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MINNESOTA WILD 20TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE ISSUE Volume XLVIX Number 4 Issue 1281

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Wild celebrates 20th season

IN THIS ISSUE How it all began ... pg. 10 Bob Naegele, Jr., captained the ship ... pg. 12 Wild trivia: 20 question from 20 years ... pg. 13

The Wild Top 20 of all time ... pg. 16 The Wild dream team ... pg. 18 Minnesotans who have played for the Wild ... pg. 19

Wild draft history ... pg. 20 Remembering “The Goal”... pg. 21 Wild about the Wild ... pg. 30

SUMMER HOCKEY TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT BEGINNERS | ROOKIES | MITES | SQUIRTS | PEEWEES | BANTAMS | HIGH SCHOOL full brochure inside - register online @

www.mnmadehockeytraining.com


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www.stateofhockey.com

Let’s Play Hockey

2020-2021 MINNESOTA WILD

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All Minnesota Wild games are available on KFAN 100.3 FM. Any preempted contests will be heard on KOOL 108 FM or KTLK 1130 AM.

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All times central. Game dates & times subject to change. For the latest game information, visit wild.com.

Stream Wild games live on your mobile device with the FOX Sports GO app. Download the app and take FOX Sports North and Wild hockey with you wherever you GO.

7:00

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20 years of partnership

The Minnesota Wild wish to thank our 20 year corporate partners and suite holders

20 year suite holders Allianz Andersen Corporation Carlson Delta Air Lines

Suite 62, LLC. Ecolab FOX Sports North General Mills Grand Casino Hinckley

Hubbard Broadcasting Cumulus Radio RBC Global Asset Management Securian Financial Group SKB Enviromental

Carl Bolander & Sons Star Tribune Media Company Target Corporation Thomson Reuters Corporation

Treasure Island Resort & Casino U.S. Bank Wells Fargo Bank Xcel Energy


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Hockey A tradition like no other.

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Let’s Play Hockey

A new era for the Wild faithful

by BRYAN ZOLLMAN

Let’s Play Hockey Publisher

Let’s Play Hockey founder Bob Utecht coined the phrase that is now said in just about every hockey arena throughout the Midwest before the puck drops. “LET’S PLAY HOCKEY!” And finally we are playing hockey again. The Minnesota Wild has been playing for the past 20 years. It doesn’t seem that long ago when Bob Naegele, Jr., held up a copy of Let’s Play Hockey with the headline “Hockey’s Back!” announcing St. Paul would be the new home of an expansion NHL franchise. At the time the Wild weren’t born yet. They were like a child still in the womb without a name. Naegele and company (and there were a lot of them that former

LPH publisher Doug Johnson points out in this issue) set the course for a successful franchise that continues to thrive 20 years later. Like any other Minnesota franchise, or any franchise for that matter, the Wild has gone through some ups and downs. We have seen coaches and general managers come and go, we have seen our favorite players move on to other teams, and we have seen some good teams not live up to playoff expectations. We have also witnessed some great players hit the ice and electrify the 18,000 Wild faithful on any given night. And that’s the beauty of hockey. You just never know what you are going to witness on any given night. It might be a highlight reel goal, it might be two guys dropping their gloves, or it might be a overtime winner. As we look back on 20 years of the Wild we do so with great pride for our hometown hopefuls. No, we haven’t hoisted a Stanley Cup yet, but the future looks bright, and as we have seen in the

past several years with the Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues, that any team who makes the playoffs has a chance to compete for the game’s grandest prize. This year brings lots of optimism. We have a new general manager in Bill Guerin who has successfully built a strong on-ice product. We have a new coach who is highly regarded by his players and who no doubt will earn the trust of fans as a no-nonsense leader. We have the captainship of Jared Spurgeon, a sixth-round draft pick who has emerged as one of the Wild’s all-time best players and is now their locker room leader. We have the emergence of Kevin Fiala, who at times does things on the ice we haven’t seen since the days of Marian Gaborik. And we have the arrival of Kirill Kaprizov, the highly touted Russian who has already been turning heads in training camp with his playmaking skills, speed and scoring ability. Excitement for this year’s team should be at an all-time high. We have a strong mix of veterans and youth. We

have size and speed. Our defensive core can play both ends of the ice. We are a heckuva a lot faster, something we have lacked in years past. Quite simply, we are better than we were a year ago, three years ago and five years ago. And with guys like Matt Boldy and Marco Rossi waiting in the wings, we will only get better with time. The Wild turning 20 is almost a rite of passage. We are no longer the new franchise on the block. We have been here, we just haven’t done that. The next three to five years presents a window for the Wild to make that run Wild fans have been anticipating. The pieces of the puzzle are laid out before us. The hope is that it all comes together to create that visual we all yearn to see – Parise, Suter, Spurgeon and company hoisting that Cup as they circle the Xcel ice to the roar of the Wild faithful. The puck dropped on Thursday marking a new era for the Wild, an era we hope brings success to the State of Hockey that we haven’t seen before.

Minnesota Wild Reverse Retro Jersey now available

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The National Hockey League (NHL) and adidas unveiled the adidas Reverse Retro ADIZERO Authentic jerseys for all 31 NHL teams, including the Minnesota Wild, marking the first time in League history that all 31 teams have participated in a Leaguewide alternate jersey program. The Minnesota Wild Reverse Retro Jersey is a unique combination of the North Stars’ 1978 jersey with the current Minnesota Wild crest. This Reverse Retro jersey is the first time the beloved North Stars green and gold colorway has been worn by the Minnesota Wild, complete with era-specific drop-shadow numbers. Legends in the North Stars organization including Mike Modano wore these colors while playing in the Twin cities. Each team will wear the adidas Reverse Retro ADIZERO Authentic jersey in multiple games during the 2020-21 NHL season with special head-to-head matchups featuring exciting and renewed rivalries – both old and new – the league will announce at a later date.

“We are thrilled that our Reverse Retro adidas jersey honors Minnesota’s first NHL team, the North Stars. While we’ve worked hard to build a distinct brand for the Wild, we have always looked for creative and appropriate ways to recognize the North Stars’ history in the State of Hockey,” said John Maher, Senior Brand Advisor. “We understand that many of our fans’ first NHL experience was cheering on the green and gold. These Reverse Retro games will be a fun accompaniment to the coming season.” The adidas Reverse Retro program creates a new formula to showcase the passion of the fans. The overarching design theme during adidas’ two-year-long process was to mine each team’s jersey archive and team colors, remixing them to create something new and never seen before. With that in mind, adidas created uniquely distinct and desirable jerseys that incorporated inverted team colors. Fans can order the new Minnesota Wild adidas Reverse Retro ADIZERO Authentic jersey online at hockeylodge.com and at both Min-

nesota Wild Hockey Lodge stores located at Xcel Energy Center and Southdale Mall. Customized jerseys will require additional processing time, depending on the order. The Minnesota Wild Hockey Lodge locations are also carrying the Reverse Retro design in knit hats and hoodies. A limited-edition ’47 branded baseball hat, designed by Wild forward Zach Parise, featuring the North Stars colors is also available online and in stores now.

Our PPar ar tner artner tnerss

Let’s Play Hockey 13 7th Street S. Let’sCentre, Play Hockey Sauk MN 56378 13 7th(320) Street S, phone: 333-3279 Sauk Centre, MN 56378 E-mail: bryan@letsplayhockey.com

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covering Let’s Pall laylevels Hockey (LPH)LPH is isa published newspaper deof hockey. 21 times Laura Bromenshenkel, David Terry voted to covering of hockey. LPH advertisis pubper year. Deadlinesallforlevels news and camera-ready lished 21Mondays times per year. Deadlines for news and ing are preceding each issue. Advertisements Assistant Editor Columnists camera-ready are office Mondays to be typeset advertising must be in LPH by thepreceding preceding Beth Kurtt Jack Blatherwick, Kevin Hartzell, each issue. Advertisements to be typeset must be Friday. All editorial copy, advertisements and photos reJohn Russo in LPH office by the preceding Friday. All editorial main the property of LET’S PLAY HOCKEY. LPH reserves Columnists the copy, and photos remain propJack Blatherwick, Kevin Hartzell, John Russo rightadvertisements to edit submitted stories and letters to thethe editor for Contributors ertylength, of Letgrammar, ’s Play H ockey. LPH punctuation andreserves clarity. the right to Dan Bauer, Tim Kolehmainen, Josh Levine, edit submitted stories andissues lettersmay to be the editor for Contributors Additional copies or back purchased by Mark Lichtenfeld, Kim McCullough, grammar, punctuation and clarity. inquiries, sending $3 to the LPH office. Send subscription Dan Bauer, Tim Kolehmainen, Josh Levine, Mark length, Andy Ness, Tearse, Andrew Vitalis, Additional copies orpayments back issues Lichtenfeld, KimHal McCullough, Andy Ness, Hal Tearse, address changes and/or to: may be purchased sending Pete Vitalis, Waggoner, Shafin Kahn LET’SbyPLAY Andrew Pete Waggoner HOCKEY $3 to the LPH office. Send subscription inquiries, address changes and/or 13 7th Street S. payments to: Photography Photography Sauk Centre, MN 56378 Susan McPherson, Nayman, HOCKEY or callPLAY (320) 333-3279 with questions. Susan McPherson, GregGreg Nayman, Mike Thill, Christine LET’S MikeNick Thill,Wosika Christine Wisch, 13 7th Street S. Wisch, Sauk Centre, MN 56378 Nick Wosika or call (320) 333-3279 with questions.

The opinions expressed in LET’S PLAY HOCKEY are not The opinions expressed in LET’S PLAY necessarily those of Let’s Play Hockey or Z Media, HOCKEY not necessarily those of Let’s Inc., but of theare individual columnists themselves. Play Hockey or Z Media, Inc., but of the indiNo articles or features may be reproduced without columnists themselves. thevidual permission of the publisher or the editor of Let’s Play No articles or features may be reproHockey.

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Inside Minnesota Hockey www.minnesotahockey.org

Minnesota Hockey, an affiliate of USA Hockey, is the governing body of youth and amateur hockey in Minnesota and the premier developer of hockey players in the state. With over 67,000 registered players and coaches, it is the largest state governing body for amateur hockey in the United States.

Minnesota Wild living State of Hockey motto This season marks the 20th season of the Minnesota Wild. It’s a milestone worth celebrating, not just because we love supporting our hometown team and are grateful to have NHL hockey here, but the impact the franchise has had on hockey in Minnesota over that time is incredible and worth celebrating. Since Day 1, the Wild have used the slogan State of Hockey as a way to connect with the history and heritage of hockey in Minnesota. It’s a fitting tagline given the immense hockey culture, sheer numbers of participation and passion for the game that extends from first year players to NHL alumni. Yet, it’s never been just a marketing gimmick. It’s a true to the core, fundamental creed of how the organization operates, and hockey in Minnesota has been the beneficiary. Minnesota Wild President Matt Majka, who has been with the organization since its inception, eloquently provided insight into their mindset in an interview with Sports Illustrated last year: “The Wild is a part of the State of Hockey, but it’s not the end-all, be-all. After 20 years, we’re still kind of earning our place in the State of Hockey’s history, and that’s OK. We’re here to be stewards for the sport, to grow the sport and to celebrate the sport.” To say they have been and continue to be stewards of the game is an understatement. The Xcel Energy Center, masterfully decorated by curator and historian Roger Godin, serves as a cross between the Wild’s home arena and a museum of Minnesota hockey history, showcas-

ing everything from Minnesota Hockey youth state champions to high school hockey jerseys and state tournament relics to Hobey Baker Award winners and much more. The Minnesota Wild Foundation has provided millions of dollars in funding and support for youth and disabled hockey programs and hockey related charities through game day programs, 50/50 raffles, and grants. The Wild’s on-going support of disabled hockey in Minnesota has helped not only provide people with physical and developmental disabilities the opportunity to experience the game but lift them up and celebrate them through

events like Disabled Hockey Night and hosting the NHL Sled Classic in 2017. Through partnerships with leaders in the hockey community, the Wild have also played a role in elevating the sport’s biggest games and events, such as the State High School Hockey Tournament and college hockey conference tournaments, to an even grander stage, helping inspire the next generation of players. In partnership with Fox Sports

Minnesota Wild living State of Hockey motto continued on page 25

Backyard Rink powers college hockey’s top scorer by TYLER MASON The skills that Quinnipiac senior Odeen Tufto have exhibited this year as college hockey’s leading scorer are the culmination of years of hard work. Some of the credit, Tufto says, belongs to countless winter hours spent skating on his family’s backyard rink. His father, Kris, built a backyard rink at their Chaska home every winter for nearly two decades so his two boys – Odeen and his other brother Andy – could fine-tune their skills. Like so many other youth hockey players in the state, skating outdoors was a big part of Tufto’s childhood and his development as a player. “When I look back, it helped me grow so much,” said Tufto, captain of

the Bobcats. “I think as a Minnesota kid, there’s nothing better than being out on the pond or the backyard rink on a winter night.”

and laying down the tarp and setting all that stuff up,” Tufto said. “It was kind of all worth it when the ice was ready to go.”

Building with Anticipation As the temperature got colder each year, the Tufto boys would wait with anticipation until it was finally time to get the rink set up. Once the time came, the building process began with laying down tarps, setting up boards and flooding the rink with a hose. Kris enlisted help from his sons, who had to put in a bit of work on the rink before they could enjoy the fruits of their labor. “Obviously as a kid you didn’t really love to do that, but it was definitely worth it, putting the nails in the boards

Popular Hangout The Tufto rink became a popular one in the neighborhood. Many of Andy’s friends would often come over to skate, meaning Odeen was often playing against older competition. Eventual college and pro players like Shane Gersich, Tyler Nanne, Joey Marooney and more were regulars at the rink. So, too, was Odeen, who learned a lot from facing players a few years older than him.

Tufto

continued on page 44

Establishing your sports recognition program

It’s no secret that everyone likes a little recognition, and for kids, it can be a determining factor when deciding to stay with a sport or not. A recent survey of parents conducted by TNS Worldwide reported that more than 76 percent of parents support recognizing a player’s contribution and participation. Parents also said that feedback from the coach was a key component of their child’s sports experience. Below are tips for starting or enhancing your youth sports recognition program: • Look to the end of the season first – Determine what type of recognition program you want. Check and see if your sponsoring organization provides trophies or ribbons, and if so, how and when you will receive them. Be sure that you will have them well in advance of the season’s end. • Make Notes  – At the start of the season, keep a log via a notebook or smart phone with notes on each player’s progress.  These notes will become helpful at the end of the season when recognizing each individual player for their effort and improvement throughout the season. • Catch Them in Action – Ask parents to catch “action” photos of each player. Have them print out the best shots. Distribute the photos with their award. • Make it an Event  – Plan an end of season event. This is a great way for a non-coaching parent to get involved.  Whether pizza or potluck, visit Pinterest. com and search “end of season party” or the name of your sport for great ideas.  Be sure to ask (or assign) families to bring an item. • Be Specific – Have a plan for each child. Don’t wing it. Determine how each player contributed to the team. Be specific. Instead of saying “you worked hard,” point out something specific to each child such as “your batting average improved” or “your ball handling skills and assists increased.” This is the difference between giving a participation award and a recognition award.  • Recognize Regularly  – Remember to make recognition a part of every practice and game/match/event. Point out positive traits, new skills learned and good sportsmanship. Make your specific comments, not a blanket statement. Using the tips above will make your player’s experience, and your coaching tenure, something that you will both remember for years to come. We are more than happy to help you select the appropriate items to help recognize your team! Viking Trophies is the official awards supplier of Minnesota Hockey. For more information on how to recognize the members of your program, contact Joe Sanders at joe@vikingtrophies.com

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With Wild skating coach, little things mean a lot Andy Ness is a product of the state of hockey, and is focused on helping his team win by BRYAN ZOLLMAN

Let’s Play Hockey Publisher

When fans attend a Wild game or watch them on television they see the players at their very best. What they don’t see is the work that goes on behind the scenes. The Wild has several employees who work with players in practice settings for a variety of reasons – strength and conditioning, injury rehabilitation, and, amongst others, skating. Skating is the primary tool for most successful hockey players, which is why Andy Ness’ role as the team’s skating instructor is crucial to the team’s success. “Speed is such a huge part of the game,” said Ness, who is in his eighth year coaching Wild players on the finer points of edge work. “It has improved so much over the years.” It wasn’t long ago when scouts were looking for the bigger, more physical players while passing by on the 5’8” speedsters. Back then Ness might have been out of a job. But times, and the game, has changed. It’s been for the better from a fan standpoint. Rather than the clutching and grabbing fans became accustomed to, they are now treated to a more open-ice game where speed and skill have taken over. “Everyone can skate now,” said Ness. “The speed of the game has gotten so much better. It is such a fast game.” Ness, like several other Wild employees, is a product of the State of Hockey, having grown up in St. Paul where he attended Hill-Murray High School before eventually attending and playing hockey at Augsburg University. He learned the tricks of his trade from his mother, Diane Ness, a Minnesota skating icon who has been training youth, high school, college and professional players for decades. “She’s still doing it,” said Andy. “I remember going to all the rinks with her. It was a lot of fun being able to skate with the older guys and seeing how she taught. I grew up in the skating world.” When Ness started with the Wild he worked just one day a week, but his position grew to a full-time gig about eight years ago. He does most of his coaching at TRIA Rink and works mainly with players who are coming back from an

injury or young players looking for extra work. This year he will work with the team’s taxi squad. Due to COVID-19, each NHL team will have players “on ice” to be ready to go in case players on the roster have to be quarantined. “I’m sort of like a Swiss-army knife,” he said. “I do whatever the Wild needs me to do.” The drills he runs with players vary and depends on if he is working with defensemen, forwards, or perhaps a player rehabilitating a specific injury. “Our drills are specific,” he said. “With defensemen we do a lot of edge work, transition work and retrievals. With forwards we focus on a lot of agility work as well as zone entries where they have to move laterally and cut with the puck. We work on tight turns and turning on the wall with the puck. Just fundamentals, things like getting low and absorbing a bump.” When not working with Wild players (he also works with the team’s minor league squad in Iowa), he works with youth players at his Pro Edge Power Hockey Camps with his mom. There, the drills are equally focused on edge control, balance and core control, knee bend or base, and push direction, the same as when he teaches the professional skaters. He will also work on some of the other little things that can make a difference not just in a player’s game but in the team’s overall success. “I’ll hammer a slapper, and a winger will pull the puck off the wall and either chip it, cut or make a play,” he said, describing one of the dozens of drills he runs with players. “At the higher levels you just take it up a notch and implement it into a game situation. And the guys are always attentive and wanting to learn and get better.” The average fan may not pick up on a lot of the minor techniques that Ness teaches that could play a pivotal role in the outcome of a game. The right retrieval or tight turn could be the difference in winning a loose puck battle. That loose puck battle can turn into drawing a penalty. That penalty can turn into a power play and that power play can turn into a goal. That goal can change a game and that game can change a season. That’s why behind-the-scenes coaches like Andy Ness are an important cog in the Wild machine.

Andy Ness (left) works with Wild players daily during the season, focusing on skating and skills work. Ness is a St. Paul native who played hockey at Augsburg University.

Minnesota Wild skating and skills coach Andy Ness goes over a drill on the white board with players during a recent workout at TRIA Rink.

What to expect: • spring sport friendly • 3 tournaments • 30 hours practice

Andy Ness demonstrates a drill during a workout at TRIA Rink. Ness is in his eighth year as a skating and skills coach with the Wild.

Located at: Minnesota Made Ice Center 7300 Bush Lake Road Edina, MN 55439


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The early days by STEVE CARROLL It seemed like it took forever for the NHL to return to Minnesota after the North Stars bolted from Bloomington in 1993. Actually, it was only four long years before the league announced that a new NHL franchise would be located in the State of Hockey. The yet to be named club would call St. Paul its home. A few months later, the team name was unveiled with great fanfare and the Minnesota Wild were born. For the next couple of years, the organization worked hard at building community support and getting hockey Steve Carroll fans ready for the return of pro puck. And they were excited when it came time to welcome the NHL back. The Wild’s first regular season home game was Oct. 11, 2020, against Philadelphia. The game was played in the sparkling new, state-of-the art arena, known as the Xcel Energy Center. It was built on the site of the former St. Paul Civic Center. More than 18,000 fans, many dressed in Wild jerseys, were on hand for the historic contest. As the managing editor of Let’s Play Hockey newspaper, I was among the large contingent of local, state and national media assigned to cover the game. Before the puck dropped, I wandered the spacious concourses of the new facility. So much Minnesota hockey history and memorabilia to see. Included in that impressive display were replica jerseys from high school hockey teams across the state. A nice salute to an important part of our hockey culture. As game time approached, I made my way to the Al Shaver Press Box, appropriately named after the long-time, legendary announcer for the North Stars. My assigned seat was a long way from the ice, but the large center ice video board and multiple TVs nearby made it easy to follow the action. The Wild skated to a 3-3 tie in the home opener, with easily the highlight of the game coming from Richfield, Minn., star Darby Hendrickson. He electrified the crowd late in the first period when he scored the first goal at the X in team history. It was fun to interview Hendrickson and other members of the team after the game. They were all so excited about being part of Minnesota hockey history. But as the inaugural season rolled on, wins were hard to come by for the new kids on the block. The team finished that first season with a record of 25-39-13-5. The 68 points they earned are second fewest in team history. During that 2000-2001 season, local hockey fans also quickly became familiar with the neutral zone trap, a defensive style of play made famous Jacques Lemaire, the Wild’s first coach. It meant for many low scoring games, with limited number of shots on goal by both teams. While the system was designed to increase a team’s chances of winning, it made it particularly difficult to select the three stars after each home game, which was what I was often assigned to help with. How do you pick three stars in a 2-1 game, where each team had fewer than 20 shots on goal? Did the goal scorers always get recognized? No, that didn’t happen. What I learned to do was consider all the players for the three-star recognition, looking for the little things or intangibles they did during a game, in addition to the obvious goal scorers and stand-out netminders. While I no longer cover the team, it’s been interesting to observe the strategies of the GMs, styles of the coaches, and skills of the players through the years. It’s been a roller coaster ride for sure, with some Wild teams doing better than others in their 10 playoff appearances. Wild faithful are ready for the organization to be a regular and legitimate Stanley Cup contender. As the puck drops on the team’s 20th season, I’ll be watching on a nearby TV. Much like I did in the early days. It’s great to have NHL hockey back in Minnesota. Steve Carroll was editor of Let’s Play Hockey when the Wild played their inaugural season in 2000-01. He now coaches goaltenders at Gustavus University and has run Carroll Goalie School for more than two decades. Although he doesn’t cover the Wild anymore, he still watches them faithfully. For more information on Carroll Goalie School visit www.carrollgs.com.

Marian Gaborik was the Wild’s first draft pick and energized fans with his speed and skill.

27TH L ANNUA

2021

CARROLL GOALIE SCHOOL

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January 14, 2021

Let’s Play Hockey

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How it all began › › › › › › A timeline on how the Minnesota Wild came to be by BRYAN ZOLLMAN

Let’s Play Hockey Publisher

After the North Stars left for Dallas, there was optimism that Minnesota would get an NHL team again. But nobody knew how long it would take. When the league announced expansion plans, Minnesota, specifically St. Paul, seemed like a perfect fit. At the same time the Winnipeg Jets and Hartford Whalers were looking to relocate. Would Minnesota become home to one of these franchises, or would they be awarded an expansion franchise, or would they be left out of the mix altogether? Times were tense back then as things shifted from optimism to skepticism and back to optimism. A dedicated group of people led by Bob Naegele, Jr., developed a strong plan for St. Paul. The old Civic Center needed an upgrade, so the timing was right to turn it into a legitimate NHL arena as the league was offering cities the chance to be an expansion city. Minnesota, the state of hockey, without an NHL team? It just didn’t seem right. With courage, hope, and determination, the plan to bring the NHL back to Minnesota came to fruition in 1997 when the team was awarded a franchise. Three years later the Minnesota Wild opened at the new XCEL Energy Center, and the rest is history. Twenty years later we celebrate the team that has brought so much to the State of Hockey. They have brought vibrance to a city that needed a jolt. Downtown St. Paul has thrived since the Wild first dropped the puck in 2000. Twenty years later we celebrate the Wild and for the memories they have given hockey fans. In doing so, we take a look back at how it all began. Here is a timeline on NHL hockey’s return to Minnesota.

RETURN TO MINNESOTA: A timeline, according to Let’s Play Hockey June 18, 1995: Minnesota-based BG Hockey Ventures (Richard Burke and Steven Gluckstern) are in waiting as the effort to keep the Jets in Winnipeg fades fast with only 350 new season tickets sold for the upcoming season. July 20, 1995: BG has opportunity to buy Jets; sources say they could move team to Minneapolis as early as the middle of the 1995-96 NHL season.

Aug. 10, 1995: Spirit of Manitoba’s effort to save the Jets is in jeopardy. BG Hockey Ventures will begin negotiations to buy the team and move it to Minnesota. Sept. 14, 1995: A preliminary purchase agreement for the sale of the Jets to Burke and Gluckstern has been executed, sources say. Oct. 5, 1995: The Jets will be officially sold Oct. 7, sources say. The plan is to move team to Minneapolis’ Target Center – provided a good arena deal can be made. Nashville, Tenn., is also hoping for a team and will do just about anything an ownership group wants in order to get one. Oct. 26, 1995: Minnesota Jets seems to make sense for the city and the Target Center. Meetings are planned between BG and city and arena officials to compose a deal. Nov. 2, 1995: Nashville wants Burke to move the Jets to Tennessee. Negotiations aren’t going well in Minnesota. Minneapolis budges just 3 percent on entertainment tax revenue for BG, leaving an $11.5 million revenue gap that cannot be filled in order to run a team. Nov. 9, 1995: No options are left for the Jets to strike a deal in Minneapolis, sources say. St. Paul and its Civic Center is a very slim option, but there is little time to put a deal together. Nov. 16, 1995: Target Center is ruled out for NHL hockey with its current revenue structure. The NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves get the majority of revenue streams from the facility, leaving little for a second professional sports team to get by. St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman conducts preliminary meetings about St. Paul’s chances to land the NHL, even though the town has little shot at getting the Jets. Nov. 30, 1995: Discussions take place between the Jets and St. Paul, but time is short. A final decision must be made by Dec. 1. Also, Wayne Gretzky wants out of Los Angeles; he may want to go to a team that would make him a part owner after he retires. The Jets would be ideal for The Great One, and his presence would give St. Paul a boost in its effort. Gretzky is eventually traded to St. Louis and signs in the off-season with the New York Rangers. Dec. 7, 1995: Burke says St. Paul could be do-able in the future but announces Minnesota is no longer an option for his team. There is just not enough time to work out a deal, and he must inform the NHL where he is going. He eventually moves the Jets to Phoenix to become the Coyotes. However, the Edmonton Oilers could be moving, and St. Paul, if serious, could go after them. Mayor Cole-

The Wild’s first head coach was Jacques Lemaire. Lemaire spent eight seasons as the Wild bench boss. He finished with a record of 293-255-55 and a .529 winning percentage.

Bob Naegele, Jr., played an instrumental role in helping bring the Wild franchise to St. Paul. man is the key, and he’s serious about bringing NHL hockey back to Minnesota. Dec. 21, 1995: Mayor Coleman and his staff are moving along with feasibility studies. The Oilers could announce they are moving at any time. Expansion, sources say, is also an option for St. Paul. Jan. 11, 1996: A re-design of the St. Paul Civic Center is in the works. The mayor’s office calls NHL hockey in the capital city “sound policy.” A save the Oilers effort is underway in Edmonton. Jan. 18, 1996: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is impressed by Coleman and St. Paul’s initial effort. March 6, 1996: St. Paul has a window of opportunity. The Oilers situation is still a question mark, and talk of expansion is still in the air. April 11, 1996: St. Paul has put itself in a great position for landing the NHL. Coleman has been doing an outstanding job. And remodeling the Civic Center is highly likely. Edmonton seems ready to move. But the Hartford Whalers could be looking for a new home too. June 20, 1996: Both Edmonton and Hartford are locked into their respective arena deals for at least one more hockey season, but if either team moves after that, St. Paul is a logical destination. Expansion is talked about more and more. Fall of 1998 would be the earliest the NHL would expand. July 18, 1996: Expansion is a definite possibility for St. Paul, and Hartford seems more and more likely to move from Connecticut. Bob Naegele, Jr., is mentioned as a possible expansion ownership group member. Aug. 8, 1996: St. Paul will file an expansion application with the league, but drawing in a relocated franchise seems to be the most logical scenario for the city. Coleman is confident the arena will be renovated. Sept. 12, 1996: Coleman is counting on private-sector support to take advantage of the very real opportunity of having the NHL back in Minnesota. The Oilers situation is more secure in Edmonton, but Hartford will not be able to keep the Whalers. Oct. 3, 1996: Atlanta, Houston, Nashville and Oklahoma City have all applied for expansion. St. Paul is next. Oct. 24, 1996: A group of investors is ready to file an NHL expansion application on behalf of St. Paul. Coleman calls for City Council support. How-

– HOW IT ALL BEGAN – continued on page 11


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January 14, 2021

11

How it all began › › › › › › continued from page 10

a team immensely. But the moves to another expansion finalist. ever, all involved are still counting on having the NHL loves Coleman and March 5, 1997: Support for St. Paul continues Whalers in town in 1997. the Naegele led ownership to grow, especially at the corporate level, sources Oct. 31, 1996: The expansion application group. Local officials seem say. A bill calling for a remodeling project for the deadline is looming. St. Paul; Columbus Ohio; Rato be leaning toward expansion. Civic Center is in its early stages. leigh-Durham, N.C., and Portland, Ore., are expectJune 19, 1997: Karmanos is not interested in March 13, 1997: St. Paul is still the best choice ed to apply. waiting for a new Civic Center to be built in St. Paul for Karmanos’ team, it seems. A nine-member NHL Nov. 7, 1996: The application is in, and St. Paul and takes his team to – surprise – Raleigh-Durham. expansion committee will tour the city and the areis in great shape to get some kind of team – through But it doesn’t matter because HOCKEY’S BACK! na in a few weeks. expansion or relocation – based on its competition. St. Paul is recommended to the Board of Governors March 20, 1997: A rally is being planned in Here’s who have applied besides St. Paul: Atlanta; as one of four new franchises, along with Nashville, Rice Park for the day the committee visits MinnesoColumbus; Hamilton, Ont.; Houston (three applicaAtlanta and Columbus. The new team will take the ta. St. Paul is still awaiting word from the Whalers. tions), Northern Virginia; Oklahoma City and Raice in a new Civic Center in 2000. Nashville will March 27, 1997: St. Paul appears to be the best leigh-Durham. join the league in 1998, Atlanta in 1999 and Columplace for the Whalers’ new home, but Karmanos is Nov. 14, 1996: The NHL will begin an expanbus with Minnesota in 2000. exploring other options, like Columbus. sion review process. June 26, 1997: The Board of Governors apApril 3, 1997: The NHL committee visits St. Nov. 21, 1996: Atlanta, Houston, Nashville and proves the measure to bring the total number of Paul. St. Paul are all poised as top expansion locations. NHL teams to 30, and a season-ticket campaign is April 10, 1997: Expansion committee is imSt. Paul and Columbus are top relocation spots for underway in Minnesota. pressed by St. Paul’s package, except for one thing, the Whalers. the building. A new building – rather than a renovatDec. 5, 1996: A group representing St. Paul will ed one –would improve the town’s chances to land give a presentation to the NHL in New York Jan. 13-14, but it is possible that Hartford could make a decision by then. Dec. 12, 1996: The Whalers are in first place in the Northeast Division and need to negotiate an out clause if they leave before the completion of the 1997-98 season. Still, their arena situation is lousy, and owner Peter Karmanos, Jr., wants out or a new deal as soon as possible. Jan. 3, 1997: Karmanos: “St. Paul is my No. 1 choice,” if he can’t get a new deal in Hartford. He says he loves what Coleman has done so far. Jan. 9, 1997: The expansion group, led by Coleman, Naegele and Colorado-based attorney Jac Sperling, is ready to make a presentation to the NHL. Karmanos begins negotiating an out clause with the state of Connecticut. Jan. 16, 1997: The NHL is concerned about remodeling and revenue streams with the St. Paul Civic Center. It could be a roadblock. Jan. 23, 1997: A special NHL Board of Governors meeting has been scheduled to discuss the expansion timetable and, perhaps, the Hartford situation. St. Paul is restructuring revenue streams for a remodeled Civic Center in order to make the NHL work. Jan. 30, 1997: Coleman says the state of Minnesota must get involved in the efforts to bring NHL hockey back to Minnesota and renovating the Civic Center. Feb. 6, 1997: The Whalers are waiting for an unlikely acceptable arena deal to stay in Connecticut. St. Paul appears to have legislative support. Feb. 13, 1997: The NHL will soon eliminate cities from expansion competition. Feb. 20, 1997: St. Paul makes the first cut, along with Houston, Columbus, Atlanta, Nashville and Oklahoma City. Donate $100 or more to receive this special Herbie poster! Hartford could still come to the capital though. www.HerbBrooksFoundation.com/Donate Feb. 27, 1997: A decision on the Whalers could be made between early and mid-March. St. Paul has expansion on the back burner if Karmanos

Congratulations to the Minnesota Wild on 20 great years of hockey! Thank you for the great partnership between the Minnesota Wild and the Herb Brooks Foundation!

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January 14, 2021

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Bob Naegele, Jr., captained the ship that landed an expansion team in St. Paul by BRYAN ZOLLMAN

Let’s Play Hockey Publisher

There were many dedicated men and women who worked tirelessly to bring the Minnesota Wild franchise to fruition. But none of them worked harder, smarter and had more passion than Bob Naegele, Jr. During the process of bringing the Wild to Minnesota, Naegele was considered the go-to guy, the team captain, and he eventually became the team’s owner. A former standout goalie for Minnetonka High School, Naegele graduated from Dartmouth College in 1961 and inherited his father’s billboard company. He also owned Rollerblade for some time and word is that when he sold his stake in the company he donated all of his profits to the employees. Naegele led the ownership group that eventually brought NHL hockey back to Minnesota after the North Stars jettisoned for Dallas in 1993. It took four years for Minnesota to get a franchise when the league expanded by four teams. And Naegele was the heart and soul of that campaign. Naegele sold the Wild to current owner Craig Leopold in 2008. He passed away from cancer in 2018. He will always be beloved by the Minnesota Wild community for his selfless manner, his passion for hockey, and his love for the Minnesota Wild and their players, employees and fans. This is an article that was written by Let’s Play Hockey after Naegele and his ownership group secured the deal that landed Minnesota an expansion team that would later become the Minnesota Wild.

Team Captain Expansion owner Robert NaeAnd so far, so good. Naegele gele, Jr., worked hard to help bring says more than 8,500 people have the NHL back to Minnesota, but he put down a non-refundable, $100 knows the real work is just begindeposit on season tickets, and more ning. than 50 corporations have pledged It would be so easy to say all that they will buy luxury suites in the work is done, that after four long the new St. Paul Civic Center areyears of crossing fingers, knocking na, which will replace the current on wood and wishing on north stars, building. we can brush off our hands, look at “After two working days we a job well done and just wait until had 6,000 [season ticket] reservafall of 2000 when Minnesota’s new tions,” Naegele said. “It showed NHL team takes the ice. symbolically to the NHL that their But Robert Naegele, Jr., knows choice is vindicated and justified different. Some of the most tryand that it is something that is good ing tasks, including convincing for us as Minnesotans to have… Evthe NHL and its Board of Govereryone [who has put down a deposit] nors that the Twin Cities deserved now has something that is a symbol a second chance at housing of the moment. It’s very symone of its treasured bolic because of the teams, are commessage it sent “When you’re wild plete, but the to the NHL.” you’re more cunning than lead invesAll of a coyote, faster than a panther, tor of the that work, nameless Naegele meaner than a bruin, not intimidated Minnesoby devils, and don’t fear staring down says, is gota squad’s ing toward the eye of a hurricane.” ownership his goal of group fully being the most Bob Naegele, Jr. understands that successful team of the three years between the expansion class of now and the first training camp are 1997, a hope he says is reachable short. despite being one of the last two “The excitement is still there,” teams in. Naegele said in a phone interview “I think the timing is good beJuly 10, three weeks after the league cause we don’t have to rush into approved league expansion by four anything,” Naegele said. “We can teams (Nashville, Atlanta and Codo it with patience and deliberalumbus, Ohio, are the other cities, tion, something that Richard Burke, joining the league in 1998, 1999 and when he took the Coyotes to Phoe2000, respectively). “It’s a once-innix, didn’t have time to use. Ala-lifetime opportunity. (The excitethough he did have a great season, ment) is still fresh in our minds, but it still leaves you with some holes the immensity of the work is just when you have to move that fast beginning.” and make decisions based on when Naegele, a hard worker with a you’re only 80 percent ready and down-to-earth manner, is overseeyou have to say, ‘Let’s go.’ We have ing several team projects in the earto be more than 80 percent ready. ly going, from season-ticket sales to We’re preparing to be the best. We arena design to team nickname/logo have to get everything in place and development to a grassroots support do the little things to send the mescampaign. Hiring front office and sage that we’re going to be the best support staff will also begin soon. of his class.”

Bob Naegele, Jr., holds up a copy of Let's Play Hockey after it was announced that Minnesota was awarded an expansion franchise. Naegele led an ownership group that owned the team until 2008. He passed away in 2018. Burke, the Coyotes governor, bought the Winnipeg Jets in 1995 with the intention of moving them to Minnesota; however, financial agreements could not be met with the Target Center arena and the city of Minneapolis, and he moved the team to Phoenix. He has been instrumental in helping St. Paul’s effort to get an expansion team. The new Nashville team, meanwhile, which technically has about one year to get set, recently hired a general manager, David Poile, who was fired by the Washington Capitals in May after 15 seasons with the team. “That should have been done two months ago,” Naegele said. Another way the owner believes his team will be the best of the class, he says, is from the support he and other officials have received throughout Minnesota, as well as beyond the state’s borders. Naegele has participated in a flyaround where he and several volunteers have gone from city to city, explaining the process of bringing the NHL back to Minnesota and outlining what will take place over the next three years. The group has gone to Fargo-Moorhead, Hibbing and Duluth, to name a few cities, and plans to go to St. Cloud, Rochester, Mankato and other Midwestern towns in the future. Naegele has also spoken at one community’s Rotary Club and has done radio interviews in several towns, including Thunder Bay, Ontario, whose citizens could call the Minnesota Whatchamacallits their

home team. “We flew to Fargo-Moorhead and had to land in Moorhead because the Blue Angels were practicing in Fargo,” Naegele said. “There was one runway there on a single slab of concrete – if you missed it you were in the woods. But all the guys there that knew about the press conference in Fargo drove to Moorhead. Local MAHA guys were there, city administrators from Moorhead. Even on a terrible, rainy day when there were other things going on, there was great interest in hockey. That’s the type of support we’re seeing at the grassroots level. “We just have to continue with what we already have. We don’t need to manufacture something.” Naegele understands, however, that just a few weeks have passed since the official announcement came from the league, and he has the responsibility to keep the excitement going until a team can generate those thrills on the ice. That includes more fly-arounds when the opportunities arrive, such as when the team hires a coach, general manager or president, or when it unveils its nickname and logo, an announcement that will likely stir children’s interest in the new team. Although no date has been set for that task, Naegele said he and the ownership group is in the process of interviewing design firms to “talk about logo development and, ultimately, the name. “We have time,” he said.


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January 14, 2021

Let’s Play Hockey

HOCKEY

13

20 Questions from 20 years of Wild history

TRIVIA

Presented by Grandma’s Bakery • www.grandmasbakery.com It’s been 20 years since the puck dropped at the XCEL Energy Center on Oct. 11, 2000, for the Wild’s first home game. Since then the team has provided fans with not just memories, but TRIVIA!

Let’s test your Wild IQ. See how many of these 20 questions you can answer correctly.

1. 2. 3. 4.

Four Minnesotans were invited to the Wild’s first training camp in 2000. Who were they? Wild great Marian Gaborik was selected third overall in the NHL draft in 2000. What two players went ahead of him? Marian Gaborik had five 30-goal seasons for the Wild. One other player had three. Who was he? There were originally six names considered for Minnesota’s new NHL franchise. How many can you name?

5,.

The Wild sell out just about every game. But they don’t hold the record for highest attendance for an event held at the X. That belongs to this country music star.

6.

Bob Naegele, Jr., spearheaded the drive to bring NHL hockey back to Minnesota. Naegele was not just a lifelong hockey fan, but a former player. What Minnesota high school did he attend and what position did he play?

7. 8. 9. 10.

16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

Who was the Wild’s first round pick in 2003? What two players did the Wild acquire in the Brent Burns trade? Charlie Coyle was eventually traded as well. What team did he go to and who did the Wild get in return? Who scored the first ever regular season goal for the Wild? Who scored the first Wild goal on home ice?

Answers found on page 43

Only one Minnesota player has recorded 50 assists or more in a season. Who did it and what year? Four Minnesota players have or have had a career plus/minus rating of 50 or higher entering the 2021 season. Who are they? What goaltender holds the franchise record for most wins in a Wild sweater? This player has the most penalty minutes in franchise history and he did it in just four seasons. Who is he?

11.

In seven seasons with the Wild, this players was a captain and also is the all-time leader in “shorties.” Who is he and how many short-handed goals did he score?

12.

When the Wild was courting the NHL about an expansion team, they were also looking at the possibility of relocating one of these two franchises to Minnesota. What two franchises were they?

13. 14.

15.

The 2003 draft had been a plentiful one for the Wild. What two other Wild players were taken in the 2003 draft, what number pick were they, and what team drafted them?

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This player led the Wild with a plus/minus rating of +16 last season. Who was it? The Wild had more than 10 former first-round draft picks on last year’s team. But this player went higher than any of them. Who was he and what number overall pick was he?

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January 14, 2021

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QUESTION & ANSWER WITH DOUG JOHNSON

Former LPH publisher, Doug Johnson, recalls early days of Wild franchise night? What was that experience like? It was one of the most electric atmospheres that I had ever experienced. There were questions early on if the hockey base that supported the North Stars from the western suburbs would venture to St. Paul. That question was answered immediately with a resounding yes! With local hero Darby Hendrickson scoring the first Wild goal, you could not have written a better script. It’s already been 20 years for the Wild here in Minnesota. Looking back, please share what memories stick out to you from those early years. First of all, the people involved early on in the process to secure a team and open the inaugural season: Norm Coleman, Joe O’Neill, Richard Burke, Jac Sperling, Matt Majka, Carin Anderson (first Wild hire), Bill Robertson, Doug Risebrough, Jim Ibister, Frank Jirik, Chris Hansen, Erich Mische, Jack Larson, Kevin Falness, Jim Carroll, Roger Godin, Jim Bowers, Ray Chandler, Barry Fritz, Bob Kurtz, Tom Reid, Barry Buetel, Mike Goldberg, Laura Day, Martha Larson Fuller, Pam Wheelock, Jamie Spencer, Lou Cotroneo, Brian Hutchinson, Greg Hoyt, Jim Larson, Bob James, Dave Black, Tim Wegscheid, Bob Naegele III, and St. Paul Johnson boy’s high school team. Secondly, former Wild employees who moved onto the next level: Tod Leiweke, CEO of Seattle Kraken; Mike Nealy, Fiesta Bowl Executive Director; Bill Robertson, WCHA Commissioner; Steve Griggs, President of Tampa Bay Lightning. Lastly, a couple of off-ice and onice events: team name unveiling at Aldrich Arena; ground breaking ceremony for the new arena; opening night on Oct. 11, 2000; 2003 Playoff run; and the 2004 NHL All-Star Game. Plus, a future Stanley Cup Championship!

Let

You were close to Bob Naegele, Jr. Describe what he meant to the concerted effort of getting a franchise to Minnesota? What were some of Bob’s traits that made him the right guy to head the project? Bob is probably one of the most honest and trustworthy men I have met over the years. He never got too high or too low. He was very good at delegating and leaving the decisions up to the folks he had hired. He was never afraid to roll up his sleeves and meet with all of the fans outside gate one before every game. He never gave the inclination he was in it for the money, he truly wanted to give back to the sport and community who had been good to him over the years. There were times of optimism and skepticism during the process of getting the NHL to award Minnesota an expansion team. What do you remember about the ups and downs that went on during the process? I believe NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman never wanted to leave Minnesota in the first place. But, with the arena situation not resolved, the North Stars were forced to move to Dallas. He felt this could still be a viable market. With Mayor Coleman’s dogged pursuit, he convinced the NHL that a new building could get done and the season ticket deposit threshold would be met. What would you gauge was the collective feeling amongst the hockey community when it was announced the NHL awarded Minnesota an expansion franchise? How did it make you feel personally? Once the team was officially announced, the entire hockey community was really excited. The staff that Bob and Jac Sperling assembled was top notch and embraced the entire hockey community. The puck dropped on Oct. 11, 2000, to signal the beginning of a new era. Were you at the arena that

49

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with the Timberwolves. So the Jets landed in Phoenix. Another team that came on the radar was the Hartford Whalers. They were looking to move and there were some brief discussions – but to avail and they moved to Carolina. With the Met Center imploded on Dec. 13, 1994, what became evident was that neither the Target Center nor Civic Center could be a viable option. A new building needed to be built. This is where Coleman and St. Paul attorney Joe O’Neill went to work drumming up support from the city of St. Paul and the State of Minnesota to finance the construction of a new arena in St. Paul. What role did you play as publisher of LPH and outside your role as publisher in the process of helping the Twin Cities get an NHL franchise? Soon an expansion team became the number one option for the NHL to return to Minnesota. With connections now made at the NHL level, St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman went to work on the financial piece and putting together an ownership group. There was testimony at the State Capital on how a new arena in St. Paul would impact the community and the hockey landscape. In the beginning it was difficult to find a lead investor who wanted to put their name out in the market place and come under scrutiny from the local media. Soon Bob Naegele, Jr.’s, name came to the top of the list. Bob was a former hockey player who understood the sports landscape, overseeing the dynamic growth of Rollerblade and the National Inline Hockey Association (NIHA). I had met up with Bob at the NIHA championships in Las Vegas, and as we sat and watched a game, I told him he was the right person to lead the resurrection of NHL hockey in Minnesota. Describe those early days of the process and the challenges that were faced? The early days were the fun process for the new organization. Assembling a staff, choosing a name and logo, building a state of the art arena, selecting a general manager and coach, getting ready for an expansion draft, selling suites, tickets, club seats and sponsorships.

ck

As publisher of Let’s Play Hockey at the time, what was it like in and around the Minnesota hockey community when the North Stars left for Dallas? At the time the NHL was evolving. There was more pressure to create additional revenue streams within their current buildings. Suites were needed to be added, club seating to be built, more seats in the lower bowl, larger capacities, bigger concourses and additional restrooms. The grand Met Center needed upgrades to keep pace with other teams and cities. There were even discussions about adding a strip mall around the Met Center and building a skyway to the Mall of America. But, the entity overseeing the building did not want to move forward with renovations. There were also discussions to see if it was possible to bring the North Stars to Target Center, but that was quickly resolved when it would have been too difficult for two separate team owners to share a building and revenue streams. I believe people in the hockey community realized that most everything was done to try and save the team and its move to Dallas. How long before people started talking and working toward bringing the NHL back to Minnesota? It did not take too long for the hockey community to engage in getting the NHL to return to Minnesota. The first option was how could an existing team, who may be looking to relocate, choose Minnesota as a landing spot. The last few years of the North Stars were played in front of declining attendance. Was this an aberration or was it a sign of the times? This is what had to be figured out in order to get a team to show interest in this market. A team that came on the radar just shortly after the Stars leaving was the Winnipeg Jets. They had a local owner of the team who was familiar with the area. St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman was in hot pursuit of the Jets and a move to the St. Paul Civic Center. But soon the Civic Center faced the same challenges as the Met Center – no suites, no club seats, a small lower bowl and an aging arena. It would not work in the new NHL. There were some thoughts to see if the Jets could share the Target Center, but again they would have to share revenue streams

Years 21 ✯ 20

72


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January 14, 2021

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Minnesota Wild Top 20 players of all-time *As chosen by LPH staff

20

NO.

#47 WES WALZ

Walz was the heart and shoulders of the Wild during his tenure from 2000-2008. He eventually became captain and although he was never a player who was going to rack up the goals and assists, he brought other intangibles to the locker room and the ice. One thing he did supremely well was kill penalties and is the all-time leader in Wild history for short-handed goals with 14.

15

NO.

#24 MATT DUMBA

A first round pick in 2012 (7th overall), Dumba has been steady in all facets of the game. A gifted skater with good size and puck handling skills, he’s never afraid to jump into the play on offense. He scored 50 points at age 23. And has proven he can play in the defensive zone as well as evidenced by his +27 rating. The best is probably still yet to come for Dumba.

10

NO.

#55 NICK SCHULTZ

Perhaps one of the more underrated Wild players, Schultz had a stellar career after being drafted in the second round (33rd overall) in the 2000 NHL draft. He was the Wild’s second choice behind Marian Gaborik. Schultz would go on to play 10 seasons and 743 games in a Wild sweater, scoring 26 goals and 128 points and finishing his Wild career a plus-8.

19

NO.

#22 NINO NEIDEREITTER

Nino averaged 18 goals a season over his six-year span with the club, posting at least 20 goals in three of those seasons. A high-energy player who was known for his glass-shaking hits, Nino was a fan favorite, and was there a better name coming from the PA announcer after Nino scored? “Scoring for the Wild….# 22… Niiiiiiiinooooooooo Neidereitterrrrr!”

14

NO.

#96 PIERRE MARCBOUCHARD

Crafty. That’s the best way to describe former first-round pick Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Chosen 8th overall by the Wild in the 2002 NHL Draft, Bouchard is the only player in franchise history to record at least 50 assists in a season. He accomplished the feat in 2007-08 and is currently second in franchise history in career assists with 241. His career was cut short due to concussion-related injuries. He ranks fourth in franchise history with 347 points.

9

NO.

ANDREW BRUNETTE

He scored the most famous goal in Wild history when he beat Patrick Roy in overtime of Game 7 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was the Wild’s first trip to the playoffs and Brunette’s move to his backhand and sliding the puck home while falling over Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy is etched into Minnesota Wild fans’ memories forever. Brunette would go on to play six seasons with the Wild, scoring 119 goals, but none bigger than the one on that fateful night in Colorado.

18

NO.

#21 JONAS BRODIN

Perhaps one of the team’s most underrated players, Brodin was chosen 10th overall in the 2011 draft by the Wild. He has played second fiddle to Suter and Spurgeon, but has quietly put together a solid eight years with the club. His plus-47 rating ranks fifth in franchise history.

13

NO.

#32 NIKLAS BACKSTROM

Backstrom is the franchise leader in games (409), minutes (23,248) and wins (194). He played nine seasons for the Wild and compiled a .915 save percentage and was named to the 2009 All-Star team.

8

NO.

#46 JARED SPURGEON

The Wild’s new “captain,” Spurgeon has slowly emerged as a former sixth round draft pick by the New York Islanders to one of the more respected defensemen in the game. Entering his 11th year with the Wild, Spurgeon leads the franchise in goals by a defenseman with 82 and is second in points with 280. Small, yet crafty, and certainly tough enough to battle with anybody, Spurgeon ranks fourth in franchise history with a plus-50 rating.

17

NO.

#7 MATT CULLEN

Matt Cullen played in more NHL games than Phil Housley, Mike Modano, Steve Yzerman and Wayne Gretzky. And he never scored more than 50 points in a single season. Cullen is proof that there is more to hockey than scoring goals. The Moorhead, MN native finished his career with three Stanley Cup rings, a testament to his ability to do the little things on the ice that made a big difference. He played four seasons with the Wild.

12

NO.

#64 MIKAEL GRANLUND

One of the better playmakers to don a Wild kersey, Mikael Granlund played seven years with the Wild before being traded to Nashville during the 2018-19 season. While with the Wild he notched 93 goals in 461 games but dished out 224 assists. His 224 assists are good enough for third in franchise history.

7

NO.

#12 BRIAN ROLSTON

Rolston only played three seasons with the Wild, but they were three really good ones. Rolston scored 34 goals in his first year and 79 points, leading the team. In his second year he went 31-33-64 and his final season 31-28-59. His season average of 32 goals per year is by far the most for a Wild player in franchise history (Staal 27.8, Gaborik 27.4).

16

NO.

#40 DEVAN DUBNYK

In six years with the Wild, Dubnyk has won 177 games and is closing in on Niklas Backstroms’ franchise record if he continues to get the starting nod. When on top of his game, nobody has been better than Dubnyk, who has made a franchise high three all-star teams.

11

NO.

#16 JASON ZUCKER

One of the fastest players to play for the Wild, Zucker used his speed to generate a ton of scoring opportunities. In his nine years with the team (his first three seasons he saw very limited action) he had five 20-goal seasons, including a 33-goal campaign in 2017-18. He currently ranks fourth in franchise history with 132 goals. In 2016-17 he led the league along with teammate Ryan Suter with a plus-34 rating and in 2017-18 was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for his leadership and humanitarian contributions.

6

NO.

# 12 ERIC STAAL

Staal fell just a goal short of his fourth straight 20-goal season in the COVID-shortened 2019-20 campaign. He is also is tied for the franchise single-season record in goals when he netted 42 in 2017-18. In his 311 games with the Wild, the former No. 2 overall pick has 111 goals and 129 assists and is a plus-9. He has 1,021 points in his career.


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January 14, 2021

Let’s Play Hockey

17

Minnesota Wild Top 20 players of all-time *As chosen by LPH staff

5

NO.

#8 BRENT BURNS

Wild fans knew Brent Burns as the clean-shaven, boyish-looking skilled defenseman who the Wild drafted in the first round of the 2003 draft. Burns got his start in Minnesota and quickly became a top defensemen on the team as his game steadily developed over his seven years in a Wild jersey. In those seven years he notched 55 goals and 128 assists for 183 points, which ranks third in franchise history behind Suter and Spurgeon amongst Wild D-men. Since being traded in 2011 for Devin Setoguchi and Charlie Coyle, Burns went on to play in six all-star games and win the Norris Trophy in 2016-17 as the league’s best defenseman.

4

NO.

#11 ZACH PARISE

Zach Parise became a hometown hero when he returned to his birthplace when he signed a 13-year deal with the Wild in 2012. Since then he has racked up five 20-goal seasons despite being hampered by injuries. In his eight seasons he has 192 goals and 190 assists and is poised to pass Marian Gaborik as the most prolific scorer in Wild history, needing 28 goals. The son of former North Star great J.P. Parise, Zach attended the University of North Dakota and won a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils before coming to the Wild where he has become a fan favorite.

3

NO.

#20 RYAN SUTER

2

NO.

Suter came to the Wild in 2012-13 in the most famous free agent signing in franchise history when he and Zach Parise were inked to 13-year contracts. Suter had an immediate presence on the blue line. A gifted skater and puck handler with outstanding vision, he was and still is considered one of the best defensemen in all of hockey. He was a three-time all-star (2012, 2015 and 2017). He led the league in Plus/Minus in 2016-17 (+34) and is second in Wild history with 298 assists.

#9 MIKKO KOIVU

The Captain. Mikko Koivu was as steady as the day was long for the Minnesota Wild. The career leader in most categories, Koivu reaches No. 2 on our list not because he was a prolific scorer or a dynamic playmaker. He wasn’t considered a great player by anyone’s standards, but he was good at just about every aspect of the game, from winning face offs to killing penalties to defensive zone play. Koivu knew it was just as important to keep the other team off the board as it was for him to score a goal. He is the Wild’s best two-way player (considered one of the best in all of hockey for many years) and emerged as the heart and soul of the team, earning him the “C” in 2008. He held the title until his final season with the Wild last year. A first round draft pick (6th overall) in 2001, Koivu played 15 seasons for the Wild. Koivu is the franchise leader in Games Played (1028), assists (504), points (709) and plus/minus (70). He is second in goals with 205.

Ryan Suter comes in at No. 3 on our list of the top 20 Wild players in franchise history. He is tied for the franchise lead in All-Star game appearances with three (Dubnyk).

1

NO.

#10 MARIAN GABORIK

The Wild’s first pick in their history grabs the top spot in our rankings of the 20 greatest Wild players. He was the greatest 20 years ago and he is still the greatest today. Despite being hampered by injuries, he played in 502 games (8th), scoring a franchise-high 219 goals and 218 assists (5th) for 437 points (2nd). He is the franchise leader in hat tricks with 9 and nobody else is even close. Parise is a distant second with three. He has the highest goals per game average at 0.44 GPG And who can forget the greatest individual performance a Wild player has ever had. On Dec. 20, 2007 Gaborik became the first player in 11 years to score five goals in an NHL game in a 6-3 win over the New York Rangers. Said Gaborik at the time: “One time I got five goals when I was playing back home for a pro club back there, but this is just totally different. You score five goals in the NHL it’s just a totally different experience. To reach it here with these guys in front of our fans is just unbelievable.” There was a reason the Wild took Gaborik with the third overall pick in the 2000 NHL draft. His speed and scoring ability brought an excitement to the Xcel Energy Center that hasn’t been matched since.

Zach Parise is a homegrown talent who is approaching Gaborik’s team record for goals scored. The Wild winger needs 28 goals to be the Wild’s all-time leader in goals scored.

Marian Gaborik is the Wild’s all-time leading goal scorer although Zach Parise is likely to surpass him in the next two seasons. Gaborik was the Wild’s first draft pick, chosen No. 3 overall in the 2000 NHL draft.

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January 14, 2021

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Minnesota Wild Dream team *As chosen by LPH staff Come on, we know you’ve always wanted to be behind the bench for the Wild, at least for one game. So imagine it’s playoff time and you are the bench boss. You can include any player whoever suited up for the Wild. Here’s your chance to put together your dream team. Three lines, three sets of D-men and top two goalies. We made our choices below. Agree with this lineup? Disagree? Would you add a different player and scratch one of these guys? Let us know your dream Wild lineup at editor@letsplayhockey.com.

First Line

#11 Zach Parise, LW

Wild: 519 GP, 192 goals, 190 assists, 382 points Career: 1,015 GP, 386 goals, 406 assists, 792 points

#20 Ryan Suter, D

Wild: 600 GP, 52 goals, 198 assists, 350 points Career: 1,142 GP, 90 goals, 498 assists, 588 points

#12 Eric Staal, C

Wild: 311 GP, 111 goals, 129 assists, 240 points Career: 1,240 GP, 436 goals, 585 assists, 1,021 points

#8 Brent Burns, D

Wild: 453 GP, 55 goals, 128 assists, 183 points Career: 1,113 GP, 210 goals, 484 assists, 694 points

#10 Marian Gaborik, RW

Wild: 502 GP, 219 goals, 218 assists, 437 points Career: 1,035 GP, 407 goals, 408 assists, 815 points

Wouldn’t it be fun to put the Wild’s best combination of scorers on a line together and see what they could do? This top unit has 5,545 games between them and have scored 1,529 goals in the NHL and added 2,381 assists. Not too shabby. Imagine Gaborik busting down the off wing with Staal trailing and Parise going hard to the net as Suter and Burns bring up the rear and are ready to jump into the play. Even more lethal would be these five guys on a power play unit together. We’d bet 80-point seasons (at least) for each of the forwards. All five players are still playing, too. But to see this line combo we might have to wait for an alumni game in about 10 years.

Second Line Every team needs a lunch pail line. Usually it’s the third line, but for the Wild we’d put them as the second unit. Koivu is the epitome of what a two-way player is. He understands the importance of defensive zone play better than anybody. Because he played goal line to goal line he didn’t score as much as he probably could have. But we will take his lifetime plus-70 rating any day. And with Rolston’s shot and Brunette’s knack around the net, we think Koivu would be a great compliment to these two goal scorers. Spurgeon and Schultz on D would also compliment each other well. Spurgeon isn’t afraid to jump into the play in the O-zone and Schultz is more of a stay-at-home defender. This group may not put as many pucks into the back of the net as the top group, but they certainly wouldn’t let as many in on their side of the ice.

#9 Mikko Koivu, C

#12 Brian Rolston, LW

#46 Jared Spurgeon, D

Wild: 246 GP, 96 goals, 106 assists, 202 points Career: 1,256 GP, 342 goals, 419 assists, 761 points

Wild: 653 GP, 82 goals, 198 assists, 280 points Career: 653 GP, 82 goals, 198 assists, 280 points

Wild: 1,028 GP, 205 goals, 504 assists, 709 points Career: 1,028 GP, 205 goals, 504 assists, 709 points

The third line would probably be the most entertaining to watch at the X. The sheer speed and dangle ability would have fans on the edge of their seats every time this trio of forwards hit the ice. And Dumba can be that fourth forward whenever he feels the desire to use his skills in the offensive zone. Zucker with two playmakers like Granlund and Bouchard? We think he’d be a perennial 40-goal guy. Unfortunately, none of the three forwards are still with the club. But we hope Kaprizov and Fiala and company can give the same thrills these three would have given had they ever played on a line together.

#96 Pierre-Marc Bouchard, C

Wild: 461 GP, 93 goals, 224 assists, 317 points Career: 540 GP, 111 goals, 241 assists, 352 points

#25 Jonas Brodin, D

Wild: 555 GP, 30 goals, 116 assists, 146 points Career: 555 GP, 30 goals, 116 assists, 146 points

Wild: 565 GP, 106 goals, 241 assists, 347 points Career: 593 GP, 110 goals, 246 assists, 346 points

#10 Marian Gaborik, RW

#24 Matt Dumba, D Wild: 411 GP, 62 goals, 112 assists, 174 points Career: 411 GP, 62 goals, 112 assists, 174 points

Wild: 743 GP, 26 goals, 102 assists, 128 points Career: 1,069 GP, 30 goals, 145 assists, 175 points

Wild: 489 GP, 119 goals, 202 assists, 321 points Career: 1,110 GP, 268 goals, 465 assists, 733 points

Goalies

Third Line

#64 Mikael Granlund, LW

#55 Nick Schultz, D

#15 Andrew Brunette, RW

Wild: 456 GP, 132 goals, 111 assists, 243 points Career: 471 GP, 138 goals, 117 assists, 255 points

Take your pick here. Both outstanding when on their game and numbers are near identical.

#40 Devan Dubnyk, G

Wild: 328 GP, 177-111-28, 2.41 GAA/.918 SV% Career: 520 GP, 247-195-52, 2.58 GAA/.915 SV%

#32 Niklas Backstrom, G

Wild: 409 GP, 194-142-50, 2.48 GAA/.915 SV% Career: 413 GP, 196-144-50, 2.49 GAA/.914 SV%


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January 14, 2021

19

Minnesotans who have played for the Wild In the Wild’s 20-year history, 29 Minnesota-born players have had the honor and privilege of donning Wild game threads. They range from Baudette, to Blaine, to Burnsville. They are former Bears, Hornets, Spuds, Eagles and Jaguars. They come from the north, east, west and south, from the outdoor rinks and frozen ponds. They come from...the State of Hockey.

Player Years on Club Keith Ballard 2013-2014 Stu Bickel 2014-2015 Brian Bonin 2000-2001 J.T. Brown 2018-Present Nick Bjugstad 2020-Present Ryan Carter 2014-2016 Matt Cullen 2010-2013 & 2017-2018 John Curry 2013-2014 Tom Gilbert 2011-2013 Matt Hendricks 2018-2019 Darby Hendrickson 2000-2004 Sean Hill 2007-2008 Justin Kloos 2017-2018 Jordan Leopold 2014-2015 Mike Lundin 2011-2012 Brennan Menell 2019-2020 Jeff Nielsen 2000-2001 Jarod Palmer 2011-2012 Zach Parise 2012-Present Mark Parrish 2006-2008 Nate Prosser 2010-2019 Chad Rau 2011-2012 Kyle Rau 2017-Present Jordan Schroeder 2014-2017 Nick Seeler 2018-2020 Wyatt Smith 2006-2007 Alex Stalock 2016-Present Jeff Taffe 2011-2012 Eric Westrum 2005-2006

Hometown Baudette Chanhassen St. Paul Burnsville Blaine White Bear Lake Virginia Shorewood Bloomington Blaine Richfield Duluth Lakeville Golden Valley Burnsville Woodbury Grand Rapids Fridley Minneapolis Edina Elk River Eden Prairie Eden Prairie Lakeville Eden Prairie Thief River Falls South St. Paul Hastings Minneapolis

Zach Parise attended Shattuck-St. Mary’s as a prep player before going on to the University of North Dakota. In eight seasons with the Wild, #11 has scored 192 goals in 513 games while adding 190 assists.

Matt Cullen played high school hockey for Moorhead and has gone on to win three Stanley Cups (Carolina 2006 and Pittsburgh 2016 and 2017). Cullen is one of just 21 NHL players in history to play in 1,500 NHL games. He played 272 of them for the Wild and scored 44 goals and assisted on 79.

Twenty-nine Minnesota-born players have fulfilled the dream of playing for their hometown Minnesota Wild.

Alex Stalock hails from South St. Paul where he starred in high school before playing collegiately at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Last year he won 20 games for the Wild and posted a.910 save percentage.


20

January 14, 2021

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Wild Draft History 2020 Entry Num. Round 9 1 37 2 39 2 65 3 146 5

Player Pos Marco Rossi C Marat Khusnutdinov C Ryan O’Rourke D Daemon Hunt D Pavel Novak R

2019 Entry Num. Round 12 1 42 2 59 2 75 3 149 5 166 6 172 6 197 7

Player Matthew Boldy Vladislav Firstov Hunter Jones Adam Beckman Matvey Guskov Marshall Warren Nikita Nesterenko Filip Lindberg

Pos L L G L C D C G

2018 Entry Num. Round 24 1 63 3 86 3 92 3 148 5 155 5 179 6 210 7

Player Pos Filip Johansson D Jack McBain C Alexander Khovanov C Connor Dewar C Simon Johansson D Damien Giroux C Shawn Boudrias R Sam Hentges L

2017 Entry Num. Round 85 3 97 4 116 4 147 5 178 6 209 7

Player Ivan Lodnia Mason Shaw Bryce Misley Jacob Golden Andrei Svetlakov Nick Swaney

2016 Entry Num. Round 15 1 106 4 196 7 204 7

Player Luke Kunin Brandon Duhaime Dmitry Sokolov Braydyn Chizen

Num. Round 18 1 80 3 109 4 139 5 160 6 167 6 169 6 199 7

Player Alex Tuch Louis Belpedio Kaapo Kahkonen Tanner Faith Pontus Sjalin Chase Lang Reid Duke Pavel Jenys

Pos C R R D

Drafted From U. of Wisconsin [Big-10] Tri-City Storm [USHL] Sudbury Wolves [OHL] Kelowna Rockets [WHL]

Pos R D G D D R C R

2013 Entry Num. Round 46 2 81 3 107 4 137 5 167 6 197 7 200 7

Player Pos Gustav Olofsson D Kurtis Gabriel R Dylan Labbe D Carson Soucy D Avery Peterson C Nolan De Jong D Alexandre Belanger G

2012 Entry Num. Round 7 1 46 2 68 3 98 4 128 5 158 6 188 7

Player Pos Matt Dumba D Raphael Bussieres L John Draeger D Adam Gilmour C Daniel Gunnarsson D Christoph Bertschy C Louis Nanne L

2011 Entry Num. Round 10 1 28 1 60 2 131 5 161 6 191 7

Player Jonas Brodin Zack Phillips Mario Lucia Nick Seeler Steve Michalek Tyler Graovac

2010 Entry Num. Round 9 1 39 2 56 2 59 2 159 6 189 7

Player Mikael Granlund Brett Bulmer Johan Larsson Jason Zucker Johan Gustafsson Dylen McKinlay

Drafted From Leksands IF [Swe-1] Toronto Jr. Canadiens [OJHL] Moncton Wildcats [QMJHL] Everett Silvertips [WHL] Djurgarden-2 (Sweden Jrs.) Saginaw Spirit [OHL] Gatineau Olympiques [QMJHL] Tri-City Storm [USHL] Drafted From Erie Otters [OHL] Medicine Hat Tigers [WHL] Oakville Blades [OJHL] London Knights [OHL] CSKA Moscow [KHL] Waterloo Black Hawks [USHL]

Player Pos Joel Eriksson Ek C Jordan Greenway L Ales Stezka G Kirill Kaprizov L Nick Boka D Gustav Bouramman D Jack Sadek D

2014 Entry

Drafted From U.S. National Development Team [USHL] Waterloo Black Hawks [USHL] Peterborough Petes [OHL] Spokane Chiefs [WHL] London Knights [OHL] U.S. National Development Team [USHL] Lawrenceville [N.J. H.S.] UMass-Amherst [H-East]

Pos R C C D C R

2015 Entry Num. Round 20 1 50 2 111 4 135 5 171 6 201 7 204 7

Drafted From Ottawa 67’s [OHL] SKA Juniors (Russia) Soo Greyhounds [OHL] Moose Jaw Warriors [WHL] Kelowna Rockets [WHL]

Drafted From Farjestads BK Karlstad [SweHL] U.S. National Development Team [USHL] Liberic Jrs. (Czech Rep.) Novokuznetsk Metallurg [KHL] U.S. National Development Team [USHL] Soo Greyhounds [OHL] Lakeville North (Minn. H.S.) Drafted From U.S. National Under-18 Team [USHL] U.S. National Under-18 Team [USHL] Blues (Finland Jrs.) Kootenay Ice [WHL] Ostersunds (Sweden Jrs.) Calgary Hitmen [WHL] Lethbridge Hurricanes [WHL] Brno Kometa [Czech] Drafted From Green Bay Gamblers [USHL] Owen Sound Attack [OHL] Shawinigan Cataractes [QMJHL] Spruce Grove Saints [AJHL] Grand Rapids H.S. (Minn.) Victoria Grizzlies [BCHL] Rouyn-Noranda Huskies [QMJHL] Drafted From Red Deer Rebels [WHL] Baie-Comeau Drakkar [QMJHL] Shattuck St. Mary’s [Minn. H.S.] Nobles [Mass. H.S.] Lulea HF [SEL] Bern SC [Swiss-A] Edina H.S. [Minn. H.S.]

Pos D C F D G C

Drafted From Farjestads BK Karlstad [SEL] Saint John Sea Dogs [QMJHL] Wayzata H.S. (Minn.) Eden Prairie H.S. (Minn.) Loomis-Chafee H.S. (Mass.) Ottawa 67’s [OHL]

Pos C R L L G R

Drafted From HIFK Helsinki [SM-liiga] Kelowna Rockets [WHL] Brynas Jrs. (Sweden) U.S. National Development Team [USHL] Farjestads BK Karlstad [SEL] Chilliwack Bruins [WHL]

2009 Entry Num. Round 16 1 77 3 103 4 116 4 161 6 163 6 182 7 193 7

Player Pos Nick Leddy D Matt Hackett G Kris Foucault L Alexander Fallstrom R Darcy Kuemper G Jere Sallinen L Erik Haula L Anthony Hamburg C

2008 Entry Num. Round 23 1 55 2 115 4 145 5

Player Tyler Cuma Marco Scandella Sean Lorenz Eero Elo

2007 Entry Num. Round 16 1 110 4 140 5 170 6 200 7

Player Colton Gillies Justin Falk Cody Almond Harri Ilvonen Carson McMillan

2006 Entry Num. Round 9 1 40 2 72 3 102 4 132 5 162 6 192 7

Player James Sheppard Ondrej Fiala Cal Clutterbuck Kyle Medvec Niko Hovinen Julian Walker Chris Hickey

2005 Entry Num. Round 4 1 57 2 65 3 110 4 122 4 129 5 199 7

Player Benoit Pouliot Matt Kassian Kristofer Westblom Kyle Bailey Morten Madsen Anthony Aiello Riley Emmerson

Pos D D D L

Drafted From Ottawa 67’s [OHL] Val d’Or Foreurs [QMJHL] US National Under 18 Team Lukko Jrs. (Finland)

Pos L D C D R

Drafted From Saskatoon Blades [WHL] Spokane Chiefs [WHL] Kelowna Rockets [WHL] Tappara Jrs. (Finland) Calgary Hitmen [WHL]

Pos C L R D G W R

Drafted From Cape Breton Screaming Eagles [QMJHL] Everett Silvertips [WHL] Oshawa Generals [OHL] Apple Valley H.S. (Minn) Jokerit Helsinki [SM-liiga] Basel EHC [Swiss-A] Cretin Derham Hall H.S. (Minn.)

Pos L L G C L D L

Drafted From Sudbury Wolves [OHL] Kamloops Blazers [WHL] Kelowna Rockets [WHL] Portland Winter Hawks [WHL] Frolunda Jrs (Sweden) Thayer Academy (Mass.) Tri-City Americans [WHL]

2004 Entry Num. Round 12 1 42 2 78 3 79 3 111 4 114 4 117 4 161 5 175 6 195 7 206 7 272 9

Player Pos A.J. Thelen D Roman Voloshenko L Peter Olvecky C Clayton Stoner D Ryan Jones L Patrick Bordeleau L Julien Sprunger R Jean-Claude Sawyer D Aaron Boogaard R Jean-Michel Rizk R Anton Khudobin G Kyle Wilson C

2003 Entry Num. Round 20 1 56 2 78 3 157 5 187 6 207 7 219 7 251 8 281 9

Player Pos Brent Burns D Patrick O’Sullivan L Danny Irmen R Marcin Kolusz C Miroslav Kopriva G Georgi Misharin D Adam Courchaine C Mathieu Melanson R Jean-Michel Bolduc D

2002 Entry Num. Round 8 1 38 2 72 3 73 3 155 5 175 6 204 7 237 8 268 9 269 9

Drafted From Eden Prairie H.S. (Minn.) Plymouth Whalers [OHL] Calgary Hitmen [WHL] Shattuck St. Mary’s (Minn) Red Deer Rebels [WHL] Blues Jrs. (Finland) Shattuck St. Mary’s (Minn) Dallas Stars AAA (Midget)

Player Pos Pierre-Marc Bouchard C Josh Harding G Mike Erickson R Barry Brust G Armands Berzins C Matt Foy R Nicklas Eckerblom R Christoph Brandner L Mikhail Tyulyapkin D Mika Hannula F

Drafted From Michigan State University [CCHA] Krylja Jr. (Russia) Trencin Jr. (Slovakia) Tri-City Americans [WHL] Chatham Maroons (OHA-B) Val d’Or Foreurs [QMJHL] Fribourg-Gotteron HC [Swiss-A] Cape Breton Screaming Eagles [QMJHL] Tri-City Americans [WHL] Saginaw Spirit [OHL] Magnitogorsk Jr. (Russia) Colgate University [ECAC] Drafted From Brampton Battalion [OHL] Mississauga IceDogs [OHL] Lincoln Stars [USHL] Novy Targ (Poland) Kladno Jrs (Czech Rep.) Yekaterinburg Dynamo [Rus-1] Vancouver Giants [WHL] Chicoutimi Sagueneens [QMJHL] Quebec Remparts [QMJHL] Drafted From Chicoutimi Sagueneens [QMJHL] Regina Pats [WHL] U. of Minnesota [WCHA] Spokane Chiefs [WHL] Shawinigan Cataractes [QMJHL] Merrimack College [H-East] Djurgarden Jrs. (Sweden) Krefeld Penguins [DEL] Novgorod Jr. (Russia) Malmo IF [SEL]

2001 Entry Num. Round 6 1 36 2 74 3 93 3 103 4 202 7 239 8

Player Mikko Koivu Kyle Wanvig Chris Heid Stephane Veilleux Tony Virta Derek Boogaard Jake Riddle

2000 Entry Num. Round 3 1 33 2 99 4 132 5 170 6 199 7 214 7 232 8 255 8

Player Marian Gaborik Nick Schultz Marc Cavosie Maxim Sushinski Eric Reitz Brian Passmore Peter Bartos Lubomir Sekeras Eric Johansson

Pos C R D L R L L

Drafted From TPS Turku [SM-liiga] Red Deer Rebels [WHL] Spokane Chiefs [WHL] Val d’Or Foreurs [QMJHL] TPS Turku [SM-liiga] Prince George Cougars [WHL] Seattle Thunderbirds [WHL]

Pos R D W R D C C D C

Drafted From Trencin Dukla [Slovak] Prince Albert Raiders [WHL] R.P.I. [ECAC] Omsk Avangard [Russia] Barrie Colts [OHL] Oshawa Generals [OHL] Ceske Budejovice HC [Czech] Trinec Ocelari HC [Czech] Tri-City Americans [WHL]


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January 14, 2021

l a o g The

21

Brunette’s OT playoff winner against the Avalanche in 2003 has stood the test of time But Doug (Risebrough) and Jacques (Lemaire) called a meeting and said stop pouting, and keep playing the way Over the last 20 years there is one you are. memory, one moment that has with“The next game was probably the stood the test of time: Andrew Bru- best game of the playoffs.” nette’s overtime goal in Game 7 against Minnesota returned to Colorado the Colorado Avalanche in the first and built a three-goal lead heading into round of the 2003 playoffs. The goal the third period of Game 5. The club capped an impressive comeback from a withstood a late Avs onslaught and held 3-1 against the heavily favored Avs. on for a 3-2 win. For Brunette, the biggest goal he Back in Saint Paul for Game 6, scored in his career was never about Minnesota took a 2-0 late into the third him but about his teammates and their period, but a late surge brought the Avs hard fought battle together. back to tie the game at two. “The group of guys is what made it “We played really well that game,” special, everybody contributed,” Bru- Brunette said. “They had somebody on nette remembered. “The camaraderie their team named Joe Sakic that decidand the closeness of that team was pret- ed for about three minutes he was going ty special. For what we went through, to take over the game and scored two that’s what made it special and that’s quick goals. All of a sudden we found what you’re thinking – we did it togeth- ourselves five minutes from going back er.” to game seven to, ‘Oh my gosh we are It was a hard fought battle from the in overtime what happened?’” outset. The Wild was up against a tough Five minutes into overtime, Richopponent in the Colorado Avalanche, ard Park became the hero of Game 6, armed with a roster of All-Star caliber beating Roy through the five-hole and players like Peter sending the series to Forsberg, Joe Sakic, a decisive Game 7 in Adam Foote, Rob Denver the following “The group of guys is Blake and Patrick night. It was another what made it special, Roy. example of a player everybody contributed. Minnesota, howstepping up in a big ever, was not intimmoment. The camaraderie and the idated, but respect“That’s what is ed the talent of the closeness of that team was so neat about that mighty Avalanche. pretty special. For what we team is everybody at “We knew they different times conwent through, that’s what tributed, whether it were really good, I don’t think we made it special and that’s was goals or plays,” ever were intimiBrunette said. “I rewhat you’re thinking – dated by them but member Matt Johnwe knew they were we did it together.” son blocking a slapvery good,” Brunette shot with the face, – Andrew Brunette said. “To Jacques and everybody who (Lemaire’s) credit, has been through his self-confidence those things realizes leaked into the team to believe if we did that’s what it takes. But it’s not till you the right things we’d give ourselves a see it, when you believe it.” chance to win; not saying we will win, In Game 7, the Avalanche held a but we feel we give ourselves a chance 2-1 lead until Marian Gaborik evened to win. And that was huge.” the score with less than five minutes to The Wild took Game 1 in Colora- go on the power play. do, its first-ever playoff game. The Ava“If you would have asked us belanche would win Game 2, but a split on fore the series if we could be in Game the road was a huge victory for Minne- 7 overtime against Colorado, I think sota and set-up a golden opportunity for every guy on the team would’ve said, the Wild to return home to Xcel Energy ‘Dang right, we’ll take it.’ I think we Center. reminded ourselves that this is exactly The Avalanche showed its true tal- where you want to be right now.” ent and poise, stealing games three and With the Wild’s playoff lives in the four in St. Paul. Although down 3-1 in balance, Brunette was waiting for one the series, the Wild was resilient and un- chance to create something special, not willing to give up. knowing he would soon score the most “That was a tough one,” Brunette memorable goal in Wild history. recalled. “We felt we could have been “I felt if I could get a chance, that’s up 3-1 or at least tied 2-2 from the way all I wanted,” Brunette recalled. “One we played. The mood the next day chance. That was my mentality going wasn’t as high as it should have been. in.” by MNWILD.COM

Andrew Brunette’s overtime winner will be forever remembered by early Wild fans. But fans hope there are much bigger goals yet to come as the franchise heads into the next chapter after 20 years. take over before.” During overtime the AvBrunette had the alanche was hungry, conpuck wide on his trolling most of the forehand. With one offensive pressure “I felt if I could quick sweep to and shots on net. However, the Wild get a chance, that’s all the backhand, he buried the puck never panicked, I wanted. One chance. behind Roy just and knew it would 3:25 into overbe okay in the deThat was my time. The amazfensive zone; as ing comeback long as Minnesota mentality going in.” and upset was limited the qualicomplete. ty chances on net, it Andrew Brunette “We did it, we would survive. did it together.” Those Then, the chance it were the first thoughts that was waiting for came from ran across his mind seconds afan Avs turnover. Wild forward Sergei Zholtok stole ter the goal, always a team first mentalthe puck and started skating up ice to- ity for Andrew Brunette. Even 17 years later, the appreciawards the Colorado zone. At first it was a 1-on-2; nothing looked particularly tion of his goal is still strong in the State dangerous about the rush. Brunette de- of Hockey and beyond. “When you’re playing, you pushed cided to jump into the play. “I’m thinking I should probably to get there. You don’t really appreciate change,” Brunette remembered. “I said, and understand it until you’re done and ‘You know what ‘Zho’ has the puck you see it,” Brunette said. “I think it’s and he makes a lot of high percentage pretty neat being in different places, plays.’ So I figured let’s just see what even with the Wild or when someone recognizes me across the U.S., and tells happens here.” Brunette followed Zholtok into the me where they were when it happened. zone, and received a drop pass. When (My) appreciation level will only grow Zholtok skated to the right post, Ava- now that I’m out.” Even as big as his goal was, Brulanche defenseman Adam Foote crisscrossed with his defensive partner, leav- nette still thinks there is a bigger goal yet to be scored by the organization. ing Brunette a clear lane to the net. “That’s what I want – I think every“That’s what I was asking for all series, was that one chance, and yeah I body does,” Brunette said. “That time had some space,” Brunette said. “Again will always hold special places espe(Zholtok made) a good play dropping cially with Wild fans, and the hockey and driving, crisscrossing the “D” a lit- people around Minnesota. We were an tle bit so I had a little bit of time. I had to expansion team and we had the underdog darlings attached to us. I don’t think do something (Roy) wasn’t thinking.” At that point, even Brunette knew it will ever be forgotten, but I think we a simple shot on net would not beat the have bigger things. It wasn’t the Cup. I hope someone scores the winner in future Hall of Fame netminder. “My shot from outside probably Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Finals. isn’t going to go in,” Brunette said. “I That’s where I hope this franchise will don’t have an (Alexander) Ovechkin be.” Although new heroes may step up kind of shot.” At this point, instincts took over for and new goals will come, Brunette’s thriller will be an everlasting memothe forward. “I kinda had an idea, and I tried to ry for the Wild, the 18,000-plus in the get him to bite, that’s what my mind was stands and many more scattered across probably processing but the instincts the State of Hockey.


22

January 14, 2021

www.stateofhockey.com

Let’s Play Hockey

Minnesota Wild...: Ushering in a new era Unleashed: Kaprizov’s much anticipated Wild career has begun by BRYAN ZOLLMAN

Let’s Play Hockey Publisher

The Minnesota Wild turn 20 years old when the puck drops to open the 2021 season. It will be a special anniversary for the franchise that came to the State of Hockey in 2000. But it might be a 23-year-old Russian kid who makes it extra special. After much anticipation and plenty of waiting, the Wild signed prized prospect Kirill Kaprizov to a two-year contract in July with the expectation he will play an integral role in the team’s success moving forward. The announcement came shortly after the Wild also stripped the interim tag from Dean Evason and named him their full-time bench boss. The two of them are ushering a new era of Wild hockey, creating a buzz amongst Wild fans who anticipate not just good, but great things to come. Ba ck in July, Evason, who had only seen Kaprizov on video, lauded not just his skills, but his aggressive play and tenacity. When asked what stood out about Kaprizov, Evason said: “his compete level.” “The videos I have watched, it was a lot of highlights of him scor-

7 things to know 1. He led the Kontinental Hockey League in goals the past two seasons, scoring 30 goals in 2018-19 and 33 last season for 66 goals in 114 games. 2. He stands 5’10 and 201 (some sites say 194) pounds and is known as a goal scorer and playmaker with high offensive skills. 3. He can muck it up in the corners. Wild head coach Dean Evason loves his compete level, saying: “What I was most impressed with was when he went into the corners for a 50/50 puck and came up with those pucks... and when he didn’t he was competing his butt off to do so.” 4. He was a KHL All-Star from 2016-2020. 5. The Wild drafted him in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL entry draft, 135th overall. Kaprizov was 18 at the time. 6. He was the youngest player on the Russian Olympic team at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Korea. 7. He will wear No. 97 for the Wild.

PHOTO BY ANNA SERGEEVA/GETTY IMAGES ing goals,” said Evason. “But what I was most impressed with was when he went into the corners for a 50/50 puck and he came out with those pucks. If he didn’t, he was competing his butt off to do so.” Kaprizov was a fifth round pick by the Wild in the 2015 NHL entry draft. The season prior he was the No. 1 overall pick in the Kontinental Hockey League, Russia’s top league. In August 2015 he signed a three-year contract extension with Metallurg Novokuznetsk and was later traded to Salavat Yulaev Ufa in May 2016. His first season with Metallurg he tallied just four goals and four assists in 31 games. But he was just 17 years old. The following season he tallied 11 goals and 16 assists in 53 games. His game emerged at age 20 where he notched 42 points (20g-22a). For the past three seasons he has played for CSKA Moscow where he has continued to ratchet up his game by scoring 78 goals and adding 76 helpers for 154 points in 160 games.

Scouting Report

Scouts rave over Kaprizov’s game. One scout said he is as about as close to an every day NHL’er as anyone his age. Kaprizov turned 23 in April and should be able to step in and make an impact with the Wild immediately. Is he the next McDavid? Likely not, but he does possess elite offensive skill although he doesn’t have the speed of a McDavid where he can blow by defenders. Think of him more of a Granlund than a Gaborik, but perhaps a hybrid of both because Kaprizov, like Gaborik, has a knack for putting the puck in the net with a lethal shot, but just doesn’t have Gaborik’s speed, according to scouting reports. His 1-to-1 goal-to-assist ratio makes him as much of a scorer as a playmaker. If there is a knock on his

Statistical Profile Year

League Team

GP G A PTS PIM +/-

2014-15 KHL Metallurg

31 4 4 8

6 -4

2015-16 KHL Metallurg

53 11 16 27 10 -4

2016-17

KHL

Salavat

49 20 22 42

66

9

2017-18

KHL

CSKA Moskva 46 15 25 40

14

22

2018-19

KHL

CSKA Moskva 57 30 21 51

16

34

2019-20

KHL

CSKA Moskva 57 33 29 62

10

32

TOTALS: GP 293, G 113, A 118, PTS 231, PIM 124, +/- plus-89 game, from scouting reports, it is his lack of that explosive speed, although he is rated as a very good skater. At 5’10” he isn’t going to be an intimidator, but more of a pest. As Evason stated, his compete level is something that makes him stand out. He wins loose puck battles and creates turnovers with his hustle, according to scouting reports. Kaprizov has led the KHL the past two season in goals, not an easy honor. How that translates to the NHL is yet to be seen.

The future

Kaprizov joins a team that has a solid mix of youth and experience. Evason is excited about bringing another young impactful player into the mix. “We have a lot of young guys coming up and some very young exciting hockey players currently on our club,’ he said. “We have a good mix of both (veterans and youth) in our lineup and

our line combinations will show that. We have experience and that youthful excitement those young guys bring to the table.” Undoubtedly, there will be a transition period for Kaprizov, which is why it was so important for him to come to camp this summer. “This is the best league in the world with the best players in the world,” said Guerin. “He will have time to transition.” Getting to know his teammates and coaches will be a huge first step for what Wild fans hope is the Wild’s next big thing. Adding Kaprizov to a lineup that includes an emerging Kevin Fiala is creating a consistent buzz throughout the State of Hockey. Evason said he was excited to see Kaprizov arrive in camp. Guerin echoed Evason’s statement: “It’s an exciting day for many reasons for the Minnesota Wild and Wild fans.”


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January 14, 2021

Let’s Play Hockey

23

Minnesota Wild...: Ushering in a new era Wild’s new Bench Boss

Evason’s communication with players during pause swayed Guerin’s decision by BRYAN ZOLLMAN

Let’s Play Hockey Publisher

When Dean Evason took over the Wild bench and locker room as the interim head coach after the firing of former coach Bruce Boudreau, the Wild were on the outside looking in at a playoff spot. Twelve games later and the Wild went on an 8-4 run to creep into the playoffs where they eventually lost in the first round to Vancouver. Now they are ready to drop the puck on the 2021 season. And leading the way is Coach Evason. Many in the Wild fan base and certainly in the hockey industry were looking for the Wild to conduct a thorough search to find Boudreau’s replacement while Evason held court until it happened. But Wild GM Bill Guerin had a different plan in mind. After seeing the team’s success in those 12 games under Evason’s tutelage and then seeing how Evason conducted himself and communicated with players during the COVID shutdown, Guerin got to thinking that maybe he didn’t need to conduct a search at all and the best candidate was right there with him in the same building. “All along I planned on a full search,” said Guerin. “I was up front and honest with Dean about that from the start.” Then came what Guerin calls “the pause” and that was when he saw how valuable Evason was. He didn’t question his knowledge of the game or his bench skills. It was the way he interacted with players during the shutdown that raised his eyebrows. “When the pause started I could see Dean’s communication with the players and how good it was,” said Guerin. “That was the type of guy we were looking for.” Evason enjoyed a very good NHL career. After being drafted in the fifth round of the 1982 NHL draft by the Washington Capitals, the Winnipeg native went on to play 803 games for five teams and amassed 139 goals, 233 assist and 1002 penalty minutes. As a Kamloops Junior Oiler he

set the league on fire as an 18 and 19-year-old, scoring 71 goals and 164 points in the WHL in 1982-83 and 49 goals and 137 points the following season in just 57 games. Kamloops was also where he started his coaching career during the 1999-2000 season. He eventually climbed the coaching ladder and was named an assistant for the Washington Capitals in 1999-2000. It was the same year the Minnesota Wild franchise began its franchise in St. Paul. In 2018-19, Evason was named an assistant to the Wild staff and now three years later is the head coach. “I’m very excited to have the opportunity,” Evason said. “Is it a rePHOTO BY MINNESOTA WILD/BRUCE KLUCKHOHN lief? I don’t know. It’s just extremely exciting to have the opportunity and I am excited to get “I’m very excited to have the opportunity. Is it a relief? I don’t going.” Evason stepped back know. It’s just extremely exciting to have the opportunity and on the ice post-COVID I am excited to get going.” pause on Monday, July 13, and said it felt great – Dean Evason not only to be on the ice, but to be there as the new head coach of the Wild. “Stepping on the ice felt great,” Wild emerging star Kevin Fiala. “He’s mix of youth and experience, and one he said. “It was great to be back out a great communicator and a great that has potential. there.” “We need to slide right back in to coach who knows the game. I am very Guerin said he made his decision happy he is with us.” where we left off,” he said. “We felt about a month ago, but gave it time and Fiala said Evason has been instru- we gained some good ground and were talked to Wild owner Craig Leipold. mental in his development. Fiala’s playing well as a team. We were close. “The more I talked with others game seemed to thrive even more once We were tight.” about it the more confident I was it was Evason took the reigns. Is Evason going to be the glue the the right decision,” Guerin said. “This “He’s been a huge part of my suc- Wild needs to come together, stay tois something Dean has worked long cess,” he said. “Off the ice and on the gether and play together? and hard for and he’s earned it.” “The players are committed,” he ice. He trusted me and I trusted him. Having been on the bench for the He has confidence in me and that helps said. “I put high expectations on mypast three seasons will give Evason me be who I am and play how I want. self to be the best coach I can and lead a head start as a new head coach. He He gave me a lot of ice time and I ap- the group. Wins and losses are most knows the players well and the players preciate that very much. I want to give important, but the way the guys have respect him. come together is what has been most back.” “I have always liked him,” said Evason sees a team that has a good exciting to our staff.”

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January 14, 2021

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Let’s Play Hockey

Wild names Jared Spurgeon team captain SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has named defenseman Jared Spurgeon team captain. Forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter will continue to serve as alternate captains. Spurgeon, 31 (11/29/89), recorded 32 points (12-20=32) in 62 regular season games last season and ranked T-11th amongst NHL defensemen in goals. He ranked second on the team in blocked shots (102) and TOI/game (22:34) and fifth in power play points (PPP) with 13. Spurgeon notched his first career hat trick at Edmonton on Feb. 21, 2020, to become the 12th different defenseman in NHL history to record a natural hat trick. He skated in his 600th career NHL game vs. Edmonton on Oct. 22, 2019, to become the third player in franchise history to reach the milestone. Spurgeon tallied the game-winning goal (GWG) vs. Dallas on Jan. 18, 2020, to become the franchise leader in GWG by a defenseman and recorded a power-play goal (PPG) vs. Florida on Jan. 20, 2020, to become the franchise leader in PPG by a defenseman. He was signed as a free agent by Minnesota on Sept. 23, 2010, and made

his NHL debut on Nov. 29, 2010, at Calgary. The 5-foot-9, 167-pound native of Edmonton, Alberta, has collected 280 points (82-198=280), 114 penalty minutes (PIM) and a plus-50 rating in 653 career games with the Wild. Spurgeon is the franchise leader in blocked shots (1,097) and ranks fourth all-time in plus/ minus rating. He is the franchise leader in goals, PPG (29), GWG (15), and hits (563) by a defenseman and ranks second in games played, points, assists, plus/minus rating, PPP (93) and shots on goal (1,056). Spurgeon tallied four points (2-2=4) in four Stanley Cup Playoff games last season to led team defensemen in goals and scoring. He owns 21 points (813=21) in 48 playoff contests and ranks first in franchise history in goals, scoring, PPG, PPP (10) and blocked s h o t s , T-1st in games played and second in assists amongst team defensemen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Minnesota signed Spurgeon to a seven-year extension on Sept. 14, 2019, that goes through the 2026-27season.

History of Minnesota Wild Captains 2000-2001

Scott Pellerin Age: 31 Games Played: 58 Goals: 11 Assists: 28 PTS: 39 PIM: 45

Andrew Brunette Age: 28 Games Played: 81 Goals: 21 Assists: 48 PTS: 69 PIM: 18

Darby Hendrickson Age: 28 Games Played: 72 Goals: 18 Assists: 11 PTS: 29 PIM: 36

2001-2002

2002-2003

Brad Bombardir Age: 30 Games Played: 58 Goals: 1 Assists: 14 PTS: 15 PIM: 16

Jim Dowd Age: 35 Games Played: 55 Goals: 4 Assists: 20 PTS: 24 PIM: 38

Filip Kuba Age: 25 Games Played: 62 Goals: 5 Assists: 19 PTS: 24 PIM: 32

Sergei Zholtok Age: 30 Games Played: 78 Goals: 16 Assists: 26 PTS: 42 PIM: 18

Andrew Burnette Age: 30 Games Played: 82 Goals: 15 Assists: 34 PTS: 49 PIM: 12

Wes Walz Age: 35 Games Played: 82 Goals: 19 Assists: 18 PTS: 37 PIM: 61

Jim Dowd Age: 33 Games Played: 82 Goals: 13 Assists: 30 PTS: 43 PIM: 54

Matt Johnson Age: 27 Games Played: 60 Goals: 3 Assists: 5 PTS: 8 PIM: 201

Brad Brown Age: 28 Games Played: 30 Goals: 0 Assists: 1 PTS: 1 PIM: 54

Alex Henry Age: 26 Games Played: 63 Goals: 0 Assists: 5 PTS: 5 PIM: 73

Sean O’Donnell Games Played: 63 Goals: 4 Assists: 12 PTS: 16 PIM: 128

Wes Walz Age: 30 Games Played: 82 Goals: 18 Assists: 12 PTS: 30 PIM: 37 Brad Bombardir Age: 28 Games Played: 70 Goals: 0 Assists: 15 PTS: 15 PIM: 42

Brad Brown Age: 26 Games Played: 51 Goals: 0 Assists: 4 PTS: 4 PIM: 123

2003-2004

Brad Bombardir Age: 31 Games Played: 56 Goals: 1 Assists: 2 PTS: 3 PIM: 21

Richard Park Age: 27 Games Played: 73 Goals: 13 Assists: 12 PTS: 25 PIM: 28

Brian Rolston Age: 32 Games Played: 82 Goals: 34 Assists: 45 PTS: 79 PIM: 50

Pavol Demitra Age: 33 Games Played: 68 Goals: 15 Assists: 39 PTS: 54 PIM: 24

Nick Schultz Age: 25 Games Played: 81 Goals: 2 Assists: 13 PTS: 15 PIM: 42

2005-2006

Willie Mitchell Age: 28 Games Played: 64 Goals: 2 Assists: 6 PTS: 8 PIM: 87

2007-2008

2008-2009

Mark Parrish Age: 29 Games Played: 79 Goals: 19 Assists: 20 PTS: 39 PIM: 18

Mark Parrish Age: 30 Games Played: 66 Goals: 16 Assists: 14 PTS: 30 PIM: 16

2008-2020

Kevin Carney Age: 36 Games Played: 80 Goals: 4 Assists: 13 PTS: 17 PIM: 58

Marian Gaborik Age: 25 Games Played: 77 Goals: 42 Assists: 41 PTS: 83 PIM: 63

Filip Kuba Age: 29 Games Played: 65 Goals: 6 Assists: 19 PTS: 25 PIM: 44

2006-2007

Brian Rolston Age: 34 Games Played: 81 Goals: 31 Assists: 28 PTS: 59 PIM: 53

Owen Nolan Age: 36 Games Played: 59 Goals: 25 Assists: 20 PTS: 45 PIM: 26 Mikko Koivu Age: 25-36 Games Played: 825 Goals: 179 Assists: 424 PTS: 603 PIM: 452

Wild names Randy Sexton Senior Advisor to the General Manager

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has named Randy Sexton Senior Advisor to the General Manager. Sexton, 61 (7/24/59), joins the Wild after spending the last three seasons as assistant general manager for the Buffalo Sabres where he assisted General Manager Jason Botterill in every aspect of hockey operations in addition to overseeing amateur scouting and serving as general manager of Buffalo’s American Hockey

League (AHL) affiliate, the Rochester Americans. Prior to joining the Sabres, Sexton spent seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He joined the Penguins as assistant director of amateur scouting in 2010-11 and was promoted to director of amateur scouting in 2015-16. As director of amateur scouting, Sexton oversaw Pittsburgh’s scouting operations in North America and Europe. He joined the Florida Panthers organization in January of 2007 as assistant

general manager and was named general manager in 2009. Prior to joining the Panthers, Sexton spent three years as the Executive Director of Capital Sports Management Inc. (CSMI), a sister company to the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club. While with CSMI, he provided strategic analysis and advice to the Senators. Sexton spent eight years (1988-96) with the Ottawa Senators organization serving in a number of roles including president, chief executive officer and general manager. As one of the Senators’

founders, he was instrumental in helping bring the NHL back to Ottawa. A native of Brockville, Ont., Sexton played collegiate hockey at St. Lawrence University (1978-82) and spent two seasons as an assistant coach for the Saints. He and his wife, Jo-Ann, have three sons, Michael, Ben and Patrick. Visit wild.com/pressbox for the latest news and information from the team including press releases, game notes, multimedia content and daily statistics.


www.stateofhockey.com

January 14, 2021

Let’s Play Hockey

25

MINNESOTA WILD SEASON OPENING ROSTER MINNESOTA WILD SEASON-OPENING ROSTER

FORWARDS 7 Nico Sturm

HT WT SHOOTS 6-3 206 Left

BORN 5/3/95

11 Zach Parise 13 Nick Bonino 14 Joel Eriksson Ek 17 Marcus Foligno 18 Jordan Greenway 22 Kevin Fiala 26 Gerald Mayhew

5-11 6-1 6-1 6-3 6-6 5-10 5-10

193 196 208 228 227 193 177

Left Left Left Left Left Left Right

7/28/84 4/20/88 1/29/97 8/10/91 2/16/97 7/22/96 12/31/92

27 Nick Bjugstad 38 Ryan Hartman 49 Victor Rask 90 Marcus Johansson 97 Kirill Kaprizov DEFENSEMEN 20 Ryan Suter 21 Carson Soucy 24 Matt Dumba 25 Jonas Brodin 29 Greg Pateryn 46 Jared Spurgeon 77 Brad Hunt GOALTENDERS 33 Cam Talbot 34 Kaapo Kahkonen

6-6 6-0 6-2 6-1 5-10 HT 6-1 6-5 6-0 6-1 6-3 5-9 5-9 HT 6-4 6-2

215 181 200 205 185 WT 208 211 182 198 223 167 187 WT 196 215

Right 7/17/92 Right 9/20/94 Left 3/1/93 Left 10/6/90 Left 4/26/97 SHOOTS BORN Left 1/21/85 Left 7/27/94 Right 7/25/94 Left 7/12/93 Right 6/20/90 Right 11/29/89 Left 8/24/88 CATCHES BORN Left 7/5/87 Left 8/16/96

BIRTHPLACE Augsburg, Germany

2019-20 TEAM Iowa Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota Minnesota Hartford, Connecticut Nashville Karlstad, Sweden Minnesota Buffalo, New York Minnesota Canton, New York Minnesota St. Gallen, Switzerland Minnesota Wyandotte, Michigan Iowa Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota Pittsburgh Hilton Head Island, S.C. Minnesota Leksand, Sweden Minnesota Landskrona, Sweden Buffalo Novokuznetsk, Russia CSKA Moscow BIRTHPLACE 2019-20 TEAM Madison, Wisconsin Minnesota Viking, Alberta Minnesota Regina, Saskatchewan Minnesota Karlstad, Sweden Minnesota Sterling Heights, Michigan Minnesota Edmonton, Alberta Minnesota Maple Ridge, British Columbia Minnesota BIRTHPLACE 2019-20 TEAM Caledonia, Ontario Calgary Helsinki, Finland Iowa Minnesota

LGE AHL NHL NHL NHL NHL NHL NHL NHL AHL NHL NHL NHL NHL NHL KHL LGE NHL NHL NHL NHL NHL NHL NHL LGE NHL AHL NHL

GP G 55 12 6 0 69 25 67 18 62 8 59 11 67 8 64 23 49 39 13 2 13 1 69 9 43 5 60 9 57 33 GP G 69 8 55 7 69 6 69 2 20 0 62 12 59 8 GP W-L-OT 26 12-10-1 34 25-6-3 5 3-1-1

A 20 2 21 17 21 14 20 31 22 0 1 11 8 21 29 A 40 7 18 26 3 20 11 SO 2 7 0

PTS 32 2 46 35 29 25 28 54 61 2 2 20 13 30 62 PTS 48 14 24 28 3 32 19 GAA 2.63 2.07 2.96

PIM 18 0 8 16 22 30 54 42 68 2 8 69 6 20 10 PIM 12 18 41 24 6 18 6 SV% .919 .927 .913

ACQ FA/19

A PTS PIM 29 43 6 13 31 43 0 0 0 A PTS PIM 16 18 55 15 20 102 16 19 23 3 4 4 SO GAA SV% 4 2.53 .908

ACQ FA/17 FA/19

FA/12 TRD/20 EN/15 TRD/17 EN/15 TRD/19 FA/19 TRD/20 FA/19 TRD/19 TRD/20 EN/15 ACQ FA/12 EN/13 EN/12 EN/11 FA/18 FA/10 TRD/19 ACQ FA/20 EN/14

MINNESOTA WILD TAXI SQUAD FORWARDS 37 Kyle Rau 41 Luke Johnson

HT 5-8 5-11

WT 173 177

SHOOTS Left Right

BORN 10/24/92 9/19/94

BIRTHPLACE Eden Prairie, Minnesota Grand Forks, North Dakota

DEFENSEMEN 44 Matt Bartkowski 47 Louie Belpedio 57 Dakota Mermis

HT 6-1 5-11 6-0

WT 196 196 195

SHOOTS Left Right Left

BORN 6/4/88 5/14/96 1/5/94

BIRTHPLACE Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Skokie, Illinois Alton, Illinois

GOALTENDER 35 Andrew Hammond

HT WT CATCHES BORN BIRTHPLACE 6-2 224 Left 2/11/88 Surrey, British Columbia

2019-20 TEAM Iowa Iowa Minnesota 2019-20 TEAM Iowa Iowa Binghamton New Jersey 2019-20 TEAM Rochester

LGE GP G AHL 51 14 AHL 42 18 NHL 3 0 LGE GP G AHL 55 2 AHL 62 5 AHL 53 3 NHL 10 1 LGE GP W-L-OT AHL 33 16-12-3

FREAKY

MINNESOTA WILD LIVING -- WILD -more, visit wild.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. STATE OFForHOCKEY MOTTO continued from page 5

FAST H

MAKES IT H

FREAKY

FRESH H H H H H

ORDER AT JIMMYJOHNS.COM

North, the development of Hockey Day Minnesota has evolved from a cool idea to tradition to a borderline state holiday. Perhaps even more exciting, the Wild have become even more involved in the past decade, designing numerous programs that directly impact hockey players, coaches, officials and associations. The Little Wild Learn to Play has helped grow the 8U base to north of 18,000 players for the first time ever. Additional programs such as Youth Hockey Spotlight Games, First Year Referee Seminar, State of Hockey High Performance Coaching

Summit, Mite Holiday Jamboree, Girls Hockey Weekend, Leadership Summit and many more positively influence the growth and development of hockey every year. Simply put, the Minnesota Wild truly strives to create a greater State of Hockey every single season, and their dedication has helped fuel enormous growth of the game in Minnesota over the past 20 years Minnesota Hockey would like to thank the Minnesota Wild for their ever-present and growing support of community hockey in Minnesota!

PROUD PARTNER OF MINNESOTA HOCKEY

ACQ FA/18 EN/14 FA/20 ACQ FA/20


26

January 14, 2021

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Thank you

20 year 4Ever Wild Season Ticket Members

Paul E. Aas Arnie Abens Chad Abraham Joseph Abraham Darren Acheson Paul Adams Jeff Adamsheck Chris P. Ahles Bruce J. Aho LeRoy H. Ahrens Phil & Amanda Albert Dennis Aldrich Thomas F. Alexander Rob Alexander David Alfred Hossein Aliabadi Amie Allison David Alrick Brian & Darlene Amdahl Roland C. Amundson James Andersen Carol Anderson Josh Anderson Ronald D. Anderson Matt Anderson Dave L. Anderson Jeffrey T. Anderson Debra Anderson Chad Anderson Rachel Anderson Terrill And Leslie Anderson Glen & Teri A. Anderson Greg Anderson Joel Anderson Ronald L. Anderson Jr Jim Andreen Matt Anfang Mark Anger Kathleen Arbia Duane Arens Todd Arens Mark Argento Barbara J. Ariola Rob Armstrong Allen R. Arvig Beth & Dennis Asfeld Brian Ash Jeff Atkins Dale and Jean Aukee Lowell W. Avery Joe Avery Robert A. Awsumb Tom Azzone Mark Babcock Joe Baer Andrew Baese Lester Bagley Joseph T. Bagnoli Bruce Bailey Michael & Lisa Bain Meredith Bainey Doug Baker Kathy A. Baker Kent And Pam Baker Jon L. Bakke Hadley J. Bakker Alexis Ball Michelle Balow Rick Bancroft Rick Barbari Dr. Kevin Barcus Mark Baribeau Kari Barker Richard L. Barnes Juan Barrera Jim & Amy Barthlolomew Thomas Bauer Jacob Baumann Rick R. Bean

Jerry Beane Troy Bearl Don Beaupre Ashley Becker Doug Becklin Rick Beer Mark W. Behling Justin Bell Carline A. Bengtsson Brian Beniek Frank B. Bennett Ron Beran Bryan Berc Mark Berchem Michelle Berg Jeffrey Berg Paul Berg Leonard H. Berg Tracey and Mark Berge Jeff Bergman Erik Bergmanis Michael & Lesley Van Berkom Richard H. Berling Russell L. Berman Chris Bernard Gerri Bernard Christine Berndt Greg Bernier Jim Berquist Jack Bert Gene Berwald Paul Beseman Joseph Betlej John Bettenburg Tom Betti Don T. Bettis Shawn Betts Ray Betts Cathy and Bob Betts Keith Beveridge John & Andrea Bien Jim Bier Gary M. Bies Karla Billehus Michael A. Bilski Todd & Karen Bimberg Mark Binder Troy Bisbee Lynn Bishop Jim Bjork Archie Black Mark C. Blaisdell Jay Blanchard Brandon Bland Ronan Blaschko Thomas J. Blindt Bill Block Mary Jo Blood James D. Blue Charles Boan James F. Bodin Wade Boelter Pat Boemer Dan Boerboom Pat Boland Judy Boldt Mark Bolke Alex Bollman Tim Bolnick Heather & Brad Bombardir Kris Bongard Lori Boomer Trish Boots Mary Borchert Gary Borglund Kris Borowske Paul Borowski Kevin M. Borstelmann Gerald Bosch

Richard E. Boss IV Mark D. Bot Keith R. Bowe Mike Boyce Amy M. Boyer Dave Bramwell Kevin Brandt Hank Brandtjen III Patricia Braun John Braun Jeffrey Bray Brenda Bredesen Tim Breher Brad Breidenbach Grant B. Brekke Paul Brenden Suzanne Brower Ms Pam Brown Christopher Brown Thomas Brown Tom Brown James M. Brown Jr. John Bruer George Bruestle Roger A. Bruggemeyer Matthew Brumm Cathy S. Brunk Walter L. Brunotte Peter Brustad David Brynjulfson Mike Bubalo Jeff Buck Paul Bukoskey Steve Bulach Sandra Bullock Brian Bumgarner Andrew and Kate C. Burda Ron and Rita Burg Eric Burggraff Todd Burkart Thomas Burke Jim Burke Bryan Burley Richard Burrock Keith W. Burton Jeffrey S. Vanden Busch Robert Bush Eric Buss Jeff Buss Julie Bustos Kay L. Butler Larry Butts Corey Campbell Chris Campbell Ryan Campbell Marc Campbell Jeff Cannon Greg Captain Jeanette Carle James F. Carlier Brandon Carlson Terrence D. Carlson Tonya Carlson Fred Carpenter Carpenters Local 322 Bradley J. Cartie Kurt J. Casby Craig Cascarano Michael Cashill Robert A. Casper Jr Dave & Holly Cedarblade David Chadima Ray Chamberlain Kevin J. Chapman Jeff Charlesworth Dave Charpentier Cara J. Chavira Dan Chisholm Kizzy Christensen

Katie Clark Bob Clausen Greg Cleary Duane Cloud Roger Cloutier II Matthew Clysdale Stephen Cohen Norm Coleman Marc Colin Keith Colling Rod Collins Mike Collins Vincent Collins Tom Collopy Rick Colvin Ames Construction Sara Coons Scott Cooper Kevin Cooper Richard Corbett Bruce R. Cords Charles M. Cory Jonathan Coty John Cox James R. Coxon Keith Crago Brian R. Crisp Brian Crockett Cherie Crooks Robert F. Crosby Larry Crosby David Crowley Steve Cullers Tom Cummings Lawrence Cumpston Laurence A. Cuneo Mike Cunningham Edward A. Cunnington John Currier Steve Curry Kenneth L. Cutler Hank & Brenda DaBruzzi Jim & Patti Daeffler-Israelson Richard Dagenais David Daggett Craig R. Dahl Sarah Dahl Dave Daline Joe Dallapiazza Dean Dally Dotty Danley Barbara Davis Jeff Dawson Steve Day Scott Dayton Mike Debuhr Timothy J. Decker Shawna Dees Debbie DeGidio Ellen Dehaven Dean A. Delmastro Dean Denny Kirk Detlefsen Daniel H. Deuel Gregory Deutsch Dirk A. Dewester Jessica DeZelar Jeff Dick Tom Dick Leon Dill Tim and Traci Dirksen Mike Disch Robert Dixon John Dobbs Robb Dobesh Richard Dobransky Tom P. Dolphin Mark Donaldson Michael Donatelle

Will & Cathy Donovan Carrie Donovan Richard Dorale Craig J. Dorn Kyle Doty Richard Dougherty Frank Douma Bob Downs Deb Drew Vincent Driessen Mark J. Duchene Jay A. Duckson Chuck Dueber Betsy & Clifford Dueholm Betty Duff John P. Duffey Patrick Duffy Brian Dufresne Dennis Dunham Emily Dunn Don P. Dunn Cormac Dunning Craig Duren Randy Durick Chris Dykstra Jim Dyvig Kevin Ecker Beth Ecker Scott Eckers Jason L. Edgar Cheryl Edwall Helga Eekhoff Cory Effertz Joseph Ehrler Jon Eisele James A. Eisenhuth Jamie Eisenhuth Jennifer Emerson Steve Enck Leon J. Endres Xcel Energy David Engberg Susan Engeleiter Emily Engmark Jim Epperson Reed & Mary Lou Erickson James and Lara Erickson John Erickson Jr. Tina Erpenbach John Errigo Ross Erzar Michael and Shirley Esch Trent Ess Doug Ethier Eric Etterman Tom Evans Jason and Tamara Evers Tim Everson Bryan Ewing Mark Falconer Thomas Falloon Dan Farley Kevin Farley Lucas Farrand Richard M. Farrell Carl Fassbender Michael Fatis Denise & Terry Fedder Richard A. Feilen Bryan Felten Matt Fennacy Todd J. Ferrara Edward Fingerhoot Janet Fiola Peter Fischer Brian Fiskum Katie Fitch Peter Fitzgerald Bryan Flaherty


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Thank you

20 year 4Ever Wild Season Ticket Members

Terence M. Fletcher Tim Flynn Patrick & Jody Flynn Jeff Fog Harriet Fogarty Chris Forkenbrock Tim Forstad Dale Forsythe Chuck Foster Terry Foster Mike Fox Tom Frana Daniel Francisco Greg Frandsen Linda J. Franke Keith Franklin Chad Franz Nick Frattalone David Frauenshuh Michael F. Frederick Beth Freemark Chuck W. Frees Jill M. Freking Andy Fried Mark Friedrich Katie Friend Jeanne Frischmon Jordan Fry Mark Fuhr Tom Fuith Jon Fure Greg Gabbert Don Gabrielson David Gadberry Mike A. Gaffke Geoffrey C. Gage Timothy Galegher Jodena Gallagher Daniel Galloway Rick Ganyo Leslie Garner-Guinee Ben Gathje Mike Geehan Cindy Geer Jason George Terry George Tracy Gerads Tom Gerdes John S. Germanson Dennis L. Gervais Drew Giertsen Todd M. Gilbert Anthony M. Giles Kyle Gillespie Robert E. Gilsdorf Bob Gindorff Janet Gingerich Jim Ginther Jim Ginther Ryan Givens Wade Gjervold Travis D. Glampe Todd Glass Terry Glidden Kathy & Paul Godlewski Jenny Goethals Erik Goettl Jon Goetze Michelle A. Gohman Mark Goldberg Edward Goodlund Robert F. Goodsell Jay Gotelaere Peter L. Gove Deena Graf Shawn M. Gray Michael J. Gray Mark Greenberg Dwain Greer

Denise Griesmann Bob Griffin Scott W. Griggs John Grivna Stacy Grochowski Dean Grothem David Grove Ellen Gruening Christopher Guertin Greg Guimont Dan Gulbrandson Phillip Gusick Patrick G. Gustafson Tom W. Gustafson Philip Gutterman Jody J. Guzzo Eric M. Gydesen Zach Haeg Robert F. Hagan Patrick & Margaret Hageman Tim Haider Chris G. Halgren Nichole Hall Mark Hall Corky A. Hall Fred L. Hamacher Ron E. Hamilton Greg and Shawn Handwerk Mike Hangge Troy Hanisch Mike Hanley Mike Hansen Mike Hansen Ron & Anita Hansen Brad Hanson Mike Hanson Bob Hanson Jim Hanson Todd Hanson Keri Harnish Walter J. Harrier III Dave Harrington Art Harris Scott Harrison James Hartfiel Mike Hartung Tim Hassel Mark Hatch Thane Hathaway Greg Hatten Gary Haugen Dana Hause Mike and Brenda Hawley Derek Hazeltine William P. Healey Lee Heckenlaible John & Peggy Hedback Doug Hedin Jeff Hedin Gary Hegenes Eric Heimer Steven J. Heimerman Larry Heinsch Scottt Helberg Dan Heldt Debora L. Helmel Jeffrey Hemenway Eric Hendrickson Paul Hendrikson Terran Henke Travis R. Hermanson Gary Hermes Julie M. Herrmann Harry R. Hertel Dennis Hervin Tom Herzog Bob Hessler Michelle Hessler Mark J. Heurung

Terrance Hickey Janet E. Hightshoe John Hillen Joseph Hines Diana G. Hipple Heather Hodgkins Mike Hogy Michael S. Hohenwald Andrew Holb Richard Holetz Jim Holland Michael Hollenback Patricia J. Hollier William R. Holmberg Bryan Van Hoof Keith P. Hoppe Keith Horkey James E. Hoschka Golder Hospitality Kent Howe Michael Hoxie Dennis Hoye Stan E. Hubbard Cory & Keely Huberty Lori Huberty Don Huebscher Hong J. Huie Jean Hunn Jeff Hunt John D. Hurd Tom Hyland Tom Hymanson Kim Ihle Spencer Ingaldson Bruce Ingman Horace Irvine III Jane Ista Rodney D. Ives Katie Jablonski Donald Jablonski Tom Jackson Al Jackson Georgia Jacobsen Rich Jacobson Chris Jaede Jim Jagow Thomas Jakway Douglas Jandro Craig Jeffery Bonita Jellinek Jason Jenny Clare N. Jensen Marcia Jensen John J. Johannson George Johns Bill Johnson Blake Johnson Robert Johnson Michael Johnson Marvin F. Johnson Scott W. Johnson Bret Johnson Daniel W. Johnson Yale Johnson Rachelle Johnson Craig Johnson Thomas J. Johnson Dennis R. Johnson Curt Johnson Michael Johnson Posie Johnson Erik Johnson Shelly Johnson Steve Johnson Eric & Mary Johnston Robert Jossart Greg S. Joswiak Steve Joyce Todd Julen

Jim and Andrea Jungmann Jeff Jungwirth Chris Kafer Kenneth Kahn Daniel P. Kahner Michael H. Kahnert Scott Kajer Ms. Peg Kaju Thomas D. Kallas Lea Kammerer Jeff Kamp Dr. Paul Karazija Kare 11 Todd Karich Eban S. Kasdan Cynthia Kasmirski Steven H. Kato Laura Kauffmann Laura Kauffmann Kip and Julie Kaufmann Michael Kavanagh Joe Kaye Mareve Kayfes Marnie Keene Clayton Keister David Kell Jim Keller Jason B. Keller Jerry & Carol Kellogg Scott M. Kelly Steve Kelly David Kendrick Cecelia Kennedy Steven R. Kennedy Raymond J. Kennedy MD PA Becky Kerkow Cynthia J. Khalil Todd Kimmes Rick King William C. King Jim J. Kirshbaum Keith Kispert Peter Kittok Jon Klava Michele Kleason Kelli And Dave Kleis Fred Klietz Rebecca & Brian Klinkhamer Emmet Klocker Rob Kloek Wolfgang T. Knaus Erik Knutson Kurt Knutson Brad Knutson Mike Koch Robert Koch Mark Koenig Jim & Pam Koepke Bob or Pat Kohl David Kohler Annette Kojetin James P. Kolar Jane Kolles Chris Kolquist Frank Konstantinides Peter Kordonowy Peter Kostichka Deborah L. Kostka Michael Kotasek Tony Koval Bill Kozlak Adam Krasnoff Pat Krauth Gary Krebsbach Mary Krech Scott Krein Timothy J. Krohn Kari A. Krolick Robert Kroll

Bob Kroll Ted M. Kronschnabel Michael Kronstedt Todd Kruckeberg Todd Kruckeberg Doug Kruckeberg Ken Kube Jack Kuehn Paul Kuehnast John E. Kulas Kevin Kwiatkowski Tony Kwilas Donald LaBarre Adam Lafky Doug Lambert Mario Lametti Jason Lane Jeff Laney David Lang Chad Lange David & Ann Langer Bradley Langerman Dion Langness Mitch Lannon Laurie Larsen John Larsen David Larsen Janna Larson Greg Larson Chris Larson Heidi Larson Brian Larson Dale V. Larson David LaRue Paul Laskowski Eric Laumeyer Diana Lavalle Bryan LaVoy Chris Lawler Jo Ellen Lawler Trevor Lawrence David R. Lay Daniel Leach Mark Leadens Roger Leary Louise Leatherdale Scott Lebow Jon Ledin Derek & Stacy Lee Audree T. Lee Randy Lee Suzanne Lefevour Kevin Legatt Steven Lehr Chad Lehrke Jason E. Lemieux Doug Lennartson Bruce Lenzen Gary Leonard Joshua Leonhardt Mike Leoni Marisa Lerum Mary J. Letourneau Cary Ley Shannon Lezer Brandee & Chris Lian Gregory P. Lind Douglas Lindgren Tom Lindquist Linnea Lindquist Kris And Dave Lindsey Matt Lindstrom Scott Lindstrom Ron Link Robert C. Link Nicholas Linsmayer Rob Lipps Lee Lira Greg H. Lissick


28

January 14, 2021

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Thank you

20 year 4Ever Wild Season Ticket Members

Harlan Little Diana & Craig Llewellyn Jim Loeffler Gregory J. Loff Mike J. Loge Brian Lokrantz Mark Long Craig Lorence Joseph and Ashley Lorentz Jesse Lowther Glen Lucken Jason Lucking Christopher Lueck Todd Luft Richard Luis Larry Lukis John Lund Wayne Lund Bill Lundberg Kyle Lundgren Todd Luoma Rick Lupient Gary Lutz Paul Luxem David Lyman Bob Lynch Gina Lynch Cheryl Mack John Mackenroth John P. Madgett Michael Madigan Rich and Jenn Magnuson John Magnuson Michael Mahaney John Maher Matt Majka Dennis Malarkey Marc Malinoff Matt Mammenga David Manderson Robert R. Manning William R. Mansun Cathy & Mark Marchio Todd & Sherry Marella Eugene Marier Mary & Martin Marion Brian Mark Duraye Marshelle David L. Martens Kyle Marti Kym Martin Lora Martin Allan Martin Robert Marvin Melodee Marx Greg Mason Greg E. Mason Jeff S. Massie Chris Mastell Rick Mastell Cynthia J. Mathews George Mathews Dean Mathews Tom Mathias Mark Mathiason Roger L. Mathieu John Matthews Matt J. Mauer Patrick Maurer Mitch Maxwell Ken J. McCarthy Pat McCarthy Thomas McCarthy Edwin J. McCarthy Mike McCauley Eva McClellan Crissy & Tom McCluney Robert McCollum Patrick J. Mccready

Liam McDonald Kathy McDonald James McGeeney Tom Mcglynn Tim McGowan Scott McGuire Daniel P. Mchugh Brian McHugh Brian McKenna Tom McKenzie Kevin McKoskey Doug McMillan Todd McMurray Jamie McNamara Harry Mcneely Paddy McNeely Starr Medlyn Matthew Meek Jamie Meidlinger Mark Meister Jeff Meister Jeff Meister Doug Mellum Kathleen S. Melnychuk Christopher J. Melsha Jeffery & Rebecca Melville Paul Mendoza Gary A. Mentz Greg Mergens John A. Messerich Chris Messerly Kelley Metz Don Meyer Dave Meyer Richard J. Meyer Paul E. Meyers Greg Michalko Jim Michels Scott Miesen Mark Migliori Andrew Miklesh Bob Milbert Donn & Bonnie Milbrandt Michael Miller David Miller Anna Miller John Miller Keith and Kari Miller Whitney Miller Abigail Miller Terry Minarik Matt Minder David & Kristy Anne Minkkinen Jeff J. Missling Becky L. Mitchell Thomas “Scott” Mitchell Greg Mlodozyniec Lisa Moe Scott Mohs Dale Molback Thomas & Sue Molloy Joseph Monson Rob Monson Dawn Montez Todd Montgomery David Montgomery Jodee T. Montreuil Al Mooney Richard Moore Patrick Moran Michael More Albert Morelli Tom Morgan Peter H. Mork Todd Morrell Mark Morrey John Morrison Jimmy Morrissey Chris Morton

Rod Morton Joel Moryn Ron Mossberg Ron & Cherie Motley Daniel R. Moulin Paul Muchulas Jeff Mudge Michael P. Mullen Lyle G. Mullenbach Jess Muller John Muller Don Mullin Dave Munson Craig Murphy Kevin Murphy Pat Murphy Michael & Kathleen Myers Marty & Patti Nanne Ethan de Naray Andrew Nath Michelle Naughton Tom Nelson Michael Nelson Dr. David and Marybeth Nelson Craig E. Nelson Ron Nelson Thomas W. Nelson Tony Nelson Brent Nelson Reed Nelson Andy Nelson Janet Nelson Greg Nelson Michaela Neuens Brandon Neuerburg Neesha Neumann Daniel P. Newell Brad Newell Jason Newman Greg Nichols Ford J. Nicholson Todd S. Nicholson Christine Niederer Kurt Niederluecke Thomas J. Nielsen John M. Nielson Kevin J. Nilan Jack Noble Martin Norder Wayne & Mary Nordin Burt Nordstrand Mike Nordstrom Gerald L. Norman Jack Norqual John Norris Dana Norsten Steve North Nick Nyhus Nyssa Nypan Patrick O’Brien Christopher O’Brien Michael O’Connor Pat K. O’Connor Bradley J. O’Keefe Patrick O’leary Michael O’Leary Jennifer O’Leary Matt O’Neil John O’Neil John O’Neill Shannon M. O’Toole Jeff & Megan Oberle Jim Odney Sean OFarrell Al Ofstehage Mike Ohmes Kirt OKonek Doug OLeary Mark Ollila

Michael Olmstead Tim L. Olsen Jeffrey Olsen Bret K. Olseth Peter Olson Shane Olson Mark Olson Denise Olson Barbara E. Olson Paul Olson Wayne A. Olson Scott Olson Patrice Marie Van Oort Jim Oricchio Michael Orrie Bill Osborne Tim Oskey Jim Ostergaard Melissa Ostley Brian J. Oswald John Otterlei Jerry Ouimet David Overman Colleen Paavola John Packard Bruce Paddock Bob Pagel Alisa Pahkala Greg Pahl Howard Pakola Kenneth A. Palattao Blake Palmer Michelle Paquette Melissa Park Tracy Parker Brian Pascoe Howard Paster Lee Pattridge Carrie Patzke Derek Pauling Cheryl Paulson Darin D. Pavlish Allen Payne Dave Pearl Leonard S. Pederson Kathryn J. Pedro Daniel J. Pelava Thomas Penshorn Thomas J. Penton Michael E. Penz Richard & Robin Perket Ronald T. Perkins David Perlman Tom Perrier Dave St Peter Rick W. Peters Lisa Petersen Amy Jo Petersen Wayne Petersen Bryce Peterson John Peterson Steve Peterson Trent Peterson Lisa PetersonKinnunen Lorne Petkau Timothy P. Petrie Jon Phelps Brad Pierce Richard & Michelle Pietrick Susan Pihl-Niederman Mark Pilney Frank T. Pilney Brian Pinkowski Mark Pinta Nancy Pinzka John Pitzl Nate Plagge Brad Plaman Perry Platisha

Joe Podgurny Jake Poepl James Pohlad Ray Polos Steve Porter Todd Pottenbaum Don Pottinger Jeff Pratt Stacey Pream-Flesner Jason P. Price Todd Pries Robert Propf Hal M. Propp Pat Qualley Cheri Quast Fiona Quick Patrick Quinn Randall Rada Jeffrey D. Radke Robert Ranalla Jr Todd Rapp Laura Rasmussen Robert Rasmussen Marty Rathmanner Anita Ratwik Richard J. Rau Andrea Rau John Raustadt Ellen Rebne Kevin J. Reeck Ray J. Reeder Nicole A. Rees Patrick O. Regan Casey Regan Lisa Rehling Joe Reid Tony Reid Tom Reid Robert M. Reid Jay and Kim Reilly Phil Reim Kenneth M. Rein Kenneth Rein Pat Reis Mike Reiter Tommy Rempfer Brock Rendall Steve Renier Ann Reubish Justin J. Revak Timothy Ricci Peter Rice Thomas J. Rice Bruce A. Richard Chris Richards Wendy Richter Keith Richter Jim and Sue Ridenour Kevin Riedl Patricia M. Ringler Michael L. Ritter Dean Ritter Ryan P. Rivard David J. Rivard Gary Riveness Doug Robbins Todd & Sue A. Robideau John B. Rogers Jim Rogers Barbara Romanko Kelty Rome Michael L. Rongitsch John Rooney Mark Rosenblum Andrew Rossini David L. Roth Dan Roth Nathan L. Rowe Richard Ruden


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Thank you

20 year 4Ever Wild Season Ticket Members

Murray and Carla Rudisill James Rued Michael L. Ruegsegger Jim Runyon Tom Rush Michael Rusinko Glenn Rusler Jack Ruth Shawn Ryan Joe Ryan Christopher Ryberg Brian & Selmara Rydell Pete & Lisa Ryskamp Tom Saari Kevin Sabo Steve Sabo Hassan Saffouri Vincent Salmela Tom Salonek Richard J. Salonek Patrick E. Sampson Ed Sarquis Roman J. Saucedo Steven Sauer Roberta Saunders Daniel Savaloja David C. Sawin Christopher Sawyer Timothy M. Scanlan Kelly Scanlan James Scheuring Sigurd C. Scheurle Craig Schilling Steven L. Schleicher John B. Schlorhaufer John Schmeling Chad Schmidt Tony Schmidt Steve Schmidt Judith Schmieg Dan Schmitz Christopher K. Schneeman Cynthia Schneider John Schneider David W. Schneider Matthew Schotte Mike Schrader Matt J. Schreyer Joan & Merril Schroeder Ron & Lisa Schroeder Steve Schroll Terri Schult Josh Schultz Clark Schumacher Jay & Alethia Schwagel Beverly Schwalbach Christopher Schwartz Anthony Schwartz Pryce Score Jeff Sculthorp Scott Seath Mark A. Seifert Scott J. Seiler Geoff Seper

Ted Setterlund Brad Seykora Devang Shah Thomas E. Shamp Greg K. Sharrow Kevin Sheehan Neil K. Sheehy Jeanette Sheeran Eddie Shimota Liza Shimota Ryan Shirk Kristen Shodeen Kristen Shodeen Troy Shoemaker Brian Short Paul Siedow Todd Siegfried Patrick Sienko Ray Sierakowski Gabe Silverberg Craig Simard John P. Simmet Jeff Simon Derek B. Simons William A. Simpson Roger Sit Julian Siwek Lori Skarohlid Sarah Slattery Bryan Slattery Lynn Slettedahl Alan Slonim Evelyn Sluiter Rhonda Smed Greg Smith Charles Smith Brooks Smith Thomas J. Smith Chris Smith Julie Smith Mike Snyder Glenn R. Solberg Tom Solei Mark Solheim David N. Soltau Maureen & Stephen Sommers Jack K. Sparks Hampton Spears Kay Speedling Dean Speidel Robert J. Spinner Wayne Splittstoesser Carol Stadler Brian Stang Ted Stark III Lynn Starkovich John Stauch Adrian O. Stec Douglas Steele Dave Stefaniak Jean Steinert David J. Steingart John and Vickie Steinhagen William S. Steinke

Stephen Everett Stender Mick Stenson Vicki Stephens Kevin Stepka Lori Stevens Greg & Katie Stewart Jim Stillman Steve Stinson Tim Stockness Phil Stohr Josh Storm Paul Stotts J. Hubbard Stout Jim Streadwick Doyle L. Strong William P. Strout Kathryn Stuhler Steve Sumpter Russ Sundquist Dan Swanson Ernest Swanson Scott Sweno Renee Swenson Neil Swenson Jeff D. Swenson Dale Swenson James R. Talbot Ross Talbot Scott M. Tankenoff Tim Tarara Timothy M. Tasler Christopher Taylor Fritz Taylor Andy Taylor Keith K. Taylor Dale Teal Anthony Tedesco Barry Tedlund Christine Tessman John Thayer Bob Thayer Brad Theisen David & Colleen Theisen Jon A. Theobald Troy Thie Lori J. Thoennes William Thom Jim Thomas Oliver Thompson Bruce G. Thompson Scott Thompson Eric S. Thordson Matthew L. Thornton Skip Thorpe Mike Tieden Tom Tietjen Craig Tilbury David Tillou Bruce Tilsner Liese Tilson Glen J. Tischler Rhonda & TJ Tjaden Bob Tkaczik Aaron Tofte

Jon Tollefson Mike Toninato Damian & Rose Topousis Kelley Torkelson Anne M. Tosney John Towle Kerensa Tracy Andy Triemert Patrick A. Triplett Alan Tsang Robert Tschida Matt Tuccitto Robert Tucker Steven A. Tufenk Thomas Tuft Patrick Turner Jeff Tuthill Mark L. Umbreit Holly Upgren Mark Van Derek Vandenburgh Thomas Vandermause Tony & Deb Vannelli Robert Vanney Donald R. Vegoe Frederick M. Velasquez William K. Velin Tom Vennemann Bob Verhey Dan L. Verville Dan A Vigdal Michael Vinje Mike and Diane Vipond Dennis H. Vogland Rod J. Volkers Douglas J. Volkman Jenny Vos Barb Wagman Joseph Wagner Joe and Katie Wahlberg Edward Wakefield Thomas Walrath Kent Wangsness Jane Wardell Becky Warhol James F. Warner LaVonne Wathen Steve Watrud Debbie Watson Jennifer Wayne Brad Waznik Christine L. Weaver Jerry Webb Michael Webb Steve Weber Elmer Wedel Tom Weidner Jonathan Weinhagen Kay Weisgram Ryan P. Weisgram Alan Welch Daniel & Jeanette Wells Mark Welton James Werler

Kurt Wescott Walter Wescott Brian Wesolowski Ron G. West Daniel W. West Tony Westendorp John Wester Annette M. Whaley Steve Whitaker Mark R. White Joseph P. White Joseph Whitney David P. Wicker Tom J. Wiese Gordy Wigdahl Thomas Wilhelmy Alexis Will Steve Willems David Williams Patty Williams Sherwin Williams Marie Williams Brianna Williams Mary Williamson Andrea Willows Matt Winkel Angela Winkelman David Winston Steven E. Wirth Ken L. Wise Eric Wisti Teri Witzany Josh Wlaschin Andrew & Connie Woessner Shelley Wojcik Joe Wokson Vicki Wolyniec Jeff Wong Lisa Wood Bret Woodson Christopher J. Worms Lisa Wright Michael Wright Bill Wrolstad Julie Wylie Dale Yauch Larry A. Yoswa Guy Young Chris Young William Young Jr Al Youngkrantz Leo Yurek Bradley & Barbara Zacho Tim Zastoupil Joe Zemien Steve Zickermann Doug & Marsha Zisler David Zochert Jeffrey Zupfer Jennifer Zurick Gary Zywotko


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about the

Wild

– MINNESOTA WILD FAN Q AND A –

Jeff McGrath Little Canada, MN Family: Jeff, Sheri and Max (4) What is your hockey background? I grew up and played youth and high school hockey in Bemidji. How long have you been a Wild Season ticket holder? Since 2002-03, 17 seasons (one season lost to lockout) What section are you located in? 222 What was your initial feeling when it was announced Minnesota was bringing back NHL hockey? Not having an NHL team in Minnesota was a travesty, so the announcement just made sense to me. Never made sense having left, so I was relieved. How many games do you attend a year? 30+ What is your favorite food to get at the game? Snuffy’s Malts! If you could purchase one thing from the Hockey Lodge, what would it be? I always like to have the latest jersey styles. Do you have any pre-Wild game rituals? We love to grab tacos at the Taco House or Catrinas prior to heading over for a game. Like to get there a bit early and see some warm ups and walk around the rink. What is the most memorable game you have been to? Game 6 in round one of the 2003 playoffs. Richard Park overtime winner! Who is your all-time favorite Wild player and why? Marian Gaborik. During his peak here he brought an excitement to the arena that few can do. Who is No. 2 on your list? Zach Parise. Love the effort he always brings to the rink. What is your favorite piece of Wild memorabilia? Hard to pick. I have collected many game used hel-

Kevin Klos Bloomington, MN

mets from the team over the year. I love them all! What is you favorite Wild memory? Taking my now 4-year-old to his first game and getting a puck in warm-ups from Ryan Suter! What do you love most about attending Wild games? Games have become a part of all the phases of my life. My wife went before we were married and now we get to take our son to games.

Vicki Stephens Apple Valley, MN Age: 66 Family: Clyde, my husband What is your hockey background? I had gone to a few games over the years but when we moved here we were told that to be true Minnesotans we had to drive a Suburban and like hockey. So, we went to our first Minnesota State Fair and bought a Suburban. Because the Wild had not started yet, we went to U of MN and Gustavus hockey games. Other than being a fan I have no other hockey background. I have yet to ever ice skate. How long have you been a Wild Season ticket holder? 20+ years depending how you count canceled or partial seasons. I have had season tickets since day one in 2000. What section are you located in? Club Level C19, row 7 (bar rail) What was your initial feeling when it was announced Minnesota was bringing back NHL hockey? Even though I didn’t live here in the North Stars days, I knew this was a VERY big deal and was very excited. How many games do you attend a year? 40+... every game. What is your favorite food to get at the game? Does beer count? If not, I would say Carvery sandwiches. If you could purchase one thing from the Hockey Lodge, what would it be? I would purchase something to wear to a game. Do you have any pre-Wild game rituals? I like to get together with friends for a meal before every game. What is the most memorable game you have been to? The outdoor game at TCF Bank Stadium, beating Chicago, on a perfect snowy winter day, with 50,000+ fans was amazing! I sat in the bottom of the “L”. Who is your all-time favorite Wild player and why? My all-time favorite player would have to be Darby Hendrickson. He was the quintessential home town guy. He scored the first goal ever for the Wild, endeavored to be a mentor and lead by example. His continued work with the team endears him to all. He also continues to support community with the Hendrickson Foundation. He’s a great family man...just the whole meal deal. Who is No. 2 on your list? Marcus Foligno is my second and current favorite. He plays hard, with grit, and embraces the fan experience. He is an enthusiastic leader for the team and a great ambassador for the Wild. He is always there to do whatever is needed to get the job done.

What is your favorite piece of Wild memorabilia? I have a pair of Darby Hendrickson’s gloves. What is you favorite Wild memory? We went with a team hosted group to Finland to see the Wild play. It was a terrific week with other fans, touring, watching local and NHL hockey games, and even having lunch with the team. What do you love most about attending Wild games? I love the camaraderie with my friends and other fans – the energy and excitement in the arena is the best. I truly feel like part of a big hockey family This was harder to answer than I thought it would be. After 20+ years and hundreds of games, being really involved with all the Wild events, serving on the Fan Advisory Board, travel to away games with fans, and making so many wonderful friends along the way both in and out of the Wild organization, narrowing down to just a few things took a lot of thought.

Age: 40 Family: Wife Colleen, Kids Kora (4) and Kip (2) What is your hockey background? While growing up, I played youth hockey and attended North Stars games. As an adult, I goal judge for the Minnesota Magicians and am a Minnesota Wild Season Ticket Holder. How long have you been a Wild Season ticket holder? This will be my 8th year. What section are you located in? 222 What was your initial feeling when it was announced Minnesota was bringing back NHL hockey? Ecstatic. Not having an NHL team in Minnesota left a big void in our hockey community, so to get a brand new expansion team was exciting. How many games do you attend a year? Around 20 home games and at least one away game. What is your favorite food to get at the game? Original Hockey Mom Brownies. I don’t even verbally order anymore — when I walk up they recognize me and start preparing the “slap shot” brownie. If you could purchase one thing from the Hockey Lodge, what would it be? The Super Chexx Pro Deluxe Bubble Hockey Table. Do you have any pre-Wild game rituals? My wife and I drop the kids off at Grandma’s, arrive at the X when the gates open, walk around the concourse and enter contests, get a Wild magazine, and buy whatever the Wild Foundation is selling. What is the most memorable game you have been to? The 2016 Stadium Series Wild/North Stars vs Blackhawks alumni game was the most memorable because it was outside, and the alumni jerseys looked great. It was awesome to see the old North Stars and Wild alumni playing together, and we beat the Hawks! Who is your all-time favorite Wild player and why? Ryan Suter because I love the charity work he does for the Ronald McDonald House, which my family has used. Ryan also was nice enough to play a small part in my family’s video baby announcement. Additionally, Ryan is an outstanding defenseman, and I identify with him because I have always played defense. Who is No. 2 on your list? Matt Dumba because he does a lot of great charity work for a lot of organizations, he has an amazing slap shot, and when my wife asked him to pose with her in the penalty box at Ryan Suter’s “Skate with the Stars” charity event, Matt was a good sport and played along. What is your favorite piece of Wild memorabilia? Before our wedding, my soon-to-be-wife and I bought a custom Wild Jersey with the numbers 10-0414 (our wedding date) and had several Wild players sign it. We then used the jersey as our wedding guest book and had all of our guests also sign the jersey. We now have the jersey framed in our house. What is you favorite Wild memory? My mom and I sat in the owner’s suite at a North Stars game by winning a “Let’s Play Hockey” magazine contest when I was a kid. Last season, I had the chance to sit in the owner’s suite at a Wild game, so I brought my Mom again (this time, I drove us), and we got to meet and talk with Mike Modano — it was like my hockey-fan-life went full circle! What do you love most about attending Wild games? Spending time with my family in an exciting, energetic environment that has the friendliest staff of any pro sports building, while cheering on a team that’s always fun to watch.


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31

Wild

– MINNESOTA WILD FAN Q AND A –

Michael Swanson Lakeville, MN

Blaine, MN

Brandon Neuerburg Burnsville, MN Age: 49 Family: My wife, Beth, and two sons: Nathan (20) and Aiden (13). What is your hockey background? Avid fan... never played personally. Aiden is currently a B1 Bantam. How long have you been a Wild Season ticket holder? Since the beginning. What section are you located in? 227 What was your initial feeling when it was announced Minnesota was bringing back NHL hockey? Almost indescribable...I followed the Stars to Dallas, but it wasn’t the same. How many games do you attend a year? As many as possible, usually 20 or more. What is your favorite food to get at the game? Nothing beats a good cheeseburger. If you could purchase one thing from the Hockey Lodge, what would it be? I WILL be purchasing the new Reverse Retro Jersey. Do you have any pre-Wild game rituals? When we have the time, my wife and I enjoy going to Cosettea’s.

kids to the games when they played youth/high school hockey and watching them learn from the pros so they could make their game better and more enjoyable. It also was date-night for my wife and I and we met some great fellow season ticket holders. Several great friendships have grown out of those chance meetings. What do you love most about attending Wild games? We love watching the players, talking to our fellow hockey fans and being a part of a great experience.

What is the most memorable game you have been to? Wow! So many to choose from – 2019 season opener when my son was flag bearer, Gabby’s 5, Granny’s OT playoff winner, the outdoor game against Chicago at the Bank. But I’ll never forget being at Kieth Ballards last professional game in December of 2014. After Ballard was taken to the hospital, Broadziak took to fists for his teammate, and the Wild trailed 4-1 before a 4 goal third period rally to win 5-4. Who is your all-time favorite Wild player and why? It’s gotta be Gaborik. Who is No. 2 on your list? Bruno..Andrew Brunette. What is your favorite piece of Wild memorabilia? I really have a lot of stuff to choose from, including a Coyle autographed jersey, and a puck signed by many different alumni, but I guess I’d have to go with the Jordan Greenway autographed stick I won. What is you favorite Wild memory? My son being Flag Bearer for the home opener in 2019. What do you love most about attending Wild games? Just being a part of a truly elite group of fans that have the privilege of being a season ticket member.

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Age: 60s Family: Blended What is your hockey background? Played hockey as a youth (‘60s and ‘70s) and coached youth hockey (late ‘90s, early 2000s). Presently, a time keeper for high school hockey in Bloomington (15 years). Patty is a life-long hockey follower since the Minnesota North Stars. How long have you been a Wild Season ticket holder? 7 years What section are you located in? 125 What was your initial feeling when it was announced Minnesota was bringing back NHL hockey? Awesome! Finally, NHL hockey is back! How many games do you attend a year? 20+ What is your favorite food to get at the game? Hockey Moms Brownies. If you could purchase one thing from the Hockey Lodge, what would it be? Jersey. Do you have any pre-Wild game rituals? We walk around the lower level concourse twice. What is the most memorable game you have been to? When the MN Wild beat the Los Angeles Kings on March 30, 2013 in overtime. LA King goalie Jonathan Quick swung his hockey goalie stick against the goal and broke it after Matt Cullen scored. Who is your all-time favorite Wild player and why? Andrew Burnette – a solid hockey player, scoring in the 2003 playoff game vs Colorado in overtime. Who is No. 2 on your list? Jared Spurgeon. What is your favorite piece of Wild memorabilia? MN Wild signed hockey pucks. What is you favorite Wild memory? Taking Patty to her first professional NH MN Wild game in 2010. What do you love most about attending Wild games? The atmosphere!

great weather for outdoor hockey with my wife, daughter and son-in-law. GREAT experience. Who is your all-time favorite Wild player and why? Zach Parise. Love the hustle and gritty play. Who is No. 2 on your list? Brent Burns. What is your favorite piece of Wild memorabilia? A panoramic photo of the opening puck drop of the first regular season game in 2000 along with my ticket stub. And the jersey that I received for being the 15,000,000th fan last year. What is you favorite Wild memory? Taking my

Brad and patty johnson

Three generation MN Wild Swanson family picture taken at a Tanzania Safari Park: Emily, Indya, Colleen, Alicia, Jean, Allen, Jordan, Caedmon, and Michael.

Let

Age: 63 Family of 7: Myself, wife, 2 adult kids, 2 spouses and granddaughter. What is your hockey background? Played youth and adult hockey, coaching for over 25 years (still doing it) and referee for over 15 years (still doing it). How long have you been a Wild Season ticket holder? Since 2000 (20 years). What section are you located in? 106 What was your initial feeling when it was announced Minnesota was bringing back NHL hockey? Super excited! After the North Stars left town, I went to Minnesota Moose games. How many games do you attend a year? 25-30. What is your favorite food to get at the game? Nachos or popcorn. And a beer. Do you have any pre-Wild game rituals? Quick walk around the arena, get a beer and get in our seats before the national anthem(s). What is the most memorable game you have been to? I have a couple of games that rise to the top. The first game of the 2000 season when the Wild played the Philadelphia Flyers in front of the first of many sell-out crowds. It was great to have professional hockey back in the State of Hockey. But, my favorite would probably be the outdoor games at TCF Stadium against the Blackhawks. It was

Years 21 72 0 2 ✯

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about the

Wild

– MINNESOTA WILD FAN Q AND A –

Brad Newell Plymouth, MN

Age: 63 Family of 7: Myself, wife, 2 adult kids, 2 spouses and granddaughter. What is your hockey background? Played youth and adult hockey, coaching for over 25 years (still doing it) and referee for over 15 years (still doing it). How long have you been a Wild Season ticket holder? Since 2000 (20 years). What section are you located in? 106 What was your initial feeling when it was announced Minnesota was bringing back NHL hockey? Super excited! After the North Stars left town, I went to Minnesota Moose games. How many games do you attend a year? 25-30. What is your favorite food to get at the game? Nachos or popcorn. And a beer. Do you have any pre-Wild game rituals? Quick walk around the arena, get a beer and get in our seats before the national anthem(s). What is the most memorable game you have been to? I have a couple of games that rise to the top. The first game of the 2000 season when the Wild played the Philadelphia Flyers in front of the first of many sell-out crowds. It was great to have professional hockey back

in the State of Hockey. But, my favorite would probably be the outdoor games at TCF Stadium against the Blackhawks. It was great weather for outdoor hockey with my wife, daughter and son-in-law. GREAT experience. Who is your all-time favorite Wild player and why? Zach Parise. Love the hustle and gritty play. Who is No. 2 on your list? Brent Burns. What is your favorite piece of Wild memorabilia? A panoramic photo of the opening puck drop of the first regular season game in 2000 along with my ticket stub. And the jersey that I received for being the 15,000,000th fan last year. What is you favorite Wild memory? Taking my kids to the games when they played youth/high school hockey and watching them learn from the pros so they could make their game better and more enjoyable. It also was date-night for my wife and I and we met some great fellow season ticket holders. Several great friendships have grown out of those chance meetings. What do you love most about attending Wild games? We love watching the players, talking to our fellow hockey fans and being a part of a great experience.

Stephen and Grant Belde of Anchorage, Alaska are big Wild fans. It doesn’t matter how far away you are, the Wild always bring you home. Stephen and Grant’s favorite player is Ryan Suter.

State of Hockey Anthem The State of Hockey Anthem debuted with the start of the 2000-2001 inaugural Wild season. In the State of Hockey, where the tradition of our game runs deep, these lyrics symbolize the elements of Minnesota’s rich hockey heritage. Since the first puck drop, the Anthem has been featured as part of the game presentation at Wild home games. There have been various versions of the piece, and each one embodies the pride we have in the game of hockey and the communities and lives it touches throughout our great state.

Anthem Lyrics We were raised With the stick And a pair of blades On the ice we cut our teeth We took our knocks In the penalty box Our mother was the referee This sport was here Before we came It will be here when we’re gone The game’s in our blood And our blood’s in the game Lay us down under A frozen pond

We will fight to the end We will stand and defend Our flag flying high and free We were born the child Of the strong and Wild In the State, the State of Hockey A big blue line runs around our state A line that can’t be crossed The day they try to take this game Is the day the gloves come off We will fight to the end We will stand and defend Our flag flying high and free We were born the child Of the strong and Wild In the State, the State of Hockey.


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Tradition. Community. B reezers.

THE HOME ICE

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2020-21 MINNESOTA WILD RADIO NETWORK MINNESOTA STATION AITKIN KKIN ALBERT LEA KATE AUSTIN KAUS BEMIDJI KBUN BENSON KSCR BRAINERD KUAL CROOKSTON KROX DETROIT LAKES KDLM DULUTH KDAL / WDSM ELY WELY EVELETH KRBT FAIRMONT KSUM FOSSTON KKCQ GLENWOOD KMGK GRAND RAPIDS KOZY HIBBING WMFG HUTCHINSON KDUZ INTERNATIONAL FALLS KGHS MANKATO KMKO MARSHALL KNSG MINNEAPOLIS/ST PAUL KFAN MONTEVIDEO KDMA NEW ULM KNUJ NORTHFIELD KYMN

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RESPECT THE REFS!

I am your referee today… ■ I am not an NHL referee ■ I am learning, just like the players ■ I attend clinics, study the rulebook, and am tested on the rules ■ I do my best every game ■ But I am not perfect ■ There will be decisions I get wrong and calls I miss ■ Some might be for you, others against – but not intentionally ■ Yelling at me will not make me better ■ I love this game and I want your son/daughter to love this game

#HomeIceAdvantage @MinnHockey

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Erica McKenzie is still making hockey memories by BRYAN ZOLLMAN

Let’s Play Hockey Publisher

Few women hockey players have accomplished as much as Erica McKenzie has in her career. In high school she was named Ms. Hockey in 2004, the state’s highest high school honor. In college she played for the Minnesota Golden Gophers and won a national title. And she played for team USA and won a Gold Medal in the Four Nations Cup. Now 35, she is still heavily involved in the game working as a director of customer service and retention for the Minnesota Wild. McKenzie grew up in the small town of Hastings and was playing Erica McKenzie was recently ranked as the 13th best women’s hockey for as player to come out of the state of Minnesota by Let’s Play Hocklong as she can ey. McKenzie helped lead the Golden Gophers to a national title. remember. “I begged my parents to get me skates so I could go play with my brother and his friends,” she said. “In first grade I was playing every single day on the ponds. It didn’t matter if I was playing goalie or playing out. I just wanted to be playing.” A year later she played on her first organized team. And a dream was born. “That was it for me,” she said. She was hooked. Hastings didn’t have a girls program so she played on the boys’ team. A family friend was coaching the mite team and told Erica’s mom to sign her up and he would

McKenzie poses with the Stanley Cup. After her playing career ended, she got a job working with the Minnesota Wild.

make sure she was on his team. For every hockey player, that first year is crucial. Erica said she was very fortunate to have the support she received from teammates. “They didn’t look at me any different than anyone else,” she said. “They just looked at me as a hockey player playing a game we all loved. It’s crazy how those days don’t seem that long ago.” McKenzie’s game progressed rapidly and by the time she was in eighth grade she found herself on the Hastings Raiders varsity girls hockey team. When she was a senior she scored 68 goals in 27 games, leading her to the coveted Ms. Hockey Award. “In Minnesota there is nothing like playing high school hockey,” she said. “The tradition and everything that comes along with it is truly the best in the country. To have that opportunity to play with your friends you grew up with, and even though we never made it to the state tourney, it was the journey and memories I’ll never forget.” Her prowess on the ice earned her a scholarship to the University of Minnesota, the premiere college hockey program in the country. It was there she helped lead the Golden Gophers to the 2004-05 national title. She would go on to score 141 points in 144 games in her Gopher career. “I always wanted to be a Gopher and wear the M on my sweater,” she said. “That experience will be something I will never forget.” The Gopher experience elevated her game to the point where she made Team USA and competed internationally. At the time it was the pinnacle of women’s hockey. A female player could not play at a higher level, making McKenzie one of the top players not just in the country, but in the world. She helped lead USA over Canada for gold in the Four Nations Cup. “Being able to represent your country is the ultimate goal,” she said. “I still remember the first time putting on my USA jersey in my first International Tournament. It was one of the most emotional moments in my sports career and something I will never forget.” So many teams, so many games, so many memories. McKenzie has run the gamut of women’s hockey, excelling at each level she played. Recently she was ranked as the 13th best women’s hockey player to come out of the State of Hockey. Looking back, she is grateful for the opportunity the game has given her. More importantly, she is grateful for the friendships and memories she has made. “I have been so fortunate to play a game that I love and that game has taught me so much,” she said. “It has taught me many lessons that are still with me today in the work world.” Hockey is still a huge part of her life. She might not be putting the puck in the net these days, but she is contributing to the Minnesota Wild in other ways. Much like when she was six years old, she is just glad to be part of the team. “I really just wanted to get my foot in the door and then work my tail off to hopefully stay with the team,” she said. Hockey really does teach life lessons. Erica McKenzie is living proof of that.

McKenzie helped lead Team USA to a gold medal in the Four Nations Cup.

Subscription Special ue

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Number 3 • Issue

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College preseason polls & picks

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Not just another fish story ... pg. 19

MICHELLE CRECHIOLO

ANDY NESS

How the Penguins landed Jake Guentzel ... pg. 12

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confidence ... pg.

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IN THIS ISSU

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From the Oval to the X Kalli Funk’s passion for hockey keeps growing thanks to new career with Wild by BRYAN ZOLLMAN

Let’s Play Hockey Publisher

Kalli Funk’s Twitter hashtag is @ uptownfunk22, but lately she’s been living “downtown.” Downtown St. Paul that is. Funk works in the Community Relations and Hockey Partnerships Department for the Minnesota Wild. Before COVID-19 hit she was a common sight at the Minnesota Wild offices and at the Xcel Energy Center for Wild games. And for her, being at the arena and being around hockey is where she feels most at home. “Working with the Minnesota Wild is another dream come true,” said the former homegrown hockey star. Funk feels at home at the rink because she practically grew up in one. A product of the State of Hockey, she started skating at age three. Little did she know at the time she would go on to not just play college hockey, but play professionally for her hometown

Kalli Funk started skating at age three and was playing organized hockey at age four in the Roseville program that has produced some of womens hockey’s greatest players in the state of hockey.

Minnesota Whitecaps. She grew up by the Roseville Skating Center where they have the Guidant John Rose MN OVAL, a unique outdoor skating area next to the arena. She had three other siblings who were also involved in either hockey or figure skating. “That arena was our second home,” she said. “It was awesome being able to skate pretty much whenever we wanted.” She joined youth hockey at age four, playing in the Roseville Hockey Association. “I really don’t think there was a better association to play for growing up than Roseville,” she said. She started out playing boys hockey, something she says contributed to her toughness and physicality needed to play at the next level. She was coached by Minnesota hockey legends Mike and Marty Sertich before joining girls hockey and playing 12U. That was when she joined OS Hockey and was introduced to two more hockey legends, the Curtin and Brodt families. Winny Brodt was the inaugural winner of the Ms. Hockey Award, and sisters Ronda (1999) and Renee (2001) Curtin both won the Award as well and were pioneers in Minnesota girls hockey. “Having role models like the Curtins and Brodts to look up to and learn from was fantastic and really helped me along the way,” she said. She attended Cretin-Derham Hall High School and led her team to the state tournament, which to this day is one of her fondest hockey memories. “Getting to play in the tournament is something every young hockey player dreams of,” she said. “That was the first time I ever skated at the X, and stepping out onto the ice for the first game was an indescribable feeling.” Playing high school hockey in Minnesota helped prepare her for the next level: college hockey. After a year at Niagara University (they cut the program after Funk’s freshman year), Funk joined St. Cloud State and was thrust into the premiere women’s college hockey conference – the WCHA. It was a dream come true for the little girl who first slid on a pair of

Kalli Funk proudly raises the Isobel Trophy after she and the Minnesota Whitecaps won the NWHL title in their first year in the league.

Kalli Funk, with “Breezer,” at her desk in the Minnesota Wild offices where she works in Community Relations and the Hockey Partnerships Department. Funk says it was a dream come true to work for her hometown NHL team. skates when she was just three. “I loved playing college hockey because of the rivalries that existed between each team and the adversity we had to overcome,” she said. “The thrill of battling out a game and earning the win is a feeling I will never forget, especially when it was against a powerhouse team like Wisconsin.” She also enjoyed the lifelong friendships she made, which is one of the more underrated aspects of competitive hockey. For many who do play, trophies and medals gather dust, but it is the friendships that last forever. “I made relationships with my teammates that will last the rest of my life,” she said. “I also learned valuable skills that I use in my every day life and especially my job.” Her time at St. Cloud State would take her another step further in her hockey career. She ventured over to Sweden to play a year of hockey before returning home to play for the Minnesota Whitecaps, Minnesota’s first professional women’s hockey team. Her first two years the Whitecaps played exhibition games against college teams. Then the Whitecaps joined the National Women’s Hockey league (NWHL) for the 2018-19 season. It was a season she will never forget. “We came into the league as the new team but we finished the season by really making a mark and a lasting impact,” she said. “It is a really cool feeling knowing that we were paving the way for young hockey players who had dreams of playing professional hockey.” The team capped off their season winning the Isobel Cup, the NWHL’s version of the Stanley Cup. Funk,

wearing No. 22, hoisted the Cup into the air as she skated around the rink to the delight of Whitecaps fans. To this day it is her favorite hockey memory. “We worked so hard to win the championship, and to do it in our first season in the league was a cherry on top,’ she said. “It was a dream come true.” Another dream came true recently when the Wild hired Funk. Her job duties include overseeing community youth hockey programs such as Little Wild Learn to Play, Wild for a Day, Leadership Summit, and planning and execution of Hockey Day Minnesota. “I get to work with so many different people and hear their stories about how the Wild inspires them every day,” she said. “I love my job because of the impact we have on the community, and being able to make a change in people’s lives is incredible. The best part of my job is working with kids and families and seeing the smiles on their faces when they are impacted by what we do.” Funk was just seven years old when the Wild came to town. It was a ripe age for a young hockey player to become a lifelong Minnesota Wild fan. And now, she suits up for the Wild on a daily basis. Sure, she may not pull on the No. 22 sweater (that belongs to Kevin Fiala) and have her own locker. But she has her own desk, gets to visit with the team dogs “Breezer” or “Honey” and is a little more than a long saucer pass from the rink. “I enjoy that I still get to be heavily involved with hockey and I am able to help grow the game every single day,” she said. “Plus, who wouldn’t want to go to Wild games for their job!”


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About xcel Energy Center t

FACT SHEET ABOUT XCEL ENERGY CENTER Opened: September 2000 Owner: City of Saint Paul Home to: NHL's Minnesota Wild Operator: Saint Paul Arena Company (SPAC), an affiliate of Minnesota Sports & Entertainment Construction Cost: $170 Million Architectural Firm: HOK Sports Facilities Group         

 

 

Regarded as one of the finest arenas in the world, Xcel Energy Center is a one-of-a-kind multi-purpose sports and entertainment facility located in downtown Saint Paul, home to more than 150 sporting and entertainment events and roughly 1.5 million visitors each year. Xcel Energy Center opened its doors on September 29, 2000, when the new National Hockey League (NHL) franchise Minnesota Wild took on the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in a preseason contest and claimed a 3-1 victory. The Wild hosted sellout crowds for 409 consecutive games over the first nine seasons of existence. Built to showcase the game of hockey, a “State of Hockey” tribute pays homage to the state’s official sport with exhibits throughout Xcel Energy Center. One of the first things visitors notice is the ring of hockey jerseys representing every boys’ and girls’ high school hockey team in Minnesota. Four separate concourses on four seating levels, plus the Al Shaver Press Box on the fifth level, provide configuration capabilities to seat more than 20,000 guests. Xcel Energy Center's wide-open concourses - measuring as much as 70 feet in width - offer guests an open view of every event. Each of the four levels was strategically designed to create great sightlines and superior acoustics. There are 74 executive suites; 12 on the main concourse and 62 on the Bremer Bank Suite Level. The RBC Wealth Management Club Level features leather seats, an exclusive merchandise store and upscale food and beverage options, anchored by Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Club. Xcel Energy Center has free, venue-wide Wi-Fi available for all events. Inside the venue there are more than 400 WiFi access points covering the seating area, concession stands and concourses on all levels. Guests can easily connect to the Wi-Fi network by selecting 'XECWifi' from among the connection options appearing on their device. In 2012, the Bud Light Top Shelf Lounge was added - an all-inclusive loge area on the west end of the RBC Wealth Management Club Level. The lounge has a Scandinavian influence and includes 24 loge boxes, a canoe-inspired bar, sustainable lighting, an exclusive club area, a complimentary buffet, a private bar and iPad access. In 2014, Xcel Energy Center and the Minnesota Wild partnered with Daktronics to manufacture and install a comprehensive technology upgrade that included a new custom HD LED center-hung video board that was nearly six times larger than the previous one, stretching from blue line to blue line. The design featured the latest technology available and incorporated the North Woods motif already conveyed throughout the arena. Additional upgrades included replacement of outdoor marquees and ribbon displays that encircle the interior arena fascia. At the end of 2015, The Reserve, a new upscale lounge on the Bremer Bank Suite Level, was added. The area features a diverse menu and full bar and is open for Minnesota Wild home games, concerts and special events to guests with suite level tickets or reservations. Xcel Energy Center has been recognized as one of the best venues worldwide for sporting events, concerts and family shows. ESPN The Magazine has ranked the venue six times among the top three for “Best Stadium Experience” in all of professional sports (2003-2004, 2007-2010) and ESPN fans voted it the “Ultimate Crib” in the magazine’s 2009 “Ultimate Standings.” Xcel Energy Center was named “Best NHL Arena” by SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily in its 2006 Reader Survey, and was recognized for the “Best Fan Experience” by Forbes magazine in its 2006 “Business of Hockey” report. Sports Illustrated named the arena its “top choice” among NHL buildings in its 2006 NHL Preview issue. In addition to hockey, Xcel Energy Center has been nominated nine times (2001-2003, 2005-2010) for “Arena of the Year” by leading concert-industry publication Pollstar magazine. Some of entertainment’s most legendary performers have dazzled Xcel Energy Center audiences including: Adele • Madonna • Bob Dylan • Elton John • The Police • Rolling Stones • Barbra Streisand • Paul McCartney • Luciano Pavarotti • Billy Joel • Lady Gaga • Rod Stewart • Tim McGraw & Faith Hill • Kenny Chesney • Neil Diamond • Bruce Springsteen • John Mellencamp • Bon Jovi • Simon & Garfunkel • three consecutive sold-out shows by both hometownfavorite Prince and Taylor Swift. Each year, Xcel Energy Center becomes Minnesota’s sports epicenter for high school athletic tournaments. The most storied event is the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Boys’ Hockey Tournament, where attendance marks are routinely broken each year as hockey-crazed fans clamor for tickets to this celebrated event. Xcel Energy Center has hosted several world-renowned events in its history including the 2016 and 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, 2011 and 2002 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four, 2011 NHL Entry Draft, 2011 and 2006 USA Gymnastics’ Visa Championships, 2008 Republican National Convention, 2004 NHL All-Star Weekend and the 2004 International Ice Hockey Federation World Cup of Hockey.


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January 14, 2021

41

The 2019-2020 season marks the tenth season of giving for the Minnesota Wild Foundation. With support from Wild players, fans and donors, the Minnesota Wild Foundation has supported children’s medical related causes, serves as the largest non-member funding source for Minnesota Hockey, and has provided important fundraising opportunities for charities and youth hockey associations across the state. Since its inception in 2009, the Wild Foundation has distributed more than $4 million in grants to hockey organizations and children’s medical related charities and has dispersed over $2 million to local charities in these two categories through its Split the Pot Raffle program. Help us celebrate an amazing ten years of giving and join our Give 10 campaign by donating $10 or any denomination of 10 to help us continue our important mission to support the game of hockey and improve the lives of families across Minnesota. Together we create a Greater State of Hockey!

Wild for a Day

The Minnesota Wild’s “Wild for a Day” program, recognizes young hockey players that demonstrate commitment, hard work and passion for the game and their community both on and off the ice. Selected candidates will receive a Wild gift pack, an autographed photo and puck from their favorite Wild player, and be highlighted on social media and the webpage throughout the month of their nomination. Candidates are chosen based upon the following: • Must be currently registered on a Minnesota Hockey youth team • Demonstrates passion for the sport of hockey • Exemplifies leadershaip and hard work on the ice • Exhibits qualities of a good teammate • Strives to continuously have a positive attitude • Contributes to their local community and/or home hockey association • Goes above and beyond to help create a greater State of Hockey *Parents cannot nominate their own child. Nominators must be a coach, fellow hockey parent, friend or teacher.

Wild About Reading

The goal of the Wild About Reading program is to promote the importance of reading and increase student literacy by encouraging kids to read. With students currently “distance learning” from home, Wild About Reading is a great way for students to stay engaged with reading with a Minnesota Wild theme. Wild About Reading is a 4-week program which allows students to download weekly posters, reading logs, certificates and bookmarks from the comfort of their home. Families and students can use the reading logs to set goals and download certificates to present to students after completing the program. The Minnesota Wild are dedicated to “distance learning” and helping students grow educationally during this uncertain time.

Wild Magazine Sales

Participating in the Wild Magazine Sales initiative at Wild home games gives Minnesota Hockey member associations across the State of Hockey an opportunity to team build and enjoy the atmosphere of Xcel Energy Center on a game night while fundraising for their association at the same time. Youth hockey associations with a 501(c) (3) designation are encouraged to apply for the opportunity to sell game magazines at a Wild game, and for their efforts, they will receive a one-time, $1,000 grant from the Minnesota Wild Foundation. Youth hockey associations selling Wild Magazine are required to bring 40 volunteers (26 youth hockey players and 14 adults) and must arrive two hours and 15 minutes prior to the start of the game in order to receive proper training and be ready to sell magazines when gates open. The selling period lasts from doors open through the end of the 1st intermission. Typically this equates to about two hours of selling on your feet with limited breaks. Once the selling period is complete, sellers are welcome to stay and watch the remainder of the Wild game. Magazine sellers will not have ticketed seats but may find a standing room area to watch on the 100 and 200 levels.

Prairie Island Indian Community Match Program and Scholarship Fund

The Minnesota Wild has been proud to partner with Treasure Island Resort & Casino since the team’s inception nineteen years ago. During that time, Treasure Island and the Prairie Island Indian Community (PIIC) has been extraordinarily generous in its support for youth and amateur hockey across the State of Hockey. In collaboration with the Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Wild Foundation, the Prairie Island Indian Community established a fund-matching program tied to Minnesota Wild game magazine sales. For every $1 dollar used to purchase a Wild game magazine, the PIIC donates $1 back to the Minnesota Wild Foundation. Since 2009, PIIC has contributed over $950,000 to the Wild Foundation, over $828,000 of that being matching funds from game night sales. Thanks to our amazing fans and the PIIC, the matching program is on a trajectory to surpass the One Million-dollar mark in donated funds. These major contributions have gone to support Minnesota Hockey and to fund a scholarship program for St. Paul youth hockey players. The Minnesota Wild Foundation recognizes that the city we call home, once recognized as Minnesota’s hockey hotbed, has seen youth hockey registration numbers decline significantly over the past 35 years. We believe it is important to do our part to preserve the great hockey tradition of our neighbors in St. Paul and help children/families afford to play the game they love. With funding from the magazine sales match, the Prairie Island Indian Community/Minnesota Wild Foundation Scholarship gives youth hockey players in the four St. Paul youth hockey associations the opportunity to apply for scholarship funds. To date, over $414,000 in matching funds have provided over 1,000 scholarships for youth skaters in St. Paul. THANK YOU PRAIRIE ISLAND INDIAN COMMUNITY FOR YOUR ENDURING SUPPORT FOR YOUTH HOCKEY IN THE STATE OF HOCKEY!


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Let’s Play Hockey

HOCKEY

Q: Four Minnesotans were invited to the Wild’s first training camp in 2000. Who were they?

Sponsored by

11.

A: Brian Bonin (White Bear Lake), Jeff Nielsen (Grand Rapids), Darby Hendrickson (Richfield) and Steve Aronson (Minnetonka).

2.

Q: Wild great Marian Gaborik was selected third overall in the NHL draft in 2000. What two players went ahead of him?

12.

13. 14. This player was the first ever Wild draft pick, going third overall in the 2000 NHL draft.

A: Voyageurs, Blue Ox, Northern Lights, Freeze, White Bears, and the Wild of course.

5,.

15.

Q: The Wild sell out just about every game. But they don’t hold the record for highest attendance for an event held at the X. That belongs to this country music star.

Q: Bob Naegele, Jr., spearheaded the drive to bring NHL hockey back to Minnesota. Naegele was not just a lifelong hockey fan, but a former player. What Minnesota high school did he attend and what position did he play?

7.

16.

8.

Q: Four Minnesota players have or have had a career plus/minus rating of 50 or higher entering the 2021 season. Who are they?

18.

10.

This player was chosen in the first round of the 2003 draft. He would go on to win a Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman.

Q: Charlie Coyle was eventually traded as well. What team did he go to and who did the Wild get in return? A: Coyle was traded to the Boston Bruins and in return received Ryan Donato and a 5th-round pick.

19.

Q: What goaltender holds the franchise record for most wins in a Wild sweater? A: Niklas Backstrom won 194 games for the Wild. Backstrom played nine seasons for the Wild from 2006-2015.

Q: What two players did the Wild acquire in the Brent Burns trade? A: Devin Setoguchi and Charlie Coyle. Setoguchi scored 32 goals in parts of two seasons in a Wild sweater. Coyle scored 91 goals in seven seasons for the Wild.

A: Mikko Koivu (+70), Marian Gaborik (+54), Ryan Suter (+53) and Jared Spurgeon (+50).

9.

Q: Who was the Wild’s first round pick in 2003? A: Brent Burns. Burns played six seasons with the Wild before being traded to San Jose. Since he was traded, we don’t think Burns has shaved.

17.

A: Pierre-Marc Bouchard had exactly 50 assists in the 20708 season

Q: The 2003 draft had been a plentiful one for the Wild. What two other Wild players were taken in the 2003 draft, what number pick were they, and what team drafted them? A: Ryan Suter went 7th overall to Nashville and Zach Parise was chosen 17th overall by New Jersey.

A: Naegele was a standout goaltender for Minnetonka High School in the 1950s. Q: Only one Minnesota player has recorded 50 assists or more in a season. Who did it and what year?

Q: The Wild had more than 10 former first-round draft picks on last year’s team. But this player went higher than any of them. Who was he and what number overall pick was he? A: Eric Staal was chosen No. 2 overall in the 2003 draft by Carolina. The No. 1 overall pick that year? Marc Andre-Fleury, goaltender, Pittsburgh Penguins.

A: On Oct. 28, 2003 Shania Twain drew a crowd of 20,554.

6.

Q: This player led the Wild with a plus/minus rating of +16 last season. Who was it? A: Carson Soucy. The 2013 5th-round draft pick played in 55 games and scored seven goals and added seven assists. Jonas Brodin was a close second in Plus/Minus at +15.

A: Brian Rolston. Rolston notched 34 goals in 2005-06, and 31 in the 2006-7 and another 31 in 2007-2008.

4.

Q: When the Wild was courting the NHL about an expansion team, they were also looking at the possibility of relocating one of these two franchises to Minnesota. What two franchises were they? A: Winnipeg and Hartford. Winnipeg ended up becoming the Atlanta Thrashers in 1997, but returned to Winnipeg in 2011. The Hartford Whalers relocated to North Carolina in 1997 and are now the Carolina Hurricanes.

Q: Marian Gaborik had five 30-goal seasons for the Wild. One other player had three. Who was he?

Q: There were originally six names considered for Minnesota’s new NHL franchise. How many can you name?

Q: In seven seasons with the Wild, this players was a captain and also is the all-time leader in “shorties.” Who is he and how many short-handed goals did he score? A: Wes Walz scored 14 shorties from 2000-2008. He played in 438 games and scored a total of 82 goals in his Minnesota Wild career.

A: Goaltender Rick Dipietro (1st overall/New York Islanders) and Dany Heatley (2nd overall/Atlanta Thrashers).

3.

43

answers

TRIVIA 1.

January 14, 2021

Q: Who scored the first ever regular season goal for the Wild? A: Marian Gaborik scored the lone Wild goal in their first game against Anaheim, a 3-1 loss. Gaborik’s goal came in the second period on Oct. 6, 2000.

This player is the only Wild player to record at least 50 assists in a single season.

Q: This player has the most penalty minutes in franchise history and he did it in just four seasons. Who is he? A: Matt Johnson. The big winger played in 227 games from 2000 to 2004 and racked up 698 PIM. He also netted 15 goals.

20.

Q: Who scored the first Wild goal on home ice? A: Richfield native Darby Hendrickson scored the first goal at the X in a 3-3 tie against Philadelphia on Oct. 11, 2000.

Grandma’s Bakery is a proud sponsor of Hockey Trivia. Visit their website at www.grandmasbakery.com


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Ice Rink Liners Quality is our #1 goal.

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Wild to cheer on NWHL’s Whitecaps in Bubble Season at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid Autographed ‘Fan Faces’ of Wild players and Head Coach Dean Evason will be auctioned to benefit scholarships for girls’ Hockey Programs ST. PAUL, Minn. – Head Coach Dean Evason, captain Jared Spurgeon, Zach Parise, Matt Dumba, Kevin Fiala and every player on the Minnesota Wild will be represented in the stands of Herb Brooks Arena when the 2019 Isobel Cup champions, the Minnesota Whitecaps, battle in the upcoming NWHL bubble season in Lake Placid. In the spirit of #OneMN and in the latest example of their continued support of the State of Hockey’s NWHL team, the Minnesota Wild organization has purchased 24 Fan Face Cut-outs. Showing the Wild’s thoughtful commitment to hockey as a game for everyone, the Wild will have their 23 players and Coach Evason sign their Fan Faces and auction them after the NWHL season. The proceeds from the auction will provide scholarships for an all-girls Little Wild Learn to Play Program in the fall of 2021. “We have been very proud supporters of the Minnesota Whitecaps since their inception in 2004,” said Jamie Spencer, Executive Vice President of Business Development of the Minnesota Wild. “We wish the Whitecaps the best of luck during the 2021 National Women’s Hockey League season and will be cheering them on as they try to bring the Isobel Cup back to the State of Hockey.” Fan Faces are available to order until Jan. 15 at whitecaps.universitytickets. com. “This passionate support from our friends with the Minnesota Wild is not only huge for the Whitecaps but for everyone invested in women’s hockey,” said Whitecaps captain Allie Thunstrom. “As young players growing up in Minnesota, my teammates and I looked up to the players and the organization, hoping to be like them someday. And now that we are, it’s so special to see the Whitecaps encourage and amplify us with their significant platform in the hockey world. Young players, boys and girls, now have two professional teams they can aspire to join. The Whitecaps thank the Wild for their support and we wish them the best of luck as they start their NHL season. Let’s bring the Isobel Cup and the Stanley Cup to the State of Hockey in 2021! We are #OneMinnesota.” About the Minnesota Whitecaps The Minnesota Whitecaps are a professional women’s ice hockey team based in St. Paul, Minn., and competing in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL). Founded in 2004, the Whitecaps joined the NWHL as an expansion team in 2018 and went on to win the NWHL Isobel Cup Championships in their inaugural season. They are the only team to have won both a Clarkson Cup (CWHL) and an Isobel Cup (NWHL), the two major championships in professional women’s hockey in North America. The Whitecaps play their home games at TRIA Rink in Saint Paul. Visit whitecaps.nwhl.zone to learn more. About W Hockey Partners (WHP) W Hockey Partners owns and operates four teams in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL): Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, and Minnesota Whitecaps. The group is dedicated to advancing women’s hockey, creating more opportunities for the best players to play professionally, and generating community impact. Visit whockeypartners.com to learn more.

– TUFTO –

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“Stuff like that, just getting out on the rink and playing pond hockey and just having fun being a little competitive, it makes you grow your game,” Tufto said. “I think it’s important for kids growing up, no matter how young or whether you’re high school aged to get out there. You’re kind of just in your own world. There’s no rules or anything. You’re just kind of showcasing your skills and just having fun.” Cherished Memories The Tufto’s backyard rink is no more, as the family moved from that house in Chaska. Kris Tufto built the rink each winter all the way through Odeen’s second year of juniors. Even though Odeen wasn’t living at home at that

time, he still cherished the few chances to skate on the outdoor rink when he’d come home for holiday breaks. “Every year, we tried to make it a little bit bigger. We cut down trees, tried to expand it a little bit,” he said. “Gosh, the memories from that place were pretty special.” Tufto has spent the last four years at Quinnipiac, located in Connecticut. A good amount of his Bobcats teammates are from the East Coast, meaning he’s gotten a feel for what outdoor hockey is like out east. Simply put, it’s just not the same as it is back home. “I think you ask any Minnesota kid that plays college and they grew up on a backyard rink or a pond. Out here, I don’t think that’s as popular as much,” Tufto said. “I don’t know what the reason for that is, but something obviously about Minnesota that screams it.”


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Let’s Play Hockey

45

Stick tap From all of us in the state of hockey to our beloved Minnesota Wild Here’s to 20 more years! ue

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Volume XLVII •

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The Minnesota Wild at the NHL Draft ... pg. 15

DAN BAUER

PETE WAGGONER

Restoring Polar pride ... pg. 11

Not just another fish story ... pg. 19

MICHELLE CRECHIOLO

ANDY NESS

How the Penguins landed Jake Guentzel ... pg. 12

KIM MCCULLOUGH

2018-19 Tournament Calendar

Teaching contact

confidence ... pg.

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Rule non-enforc

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Refining technique

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Planning your development ... pg. 24

Affordable summer

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IN THIS ISSU

Girls 2006of to 5:45 pm based out Aldrich & Vadnais Sports Center Team - 4:15 Arena There 2009 Girls to 7:30 pm

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College preseason polls & picks

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January 14, 2021

HS BOYS AA PRE-SEASON 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

EDEN PRAIRIE Maple Grove Thomas Academy Benilde-St. Margaret’s Hill-Murray Prior Lake Lakeville South Cretin-Derham Hall Grand Rapids Roseau Edina Blake Minnetonka Moorhead Wayzata Centennial Holy Family Catholic Andover Duluth East Elk River/Zimmerman

HS BOYS A PRE-SEASON 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

BANTAM AA 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

EDINA Minnetonka Eden Prairie Chaska/Chanhassen Wayzata Woodbury Stillwater Prior Lake Hermantown Osseo-Maple Grove Mahtomedi Duluth East Andover White Bear Lake Orono Champlin Park Coon Rapids Moorhead Rosemount Sibley Area

HS GIRLS AA PRE-SEASON 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

HERMANTOWN East Grand Forks Gentry Academy Warroad Mahtomedi Delano Duluth Denfeld Little Falls Paul Johnson Monticello Breck Armstrong/Cooper Mankato East Dodge County Alexandria St. Cloud Cathedral Thief River Falls Hutchinson Orono Tartan

BANTAM A 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

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ANDOVER Edina Minnetonka Benilde-St. Margaret’s Wayzata Maple Grove Hill-Murray Lakeville South Holy Family Catholic Farmington Blake Roseau Eden Prairie Grand Rapids/Greenway Stillwater Brainerd/Little Falls Forest Lake Rogers Eastview Apple Valley

HS GIRLS A PRE-SEASON 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

BANTAM B1

SHAKOPEE Northfield Sartell Stillwater St. Louis Park Edina Minneapolis Chaska/Chanhassen Woodbury Delano Forest Lake Alexandria Grand Rapids Owatonna Bloomington Jefferson Osseo-Maple Grove Virginia Hastings Eagan Minnetonka

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

PRIOR LAKE Edina Green Osseo-Maple Grove Black Woodbury Black Minnetonka Park/Cottage Grove Edina White Elk River Black Alexandria Black Minneapolis Grey Chaska/Chanhassen St. Paul Dodge County Black Minnesota River Eagan Champlin Park Becker/Big Lake Blaine Mahtomedi Blue Mahtomedi Gold

RECK B Warroad South St. Paul Proctor/Hermantown Chisago Lakes Mound Westonka Orono Rochester Lourdes Cloquet-Esko-Carlton Luverne Willmar River Lakes Duluth Marshall Mahtomedi Simley Hutchinson Minneapolis Faribault New Ulm Thief River Falls

JUNIOR GOLD A FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

EDINA Shakopee Stillwater Moorhead Mahtomedi Duluth East Osseo-Maple Grove Hermantown Andover Centennial Wayzata Grand Rapids Rogers White Bear Lake Bloomington Jefferson Chaska/Chanhassen Minnetonka Rosemount Prior Lake Anoka

1 2 3 4 5

LAKEVILLE Osseo-Maple Grove Blaine Stillwater Edina White

6 7 8 9 10

PEEWEE A 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

APPLE VALLEY/BURNSVILLE Hibbing-Chisholm Armstrong Cooper Delano Minnetonka Edina Stillwater East Grand Forks Moorhead Sibley Area Alexandria Hopkins Mankato Northfield Monticello Northern Lakes Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato St Louis Park Chaska/Chanhassen Eveleth-Gilbert

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

ROSEMOUNT Edina Green Osseo-Maple Grove Edina White Duluth Wayzata Blue Elk River Black Centennial Orono Blaine

JUNIOR GOLD 16U FINAL

PEEWEE AA 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

EDINA White Bear Lake Stillwater St. Louis Park Centennial St. Thomas Academy Minnetonka St. Louis Park Blaine Wayzata

JUNIOR GOLD B FINAL

Woodbury Rosemount Prior Lake Mahtomedi Edina Green

PEEWEE B1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

EDINA GREEN White Bear Lake Orange Anoka Mahtomedi Osseo-Maple Grove Eden Prairie Farmington Champlin Park Hibbing Forest Lake Edina White Alexandria Minnetonka Blue Hermantown Gold Woodbury Black Mankato Black Prior Lake Navy Lakeville South Chaska/Chanhassen Gold Park Cottage Grove Black

GIRLS 15U A 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

ANDOVER Alexandria Osseo-Maple Grove Hastings Elk River Lakeville Stillwater Black Forest Lake Anoka-Rogers Blaine/Spring Lake Park

GIRLS 15U B 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

EDEN PRAIRIE Osseo-Maple Grove White Wayzata Osseo-Maple Grove Black Stillwater Owatonna Minnetonka Alexandria Sartell/Sauk Rapids North Wright County

GIRLS 12U A 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

EDINA Stillwater Minnetonka Proctor-Hermantown Rosemount Moorhead Roseau Dodge County White Bear Lake Orono/Westonka

GIRLS 12U B

TraditionCompanies.com

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

MINNETONKA BLUE Edina Black Stillwater Black Eveleth-Gilbert Mesabi East Wayzata Blue Moorhead Black Luverne Hastings Blue Rosemount Blue (T) Minnesota River (T) St. Paul Roseville White


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January 14, 2021

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January 14, 2021

Let’s Play Hockey

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