ST. PAUL -- The National Hockey League's (NHL) Minnesota Wild today announced a variety of activities to celebrate its home opener on Saturday, Oct. 14. The Wild will play its first home game of the 2017-18 regular season when it hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets at 7 p.m. CT at Xcel Energy Center on FOX Sports North and KOOL 107.9 FM.
This Is Our Ice
The Wild's Xcel Energy Center ice sheet for the 2017-18 season features water donated by fans from their favorite hockey ponds, lakes and rinks. Though a "Flood the Rink" event on Sept. 16 saw more than 2,400 fans donate water from sources in 299 cities across the country, fans can continue to bring up to three ounces of water to every Wild home game during the season.
Water will be collected on the skyway level of Gate 1 until the start of each Wild home game, before being filtered and added to the Xcel Energy Center ice by a Zamboni between periods of each game night.
Video: Wild Vision: Oct. 14 vs. Columbus
There will be a special "Green Carpet" welcoming event where Wild players will enter the arena past a select group of Wild season ticket holders, corporate partners and youth hockey players in the rotunda area of the RiverCentre, also beginning at 4 p.m.
Get there early
The Wild encourages all fans attending Saturday's game to get to Xcel Energy Center early and be in their seats by 6:50 p.m. The team will unveil its 2017-18 opening video before the Wild and Blue Jackets take the ice, and a special collection of local hockey celebrities will lead a This Is Our Ice ceremony celebrating the ponds, lakes and rinks throughout the State of Hockey.
Let's Play Hockey!
The Wild will celebrate the 2017 WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx as part of its home opener. Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve and forward Rebekkah Brunson, the only five-time WNBA champion, will lead the arena in the traditional "Let's Play Hockey!" call before the puck is dropped.
Saturday's home opener will mark the debut of John deCausmeaker as the anthem performer at Wild home games. A Moorhead, Minn., native, deCausmeaker has performed locally with a variety of organizations including the Minnesota Opera, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre and Minnesota Chorale.
He also served in the United States Navy and U.S. Naval Reserve.
Fans are encouraged to join the GameDay Tickets text notification list at wild.com/gamedaytix -- designed to help fans get last-minute tickets to Wild home games that have limited availability. GameDay Tickets subscribers will receive an SMS text message when seats for Wild home games are released, including on game days when pairs of tickets (or more), or single seats become available.