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Posted On Friday, 12.05.2014 / 2:39 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Ducks at Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter, who has the mumps, took part in the morning skate but will not be in the lineup when the Wild host the Anaheim Ducks at Xcel Energy Center on Friday.

Suter sat out the Wild's game Wednesday against the Montreal Canadiens. It was the first game Suter had missed since signing with the Wild in July 2012.

"Won't be in tonight but it was a good sign to see him on the ice," Wild coach Mike Yeo said Friday. "We have a few days here afterward so hopefully we'll get him back in the lineup for our next match." After Friday the Wild are off until a home game Tuesday against the New York Islanders.

Suter leads the League in average time on ice at 29:19 per game. In 23 games he has one goal and 12 assists.

Posted On Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 9:02 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - US Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Patrick Trophy winner Daly sees hockey as a family

MINNEAPOLIS -- As an attorney in the early 1990s, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly was able to see the inner workings of a number of professional sports leagues.

None, he said, compared to hockey.

Daly and Philadelphia Flyers President Paul Holmgren were honored Thursday with the 2014 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.
Posted On Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 8:38 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - US Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Vairo's road to USHHOF began as midget coach

MINNEAPOLIS -- There are few men in the world who can tell stories like Lou Vairo.

How many other people can claim to be friends with both Viktor Tikhonov and Herb Brooks -- bench adversaries when the U.S. knocked off the Soviet Union in the "Miracle On Ice" at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics?

"Viktor Tikhonov was something else," Vairo said. "He was the most demanding coach who ever lived. He's just unbelievable. He was appreciated and well-respected by the Russian public. He brought glory to his country."

Tikhonov passed away Nov. 24 after a long illness. Vairo returned from Moscow last Sunday after attending his good friend's funeral. Four days later, he was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

Posted On Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 6:36 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - US Hockey Hall of Fame blog

1980 'Miracle on Ice' team inspired Bye Dietz

MINNEAPOLIS -- To Karyn Bye Dietz, the 1980 Lake Placid might as well have happened yesterday.

Bye Dietz is one of many inspired by the "Miracle On Ice" U.S. team that stunned the Soviet Union before winning gold against Finland. Watching those games with her brother and emulating her hero from that team, defenseman Bill Baker, still brings a smile to her face.

Bye Dietz joined Cindy Curley and Olympic teammate Cammi Granato as the third female member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame when she was inducted Thursday.

Posted On Wednesday, 12.03.2014 / 2:34 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canadiens at Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter will miss his first game in four seasons Wednesday when the Minnesota Wild play the Montreal Canadiens at Xcel Energy Center (7 p.m. ET, SN).

Suter has not missed a game since signing with the Wild in July 2012, playing all 153 games in the regular season and 18 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The defenseman is sick; the Wild aren't sure if it's the flu or the mumps.

"We're hoping it's just illness, but we won't know until we get the blood work," coach Mike Yeo said. "He doesn't have swollen glands, but there are a couple of symptoms he has that would make us concerned that it could be that [mumps]."

Suter leads the NHL in average time on ice this season at 29:19 per game. His plus-10 rating is best on the Wild and his 12 assists are tied for the team lead.

Posted On Saturday, 11.29.2014 / 11:44 AM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blues at Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Two teams that each won in overtime Friday will play against each other on the Saturday when the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild play at Xcel Energy Center.

The Blues defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in St. Louis while the Wild blew a three-goal lead in the second period, then came from behind in the third in a 5-4 win against the Dallas Stars.

St. Louis placed defenseman Jay Bouwmeester on injured reserve Saturday, which was simply a procedural move. Bouwmeester, who had his streak of 737 consecutive games snapped last Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets, has already missed the past three games with a lower-body injury and wasn't going to play against the Wild anyway.

The move allowed the team to recall Petteri Lindbohm from the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League. Lindbohm leads Wolves defensemen with four goals and seven points in 18 games.

Posted On Wednesday, 11.26.2014 / 2:06 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Kings at Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Now in his second season with the Minnesota Wild, forward Nino Niederreiter seems to have finally found his groove.

Niederreiter, who has 10 goals this season, including six in his past six games, will look to stay hot Wednesday when the Wild play the Los Angeles Kings at Xcel Energy Center.

Acquired in a trade from the New York Islanders two summers ago, Niederreiter played his first full year in the NHL last season, skating in 81 games and scoring 14 goals and 36 points.

This season, Niederreiter said he's using some adjustments he made over the offseason to increase his goal-scoring.

"I've got to give myself a chance to get more pucks on the net," Niederreiter said. "Even last game, I felt I had a couple of good chances, I'd cut in the middle and shoot, but I missed the net. Those are things I want to work on."

Posted On Sunday, 11.16.2014 / 4:16 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Jets at Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise will be back in the lineup when the Wild hosts the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday at Xcel Energy Center.

Parise missed the past five games with a concussion but will make his return after participating in several recent practices and morning skates with no setbacks.

Minnesota needs Parise too. The Wild have scored more than two goals in a game once in Parise's absence and went 2-3-0 without him. Parise leads the Wild with 10 points despite missing nearly a third of the team's games so far.

Wild coach Mike Yeo said he doesn’t expect to ease Parise back into the lineup either.

"He's been keeping himself in great shape," Yeo said. "We'll get him out there."

Posted On Thursday, 11.13.2014 / 2:26 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sabres at Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Twenty-four hours after the Anaheim Ducks announced Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin had the mumps, it appears the Minnesota Wild will be dealing with a similar illness for the second time this season.

The Wild host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday at Xcel Energy Center.

Wild coach Mike Yeo said following the morning skate Thursday that defensemen Marco Scandella and Jonas Brodin are ill and showing similar symptoms to those exhibited by defensemen Christian Folin and Keith Ballard earlier this season.

Ballard confirmed to the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Nov. 5 that he tested positive for the virus. Folin tested negative for mumps but had similar symptoms. Folin missed five games and Ballard missed nine, meaning the Wild could be without two of their top four defensemen for an extended period.

"This came from somewhere else, but obviously there's the possibility that it's inside our locker room right now," Yeo said. "Whatever we have to do to make sure we clean it up and make sure nobody else gets this."

Posted On Tuesday, 11.04.2014 / 3:15 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Penguins at Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Marc-Andre Fleury is perhaps the hottest goaltender in the NHL, but even that won't get him a start against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Johnston said he wants to get Thomas Greiss some games in November after he played in one during the season's first month. Fleury's history against the Wild made the decision a little easier; he is 0-5 in five starts with a 3.76 goals-against average and a .853 save percentage. Minnesota is the only team in the League Fleury has never defeated.

Greiss, who signed a one-year contract with the Penguins on July 1 to serve as Fleury's backup, hasn't played since a 4-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 24.

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That group is not satisfied until we win a Stanley Cup. When we do win that Stanley Cup, I don't think we'll be satisfied then either. We're going to want another one. We have the group to do it. We have all the pieces. We just need to put them together.

— Ducks forward Ryan Kesler after signing a six-year extension with Anaheim this past July