Dane Mizutani / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — After a couple of months away from the rink, the Minnesota Wild will get back to work this week when more than 40 players descend upon Xcel Energy Center for development camp. It runs Tuesday, July 10, to the following Sunday, and while it's unlikely any of these players will contribute at the NHL level next season, it's a good chance for them to leave a lasting impression.
ST. PAUL — Nick Seeler can finally start putting down roots in the Twin Cities. Seeler, 25, grew up in Eden Prairie, Minn., and played his final college season in 2015-16 with the Gophers, but he only recently started looking for a place of his own. That's something he can do after signing a three-year, $2.175 million contract with the Minnesota Wild earlier this week. "I'm definitely looking forward to it," Seeler said. "It was pretty special to be able to stick around here."
ST. PAUL — Ahead of Thursday's deadline, Wild players Jason Zucker and Matt Dumba filed for arbitration, a source confirmed to the Pioneer Press. This is standard practice for restricted free agents in the NHL and the Wild still can work toward signing both players to long-term deals until a potential arbitration hearing in late July or early August.
ST. PAUL — At 37, Matt Hendricks knows his days in the NHL are numbered. That means time has long been running out for the 12-year veteran to lace up the skates for the hometown team. Originally from Blaine, Minn., Hendricks grew up cheering for the North Stars before the franchise relocated to Dallas, and he was just starting college at St. Cloud State when the Wild came to town. So to finally get the chance to play in the Twin Cities after signing a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Wild on Sunday afternoon, Hendricks is ecstatic to say the least.
ST. PAUL — After promising to "tweak" the roster at his introductory news conference on May 21, Wild general manager Paul Fenton delivered Sunday morning, July 1, signing five unrestricted free agents. Although none of the moves was flashy on the surface, they do help the Wild fill a handful of needs heading into next season. "In the free-agent market, I'd say we're done," Fenton said. "It was (about) solidifying our lineup so we know where we are, and then we'll have a competition to see what else is going to be available."
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.