Minnesota Wild News, Rumors, Injuries & Recruiting
Hockey Wilderness: Wilderness Walk: Good Seats Available
For 18 years, the road to season-ticket ownership went through the Warming House, a waiting list for season tickets. But in year 19, things are different.
Due to flagging sales, the Wild have removed the hurdle to season ticket ownership, offering tickets to anyone who signs up. On the plus side, it's good for those who haven't been able to get tickets in the past. However, the Wild's struggle to sell seats is potentially indicative of two things: that fans don't see the value in attendance, and that they are skeptical that the Wild can put together a quality product on the ice.
Hockey Wilderness: Wilderness Walk: Best of Three
Tonight, the puck drops once again in the Stanley Cup Final, as the Blues and Bruins face off in Game 5. Will Chara play? Will Matt Grzelcyk return? Can the Blues maintain their momentum? Questions will be answered at 7 p.m.
While we wait, lets check out the latest NHL and NWHL news and notes in today's walk.<strong>#BecauseItsTheCup</strong>
Bruins defense increasingly hit by injury bug at worst possible time
Perhaps the biggest reason the Blues had everything come together for them in the Western Conference final is that the Sharks' best players were increasingly banged up.
Hockey Wilderness: Wilderness Walk: Zd-Oh-No
A major Boston icon who is both highly popular and somewhat controversial took a shot to the head, causing a lot of drama and concern as to his health and well-being.
But enough about Dave Portnoy.
I just got assaulted by a classy @StLouisBlues fan Then he denied it. Stay classy St. Louis. Classless city. Dissapointing. pic.twitter.com/lxkZke7CUq-- Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) June 4, 2019
Zdeno Chara's broken jaw due to a flying puck could be a huge turning point in a tied series, especially if (as expected) the Bruins' towering defenseman misses the rest of the series.
My NHL Trade Rumors: 2018-19 Top 10 Minnesota Wild Prospects
There might be a number of concerns in Minnesota, but their farm system is well-stocked. They have a lot of talent including Kirill Kaprizov, Ryan Donato and Alexander Khovanov. Plus, they have a lot of young talent at the NHL level including Jordan Greenway, Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin.
It won't be long before you see the Wild hoisting the Stanley Cup. But, let's take a look at their top ten prospects and who you might see soon at the NHL level.<strong>2018-19 Minnesota Wild Top Ten Rankings</strong> <strong>1. Kirill Kaprizov - LW/RW - CSKA Moscow (KHL)</strong>
HT/WT: 5'10"/192 lbs
Drafted: 135th overall in the 2015 draft by the Minnesota Wild
Over the last few seasons, Kaprizov has emerged as one of the most explosive offensive superstars in the KHL.
Fansided: Is Fedor Gordeev A Legit Prospect For the Minnesota Wild?
Gordeev became an NHL prospect when he was drafted by the Maple Leafs in the 5th round. Standing at a massive 6'6 and weighing in at 212 pounds he towers over opposing teams forwards. He plays a mobile north-south game, and is deceptively quick for his size.
In each of his three seasons in the OHL he has steadily improved going from 14 points in 2016/2017, to 25 points in 2017/2018, to 32 points this last season. While offense is not part of his main skill-set, the continued increase in offense is a good sign.Scouting Report
The scouting report on Gordeev is as follows:
In terms of skating, Gordeev is going to have to work on his lateral movement due to current issues closing the gap on some of the leagues more speedy players.
RT @matt_dumba: Making that push for best dressed #NHLFanChoice https://t.co/jDLoZS7y8e
Hockey Wilderness: NHL Mock Draft 2019: Minnesota Wild select Vasili Podkolzin with the No. 12 pick
The 2019 NHL Entry Draft is just around the corner and as such, the 31 SB Nation NHL sites came together for a mock draft. In a grand yearly tradition, we play backseat General Manager for the teams we cover and play out our (hopefully) ideal first round.
Last year, the Minnesota Wild selected at 24th overall. After attempting trades with the Philadelphia Flyers and the fine folks at Broad Street Hockey, Hockey Wilderness ultimately kept the pick and selected Dominik Bokk. Paul Fenton went on to draft Filip Johansson from the Swedish Hockey League with the same pick.
Fansided: With Each Passing Day, the Likelihood of Jason Zucker Returning to the Wild Diminishes
On February 20th, 2019, Jason Zucker saw his best man and one of the last remaining pieces of an old core, Charlie Coyle, get traded to Boston for 23-year old Ryan Donato. He saw his pass proficient linemate who helped him surpass 30 goals in the 2017-2018 season, Mikael Granlund, get moved to division rival Nashville for 22-year old Kevin Fiala. Just a month earlier, he witnessed Nino Niederreiter depart Minnesota, headed to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Fenton almost completed the cycle, nearly trading the last remaining piece of the Mike Yeo/Chuck Fletcher Core for the Calgary Flames' Michael Frolik and a draft pick.
Hockey Wilderness: Wilderness Walk: Zucker Bait
Hockey Wilderness has obtained an exclusive look at Paul Fenton's 2019 bucket list. It reads, in part, as follows:
To Do in 2019Don't screw up a first-round pick
Talk to Kirill Kaprizov
Work on tan
Of course, this is tongue-in-cheek, but it certainly seems that moving Zucker is high on Fenton's list of priorities. He's 0-for-2 (that we know of) in closing the deal, and reportedly is still out there making inquiries.
Just imagine how awkward training camp will be (starting around September 12th) if Fenton continues to try.
My NHL Trade Rumors: NHL Rumors: Minnesota Wild, Pittsburg Penguins and the Arizona Coyotes
@Account4hockey: Michael Russo (The Athletic) said on Minnesota radio that the Minnesota Wild have shopped winger Jason Zucker too:
Pittsburgh Penguins for Phil Kessel.
Arizona Coyotes for Christian Dvorak. The Coyotes countered with Christian Fischer.
Vegas Golden Knights for Jonathan Marchessault.
Vancouver Canucks for Brock Boeser.<strong>The Penguins have had a previous interest in a current Coyotes forward</strong>
The Fourth Period: Phil Kessel wouldn't waive his no-trade clause for the Minnesota Wild.
The Arizona Coyotes are one team that Kessel would waive his no-trade clause for.
My NHL Trade Rumors: NHL Rumors: Toronto Maple Leafs, and the New York Islanders
Kevin McGrann of The Toronto Star: (mailbag) The Toronto Maple Leafs will likely have to use Nathan Horton's LTIR status this season with all the RFAs they need to re-sign. They may not need the entire $5.3 million, but likely a portion.
Can see the Maple Leafs bringing defenseman Ron Hainsey back at a reduced rate.
Can see the Maple Leafs being able to retain William Nylander, Andreas Johnsson, Kasperi Kapanen and Mitch Marner. It will likely mean that they'll need to trade Nazem Kadri, Connor Brown, or convince Patrick Marleau to waive his no-movement clause.
Hockey Wilderness: Wilderness Walk: Modano joins the Wild and Kessel Rumors
Happy Friyay Wilderness!
In what turned out to be a pretty eventful Thursday for the Minnesota Wild, the team topped the headlines during the waiting period before the Stanley Cup Final kicks off on Monday. Thursday morning the Wild announced the hiring of Hall of Famer Mike Modano as Executive Advisor. He is back in the State of Hockey! Then later in the day a trade rumor broke, involving the Wild's Jason Zucker and Victor Rask for the Pittsburgh Penguins' Phil Kessel and Jack Johnson, per Josh Yohe of The Athletic.
Fansided: Is an Offer Sheet a Viable Option For the Minnesota Wild?
While the Wild have prospects that could turn into substantial players like Ryan Donato, Kevin Fiala, Joel Eriksson Ek, and Jordan Greenway. Those players are all far away from being stars at the moment. The Wild need help now and there's one name that springs to the forefront of my mind, Brayden Point.Can the Wild Fit Point in the Salary Cap?
The Wild have a flux cap situation right now. Between the players that could potentially retire, and the players that need to be re-signed off their entry-level contracts, it's hard to project the Wild's cap.
My NHL Trade Rumors: NHL Rumors: The Minnesota Wild and Pittsburgh Penguins Talking Phil Kessel
Wild looking to make moves
Michael Russo of The Athletic: Minnesota Wild GM Paul Fenton continues to look to remake the Wild. He cleared some cap space at the trade deadline and there is talk that trade chatter is increasing.
Sources are saying the Wild are dangling Jason Zucker again.
If the Wild are looking to be active in the free agent market, they are going to need to move some players out. If they go after a center, they could move Joel Eriksson Ek if they think Mikko Koivu will be healthy enough.
Hockey Wilderness: Trade Watch: Kessel for Zucker?
An otherwise slow Wild news day was thrown for a bit of a loop when Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Penguins' beat at The Athletic posted this:
The discussion is as follows:
The Wild would receive: Phil Kessel, and potentially Jack Johnson
The Penguins would receive: Jason Zucker, and potentially Victor Rask.
The potential pros for the Wild here are pretty numerous. Kessel has been nearly a point-per-game player for the Penguins over his four years in Pittsburgh, including 82 points in 82 games last year.