrom's salary to see if they can get a taker.

The Worst Draft In Wild History

Photo: Sara Davis/Getty Images
When looking to determine what draft year was the "worst" in Wild history, one did not have to look beyond the Doug Risebrough era to find a winner. The Wild had hit on its first round draft picks from 2000-03 (Gaborik, Koivu, Bouchard, and Burns), but then could not hit on any between 2004-08.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

2014-15 Schedule Release

Photo: Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune
In the least televised schedule release you will ever see, the NHL and its 30 clubs released the full schedule for the 2014-15 season.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Should Minnesota Trade For Dan Boyle?

Photo: Robert Stanton/USA Today
Today in the latest chapter of Garth Snow's book "How to destroy an organization", Pierre LeBrun dropped this piece of info on what the Islanders are planning on doing with impending free agent defenseman Dan Boyle:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Minnesota's Outdoor Game Likely On Hold Until 2015-16

Craig Leipold (left) is not thumbs up right now if the reports are true. Photo: ESPN
Early in January, the Wild's hopes of landing a Winter Classic in the distant future looked dim. It still is a dim outlook for that event. So not too long after the Wild missed out on the 2015 Winter Classic, Owner Craig Leipold quickly changed his tune on landing a WC and expressed interest in hosting a Stadium Series game for 2014-15 after seeing the great results from the 2013-14 games.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

No Need For An Amnesty

Photo: Mike Carlson/Getty Images
When the clock strikes midnight tonight, the NHL's amnesty buyout window officially opens. While some teams appear to be destined to use one (Buffalo-Ville Leino, San Jose-Martin Havlat, New York-Brad Richards), the Minnesota Wild strike a curious case as they have one amnesty left.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

2013-14 Season In Review: Mikko Koivu

Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today
Looking back at the Captain's season.

2013-14 Season In Review: Zach Parise

Photo: Getty Images
A look back at Captain America's season.

2013-14 Season In Review: Ryan Suter

Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today
Your average hockey player plays around 18-20 minutes a night. Ryan Suter has that accomplished at the end of two periods. Lets review his season.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

2013-14 Season In Review: Ilya Bryzgalov

Photo: Matt Kartozian/USA Today
Ilya Bryzgalov turned out to be a good trade deadline acquisition for the Wild.

2013-14 Season In Review: Jason Pominville

Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today
The Mayor of Goalinville, Jason Pominville.

Monday, June 9, 2014

2013-14 Season In Review: Josh Harding

Photo: Michael Martin/Getty Images
Josh Harding was playing as good as any goalie in hockey through December. Sadly, we never saw him after the calendar flipped to 2014.

2013-14 Season In Review: Mikael Granlund

Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Mikael Granlund's second season in Minnesota was far more successful than his first. Lets review.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

2013-14 Season In Review: Jonas Brodin

Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
At one point this year, he was Jonas Brodin, "Goal Scoring Machine". Lets take a look back.

2013-14 Season In Review: Charlie Coyle

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
A look back at Charlie (or more commonly known as Chahlie, in Massachusetts) Coyle's 2013-14 season.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

2013-14 Season In Review: Darcy Kuemper

Photo: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA Today
If any one player had more to do with saving the Wild season, it was Darcy Kuemper. Lets look back at his 2013-14 campaign.

2013-14 Season In Review: Nino Niederreiter

Photo: Paul Bereswill/Getty Images
A review of Nino Niederreiter's first season in Minnesota.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

2013-14 Season In Review: Dany Heatley

Photo: Ben Garvin/Pioneer Press
No 50 in '07 repeat for the All-Star this year. Lets see how it really went.

2013-14 Season In Review: Marco Scandella

Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today
Marco Scandella was kept down in the AHL in 2012-13. He got his shot with the Wild this year, and did not disappoint. Lets take a look back.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

2013-14 Season In Review: Matt Cooke

Photo: Harry How/Getty Images
A look back at Matt Cooke's first season in Minnesota.

2013-14 Season In Review: Kyle Brodziak

Photo: John Autey/Pioneer Press
Its everyone's favorite scapegoat, Kyle Brodziak. Lets see how his season went.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

2013-14 Season In Review: Justin Fontaine

Photo: Mike Carlson/Getty Images
The former UMD Bulldog, Justin Fontaine, made his Wild debut this season and managed to stay with the club for the entire year. Lets take a look back.

2013-14 Season In Review: Niklas Backstrom

A summary of Backstrom's season in one photo. Photo: USATSI
Hey remember Niklas Backstrom, the franchise's leader in most goaltender categories? Lets look back at his shortened season.

Monday, June 2, 2014

2013-14 Season In Review: Clayton Stoner

Photo: John Autey/Pioneer Press
Reviewing the 2013-14 season for defenseman Clayton Stoner

2013-14 Season In Review: Matt Moulson

Photo: Getty Images
The Wild made another splash this year at the trade deadline when they brought in winger Matt Moulson from Buffalo.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

2013-14 Season In Review: Stephane Veilleux

Photo: Marilyn Indahl/USA Today
A look back at the season for Steve Veilleux, who has played the eighth most games in franchise history.

2013-14 Season In Review: Keith Ballard

Photo: Paul Bereswill/Getty Images
A look back at the season for former Gopher Keith Ballard.