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Camp Kicks Off This Weekend

by Glen Andresen / Minnesota Wild

For many reasons - some good and some very bad - we need the 2011 Minnesota Wild Training Camp presented by Andersen Windows to get here immediately...if not sooner. We do have to wait a few more beats, but not much longer.

Camp officially gets under way on Saturday, and knowing how much fans are yearning to get a glimpse of this new roster, the Xcel Energy Center doors will be open to the public for scrimmages on Saturday and Sunday.

Both scrimmages will begin at 10:00 a.m. and both will be streamed live on Gate 1 will open at 9:50 a.m. on both days.

Currently, there are 38 players on the Wild's invite list. That includes 23 forwards, 12 defensemen and three goalies. Defenseman Jordan Hendry is the only current Tryout player on the camp roster. Dennis Endras is currently the third goalie, but will likely be joined by Matt Hackett and Darcy Kuemper.

Following the conclusion of the Traverse City Prospects Tournament, which the Wild is currently 1-1 in, several more players are expected to be added to the roster.

The Wild will hold three days of practice before traveling to Edmonton for its first preseason game. That will begin a stretch of four preseason games in five days, including a home matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, September 23. You can see the full preseason schedule here.

This year's training camp will be the most closely followed in years. While most spots appear to be locked up (with the exception of the final couple defensive spots and an extra forward position), fans are eager to see how new Head Coach Mike Yeo uses the offensive firepower at his disposal.

Yeo went on record two weeks ago saying that he plans to have Mikko Koivu center Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi on the top line. Matt Cullen will center Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Guillaume Latendresse on the second unit.

The battle on the defensive end is expected to include the likes of Jared Spurgeon, Marco Scandella, Nate Prosser and Justin Falk battling for one or two spots on the blueline. Mike Lundin, Nick Schultz, Clayton Stoner, Greg Zanon and Marek Zidlicky appear to be locks for the roster barring injuries.
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