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Murphy gaining all-important confidence during opportunity with Wild

Defenseman has been stellar in six games since recall from Iowa

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

SAN JOSE -- To a professional athlete, confidence is the fuel that keeps him among the best in the world at his profession. Without it, a player once drafted highly or paid handsomely can find himself at a crossroads.

Ryan Murphy was one of those players.

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Old Soul: Zucker's growth produces a player mature beyond his years

Wild forward's germination showing on, off playing surface

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

This story appears in the December 2017 issue of Wild Magazine.

Last month, Wild forward Jason Zucker was analyzing the fortunes of a couple of his teammates following a 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Zucker's streak of six consecutive goals scored for the Wild, a franchise record, had been snapped a couple of hours prior, but he scored a late empty-net goal to run his streak of games with a goal to four. In talking about forward Tyler Ennis, who himself was held off the scoresheet but had a bushel of quality chances, Zucker calmly predicted things were going to turn around quickly.

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The NHL, then and now

Vets from 2003 Wild squad remain entrenched in Minnesota hockey

by Brian Halverson /

Looking back at a piece of Wild history on the NHL's 100th birthday, this article also appears in the November issue of Wild Magazine.

ST. CLOUD -- As Minnesota Wild coach Bruce Boudreau puts his team through an intense October practice, former Minnesota Wild forward and current TV studio analyst Wes Walz can't help but watch this new generation of Wild players with a degree of awe.

"The pace of the game is ridiculously fast," Walz said of the current state of the National Hockey League. "It was fast when we played, I thought, even when we had our success in 2002 and 2003. But the pace of the game today is absolutely amazing, and where the game goes 10 years from now I'm not a hundred percent sure."


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Record 28 teams compete in eighth annual USA Hockey Sled Classic

Largest-ever turnout highlights growth of game and its place in Minnesota, U.S.

by Kayleigh Jackson /

PLYMOUTH -- Immediately through the doors of the Plymouth Ice Center, a sparkling silver trophy gleamed. The O'Connor Courage Trophy, dubbed by many in the disabled hockey community as the "Stanley Cup of Sled Hockey," sat front and center in the arena's lobby. Players and fans in town for the eighth annual USA Hockey Sled Classic couldn't miss the award if they tried.

Not that they'd try.

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Playing with emotion pays off, but it's a delicate balance

Even-keeled Wild core recognizes a few highs, lows are more than OK

by Phil Ervin /

ST. PAUL -- Eric Staal is a 33-year-old man with three sons, a wife, 13 full NHL seasons under his belt and a calm, consistent, mature public demeanor that's congruent with it all.

Between the whistles, he plays with a similar constancy: eyes narrowed, focused ahead, every atom of his entire 6-foot-4, 209-pound frame poised to strike. When a goal happens, that stoicism is replaced by pure, unmistakable joy, usually in the form of a celebratory fist pump and a leap into the nearest board, teammate or both he can find.

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Local sled player finds peace on ice after accident took his legs

Aaron Holm defied death on the side of Interstate 394 a decade ago; now, he's competing for a championship at this weekend's USA Hockey Sled Classic

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

Aaron Holm's first day back at work started off like so many before had.

It was January 2, 2007 -- a snowy day in Minneapolis as Holm returned to work as regional manager at an information technology and engineering consulting firm in Butler Square downtown. The Christmas and New Year's holidays had allowed him some time away from work to reconnect with family, including his wife, Amanda, and three young children.

As he was getting caught up with his team of workers, an assistant called to inform him she had issues with her car and was stranded on the side of Interstate 394. She'd be late, she told him, as she waited for a tow truck.

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Draft class of 2003 one of NHL's best

Parise, Staal, Suter, Quincey were all selected by NHL teams in big draft year

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

This story appears in the November issue of Wild Magazine.

The NHL Draft class of 2003 has had a profound impact, not just on the NHL, but on the Minnesota Wild as a whole.

Considered by many experts as perhaps the greatest draft of all time, nearly half of players selected in the first round are still on NHL rosters almost 15 years after being picked. Many of those players are doing more than just collecting a paycheck; they are era-defining superstars and multiple-time All-Stars. 

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From soccer to sleds: An athlete's path to the 2022 Paralympics

Hanna Hughes keeps competitive mindset nearly a decade after leg amputation

by Kayleigh Jackson /

ROCHESTER -- Hanna Hughes' life revolved around soccer. But in her sophomore year of high school, that would suddenly change.

After feeling ill, doctors investigated and found a tumor the size of a grapefruit in her right hip. Hanna was diagnosed with bone cancer and underwent 27 rounds of chemotherapy before one of her legs, half her pelvis and her hip were quickly amputated.

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Kunin proving he's real deal as NHL rookie

St. Louis native, former Wisconsin Badger is off to strong start this season

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

Luke Kunin sat in his seat at what was then called the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York, and didn't even realize the history he was witnessing.

Soon enough, he would be a part of it.

It was the 2016 NHL Draft, and Kunin was one of a small infantry of St. Louis-area natives expected to be picked high at the selection meeting.

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J.P. Parise stick finds way home to family

Local fan shares story of how he got stick from Zach Parise's father more than four decades ago

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

ST. PAUL -- Think back to when you were seven years old. 

What was your most prized possession? How long did you have it? For some, perhaps, it's a toy that's typically cast aside by the time they're 8 or 9.

For Brainerd's Stephen Mikkelson, the hockey stick he received at age seven from North Stars legend J.P. Parise was something he kept for more than four decades before returning it to the Parise family at Xcel Energy Center last week. 

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