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Preview: MN Wild Season

Sep 29, 2017

It is the time of year when the weather starts to drop and with that comes hockey season. After a disappointing end to the season last year, the Minnesota Wild have made some offseason moves that they hope will make way for another Stanley Cup run.

After a historic regular season for the Wild, their season ended pretty quickly in the playoffs. Last season, the Wild broke the franchise record for wins and points in a single season. They finished with 49 wins and 106 points, both were second in the Western Conference behind the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Wild faced the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the playoffs and were in the offseason before they knew it. The Blues were able to take the series in five games but lost the next round to the Nashville Predators.

This offseason was different than it has been in the last 17 seasons and that is because of the expansion draft. The newest team of the NHL is now the Las Vegas Golden Knights. With the expansion draft, the Wild lost forward Erik Haula.

Haula wasn’t the only player lost this offseason. The Wild also lost forward Jason Pominville and defensemen Marco Scandella in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres. They also lost Martin Hanzal, forward. Hanzal was traded to the Wild late in the season and he has already moved on and signed with the Dallas Stars for the upcoming season.

The Wild made some offseason moves that included resigning some key players from last year, acquiring players in trades and also signing someone that is returning to the Wild after a few years away.

The Wild brought back center, Matt Cullen, on a one year deal. Cullen was formerly on the Pittsburgh Penguins where he won back to back Stanley Cups. Cullen hasn’t been with the Wild since the 2012-2013 season.

“I think it was a good move,” said Eli Goldberg, senior. “He has experience with winning Stanley Cups and he has played over 100 playoff games. He is an overall good player who can score but also can play defense, he’s just a reliable guy on the ice.

In the Sabres trade, the Wild were able to acquire forwards, Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno. The Wild recently signed Foligno to a four year deal worth $11.85 million.

“It was a necessary trade to relieve some cap space issues the Wild were in, but anytime you lose a top four defensemen on your team, it hurts,” said Johnny Kahner, senior. “Dumba will need to step up this year and Foligno will be a physical presence the Wild have lacked, hopefully Ennis can stay healthy this year and bounce back from a tough couple of seasons.”

The Wild resigned, forward and captain, Mikko Koivu to a two year deal worth $11 million. Koivu has been with the Wild his whole career and leads the Wild in most games played, assists and points, according to

“I was glad we could get Koivu resigned because he is a tough player to replace and is good on both ends of the ice, but I wish the contract would’ve been a little les money per year,” Kahner said.

Koivu wasn’t the only notable signing, the Wild also resigned forwards, Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund to a five year $26.25 million and 3 year $17.25 million contract, respectively.

The Wild season opener is on Thursday, October 5th as they travel to Detroit and play the Red Wings. Then, they have their home opener on Saturday, October 14th when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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