Dane Mizutani / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — After deciding not to make a trade during the NHL draft, Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher turned his attention to what's in store for the rest of the offseason. Fletcher clearly has a main goal of re-signing both Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter, both of whom are in line for hefty raises. He also still might trade someone like Marco Scandella to free up salary cap space. Aside from that, Fletcher noted that the Wild might have to "invent a fourth line" using the farm system.
ST. PAUL — Less than an hour after extending a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Gustav Olofsson, the Wild agreed to a two-year, $1.45 million contract with the up-and-coming blue liner Monday afternoon, June 26. Olofsson played in 13 games with the Wild last season, producing three assists and no goals. Despite those unimpressive numbers, the 22-year-old Swede showed flashes of brilliance as a smooth skater with offensive upside. In fact, Olofsson logged some time on the power play last season, impressing coach Bruce Boudreau in the process.
CHICAGO — Casey Mittelstadt is the highest-drafted Minnesotan in more than a decade. Mittelstadt was taken with the No. 8 pick in the 2017 NHL draft by the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night, June 23, making him the highest-drafted player from Minnesota since Cretin-Derham Hall's Ryan McDonagh went to the Montreal Canadiens with the 12th overall pick in 2007. Mittelstadt becomes the first Minnesotan taken in the top 10 since Bloomington's Erik Johnson went No. 1 overall in 2006.
ST. PAUL — Sure, the Minnesota Wild are going to lose a valuable asset when the expansion Vegas Golden Knights announce their roster at the NHL Awards Show on Wednesday night, June 21. After the the Wild submitted their protected list over the weekend, it became obvious that the most enticing players at risk were Eric Staal, Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella. There is also growing chatter, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie, that Erik Haula might be the player the Golden Knights use their selection on.
ST. PAUL — Sitting in his office at team headquarters in St. Paul on Wednesday afternoon, May 17, Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold said he still hasn't come to grips with the fact that one of the best seasons in franchise history is over. Leipold has paid close attention to the NHL playoffs despite the Wild's early exit, knocked out of the Western Conference quarterfinals in five games by the St. Louis Blues. "Not over it," he said. "I watch these games now and go, 'That could be us.'"
MINNEAPOLIS — A little more than 24 hours removed from winning the Big Ten tournament, the Gophers softball team sat in the Stadium Village Buffalo Wild Wings with nothing left to do except celebrate their NCAA tournament berth. Hosting an NCAA Regional was essentially a lock. Hosting an NCAA Super Regional wasn't out of the realm of reality. All that remained was to see an announcement on the selection show televised by ESPN2. Crickets.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—Since retiring from the NFL three years ago, former Minnesota Vikings receiver Nate Burleson slowly has built a name for himself in broadcasting. And now, it appears he's finally getting his big break. Burleson is joining CBS Sports as an analyst on its "The NFL Today" pregame show for the 2017 season. He will sit alongside host James Brown, former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher, former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason and former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms.
ST. PAUL—Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk has been outstanding in the Western Conference quarterfinals. Blues goaltender Jake Allen has been a little better. Well, at least until Game 4. In a flip of the script that will go down as the turning point if the Wild somehow complete a miraculous comeback after trailing 3-0 in the best-of-seven series, Dubnyk outplayed Allen as the Wild earned a 2-0 win over the Blues on Wednesday night at Scottrade Center.
ST. LOUIS — While the Minnesota Wild preach process in the face of a 3-0 deficit in the Western Conference quarterfinals, their opponent, the St. Louis Blues, try not to mention their overwhelming lead. In truth, both approaches make sense in night of the parity that has defined the first round of the NHL playoffs.
ST. PAUL — Take a look at the box score from Game 1 and it's plain to see exactly which Minnesota Wild defensemen had the toughest time in their overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues. Ryan Suter clocked in at a team-high 34 minutes, 32 seconds during Wednesday's game, while four other blue liners — Jared Spurgeon, Marco Scandella, Matt Dumba, and Jonas Brodin — played between 22 and 30 minutes.