One can name the Wild’s greatest moments on a single hand: the unveiling of the nickname in 1998, the first home game in 2000, and a Western Conference finals birth in 2003 that came on the back of two separate 3-1 series comebacks.
Since then, the mood has dampened where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers converge. Former fan favorite Sergei Zholtok, a key contributor on the famed 2003 team, passed away during the lockout in 2004. Star forward Marian Gaborik, the team’s first draft pick, departed for New York in 2009 after showing only flashes of his talent through an injury plagued stint with the Wild.
The two biggest free agents on the market this summer have made their decision, and their decision is Minnesota.
It was announced early Tuesday afternoon that both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter have agreed to terms with the Minnesota Wild, both for 13-year, $98 million deals.
Parise, the former captain of the New Jersey Devils, scored 404 points in 502 games over seven seasons with the Devils. After suffering from a season-ending injury last season, he had a successful comeback season, with 69 points in 82 games. He led his team to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, where they ultimately lost to the Los Angeles Kings.
According to a report from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, unrestricted free agent Zach Parise has returned to his native Minnesota and has not yet made a decision on where he will sign.
It had been assumed that Parise's decision had been made when it was announced that he would meet with reporters on Monday afternoon. Parise merely told reporters that a decision had not been made and that he would not put a deadline on when he would choose.
The teams rumored to be in the running for Parise are the New Jersey Devils, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Detroit Red Wings, and his hometown Minnesota Wild.
While Zach Parise and Ryan Suter remain unsigned, the Minnesota Wild added needed depth as free agency began Sunday. Here's what fans can expect from center Zenon Konopka and right winger Torrey Mitchell.
Zenon Konopka- Konopka's role is simple: protect stars Dany Heatley and Mikko Koivu.
Via Mike Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
"Koivu is a superstar that maybe doesn’t get enough respect around the league and he should," Konopka said. "Heatley is a world-class player and we have to make sure those guys are taken care of and they feel very comfortable and nice. If they want to sit down at center ice and read the paper, ...
In their short existence, the Wild's biggest foray into free agency was losing Marian Gaborik to it in 2009. But after their most disappointing season yet and without a playoff series victory since 2003, the Wild are preparing to make big moves come July 1. They hope home cooking will help.
Both New Jersey Devils forward Zach Parise and Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter have ties to the Twin Cities area. Parise, the son of former North Star great J.P., grew up in Minneapolis and attended the famed Shattuck St. Mary's High School south of the Twin Cities.
Although Ryan Suter himself hails from Madison, Wisconsin (where he played his college hockey for the Badger...
Coming off a season that saw them drift from first place in December to missing the playoffs completely, the Minnesota Wild are seeking to reinvigorate a fanbase that has now witnessed three straight seasons without a playoff berth.
On draft weekend they walked away with seven prospects and a new dose of optimism. The Wild balanced the picks between four forwards and three defensemen.
Among the seven are two Minnesota natives, Shattuck St. Mary's defenseman John Draeger and Edina High School left winger Louis Nanne. Nanne is the grandson of the one time North Stars general manager turned high school hockey commentator of the same name.
With the No. 7 selection the Minnesota Wild have selected Matthew Dumba. Dumba, 17, is coming off a productive season with the Red Deer Rebels in theWestern Hockey League. The six-foot, 183-pound offensive defenseman notched 20 goals and 57 points in 69games. Said to model his game after Dion Phaneuf, the Calgary-native ranked second ingoals among defensemen in the WHL, but played five fewer games than the leader,James Bettauer, who scored 21 goals. Dumba, a right-handed shooter, had a 31-point increase compared to his 2010-11campaign, in which he produced a respectable 15 goals and 26 points in 62 games. A physical defenseman that won’t shy away f...
In a game that saw the return of Duncan Keith, which also saw a much tighter defensive effort yet the Blackhawks lose this game in the last four minutes of the game. The bigger picture and more importantly was that the fourth seeding in the Western Conference and home ice advantage in the playoffs was at stake.
Not making an excuse but the Hawks lineup was fairly depleted with Toews, Montador, Lepisto, Bolland and Brunette all out of the line-up. This impacted the lines on the ice and the match ups coach Q could employ.
The Blackhawks with only gaining one point and Nashville defeating Dallas can not capture the 4th seed and home ice in the first round. They can only get as hi...