Dane Mizutani / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — As long as it took Nick Seeler to reach the NHL, he has made the most of his opportunity ever since arriving in the Twin Cities. So much so that the Wild signed the 25-year-old restricted free-agent defenseman to a three-year, $2.175 million contract on Sunday, July 1. His deal carries a a $725,000 cap hit per year, an affordable price for someone who likely will fill out the bottom pairing next season.
ST. PAUL — As new Wild general manager Paul Fenton put it, the "fun part" of his job is about to begin. After taking a step back last week and allowing front office executive Brent Flahr to run the show at the NHL draft, the newly hired Fenton will have his first chance to put his stamp on the team when free agency begins Sunday, July 1. That doesn't mean the Wild will make a big splash, though.
MINNEAPOLIS — With the Lynx exerting their will on the Las Vegas Aces through the first two quarters of the game Sunday, June 24, 23-year-old Aces point guard Kelsey Plum decided to poke the bear. Perhaps misspeaking a bit, the 2017 No. 1 overall draft pick used the word "old" to describe the defending WNBA champions during a halftime interview. While she has since apologized for the comment, saying it was taken out of context, the damage was already done as far as Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve was concerned.
ST. PAUL — Afton, Minn., native Jessie Diggins doesn't care about the haters. Not anymore. That's something the 2018 Winter Olympic gold medalist wants to make abundantly clear after posing in the ESPN Body Issue for a tastefully nude spread of photographs published this week.
ST. PAUL — The Wild extended qualifying offers to Jason Zucker, Matt Dumba and Nick Seeler prior to Monday's deadline, allowing general manager Paul Fenton to retain negotiating rights as he determines what to do with all three players long term.
DALLAS — After tons of trade speculation in the days leading up to the NHL draft, the Wild decided to stand pat on Friday night, June 22, at American Airlines Arena, selecting Swedish defenseman Filip Johansson with the No. 24 overall pick. "I can't describe it in words," Johansson said, adding that he didn't expect to go in the first round. "Just hearing my name was crazy."
ST. PAUL — No one other than Paul Fenton himself knows what the new general manager is going to do to remake the Minnesota Wild roster in the coming weeks. Fenton, the third GM in franchise history, says he will "tweak" the current roster with the goal of getting the Wild over the hump before the start of next season, but that's all he's willing to reveal about his summer plans. Still, it's reasonable to think the Wild will make a splash at some point this offseason, especially considering owner Craig Leipold has said the roster needs a remake.
ST. PAUL — After being hired as the third general manager in franchise history a month ago, tasked with getting the stagnating Minnesota Wild over the hump, Paul Fenton joked at his introductory news conference last month that he probably wouldn't be getting much sleep this offseason. Update: He hasn't. Fenton hit the ground running after taking over, traveling to Buffalo for the NHL Draft Combine his first week on the job. That gave him some time to familiarize himself with the prospect pool and where it aligns with the specific needs of the franchise.
ST. PAUL — New general manager Paul Fenton has hired Dean Evason as a Wild assistant coach, taking the spot of one of head coach Bruce Boudreau's closest friends. Fenton opted not to renew the contract of assistant coach John Anderson, 61, who Boudreau added to the Wild staff when he became head coach in Minnesota in 2016. Anderson and Boudreau were teammates on four teams during their playing days: the Toronto Marlboros (1973-75), Dallas Blackhawks (1977-78), Toronto Maple Leafs (1977-83) and Fort Wayne Komets (1990-91).
LAS VEGAS—Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold made himself very clear last week at the introductory press conference for general manager Paul Fenton. When the newly hired Fenton, who took over for longtime general manager Chuck Fletcher, was asked about possibly navigating another NHL expansion draft, Leipold made sure to chime in with his two cents. "I'll be involved in that," Leipold interjected, drawing laughter from the sizable crowd at the Xcel Energy Center. "Trust me. It won't happen again."