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Kunin aims for training camp return

After sustaining torn ACL last March, forward hopes to earn a roster spot this fall in Minnesota

by Dan Myers @DanMyers /

MADISON, Wisconsin -- It's not quite Herb Brooks and Mike Eruzione and the famous scene in movie "Miracle," where Brooks, portrayed by Kurt Russell, tells his players to get on the goal line and skate.

Blue line, back. Red line, back. Far blue line, back. Far red line, back. 


It's not on that level, but for early August, it might as well be. Wild forward Luke Kunin is one of nine former or current players with Madison ties on the ice getting ready for the upcoming hockey season.

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Suter: 'I feel like I'm back'

Amid offseason that's been anything but routine, star defenseman finds sense of renewal

by Dan Myers @DanMyers /

MIDDLETON, Wisconsin -- Ryan Suter's labor of love reeks of melted steel and hot electric.

It's what happens when your rink is filled with a haze of pungent smoke from the dust and the fusing together of steel beams. The number of workers in yellow construction hats is twice as many as skaters on the ice. 

And if the old man was around, you can bet he'd be over in the corner with the welders, rolling up his sleeves and getting to work. 

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After father's passing, Hendrickson presses on

Wild assistant opens up about father's death earlier this month

by Phil Ervin / @mnwild

BLAINE -- There are few situations that call for a memorial service to be described as "fun."

But when asked about the ceremony honoring his deceased father, Larry Hendrickson, that took place Thursday, that's the first word out of Wild assistant coach Darby Hendrickson's mouth. That's how family, friends and the Minnesota hockey community say it should've been. That's how Larry would've wanted it.

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Zucker comes full circle in latest return to Vegas

Nevada native's journey includes stop at Wednesday's NHL Awards ceremony in his hometown

by Dan Myers @DanMyers /

LAS VEGAS -- Jason Zucker wouldn't be here this week if not for a snap decision he made one night three years ago.

That night, he and teammate Jared Spurgeon made a visit to Masonic Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. It was no different than the countless other visits the two have made over the years. 

Asked whether they wanted to go to floor five or six, Zucker blurted out the first number that came to him.

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Cullen contemplates future in beloved hometown

Moorhead native leaving legacy well beyond his NHL career

by Dan Myers @DanMyers /

MOORHEAD -- Matt Cullen isn't sure if he's coming back for a 21st season in the NHL. It's a decision he expects to make in the next few weeks, but one the 41-year-old former St. Cloud State Husky never takes lightly.

This time around, Cullen has the luxury of time. Sure, he'd take the hurried nature of a decision in exchange for a Stanley Cup, a trade-off he's made each of the past two offseasons. 

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Evason well familiar with leadership group he now joins

Former Milwaukee Admirals head coach served five seasons under Boudreau with Capitals

by Dan Myers @DanMyers /

ST. PAUL -- An offseason of tweaking has officially begun for the Wild under new general manager Paul Fenton, and no area of the organization is off limits to change. That includes the coaching staff, which will have a new face on the bench next season as the club announced Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason as the team's newest assistant coach.

The Wild also announced that former assistant coach John Anderson will not return to the team.

Evason is no stranger to Fenton or Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau. In fact, Evason credited his relationships with both men as the reason why he thought the opportunity to come to Minnesota came at the perfect time.

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Niederreiter helping change expectations of Swiss hockey

Silver medal at recent World Championships indicative of rising

by Aaron Vickers / Special to

COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Nino Niederreiter is helping shape the expectation of success in Switzerland. And he's seen, the Minnesota Wild forward suggests, his home country setting satisfaction at a higher level.

"Absolutely," said Niederreiter, who helped push his country into an improbable gold-medal meeting with Sweden at the 2018 IIHF World Championship, but fell by the slimmest of margins in a shootout to claim silver.

"At the end of the day, our main goal is always to be in the top eight, for sure, and then move on from there. Reaching the quarterfinal has to be a goal, year-in and year-out. The last two years, we've done that. It's a stepping stone. We're trying to improve year-in, year-out. Once you get to that quarterfinal, anything is possible.

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Leipold: 'We're super-charged right now'

Wild owner talks about his excitement for new general manager Paul Fenton, renewed energy in organization

by Dan Myers @DanMyers /'s Dan Myers sat down with Wild owner Craig Leipold for a discussion on new general manager Paul Fenton, as well as the new energy surrounding the organization:

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Operation renovation: Fenton looks to add 'finishing touches' for Wild

'Whirlwind' summer awaits new GM as he seeks to build Stanley Cup contender

by Phil Ervin /

ST. PAUL -- New face, same objective. Fresh eyes, same vision.

"The goal remains," Wild owner Craig Leipold said Tuesday in introducing Paul Fenton as the Wild's new general manager, "to bring a Stanley Cup to the State of Hockey.

"No pressure, Paul."

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Boudreau, Fenton each took long road to top NHL gigs

New GM and his coach now begin work of building a consistent winner in Minnesota

by Dan Myers @DanMyers /

ST. PAUL -- When Ben Boudreau and P.J. Fenton hit the links recently in Fort Wayne, Indiana, it's safe to say the subject of hockey came up in the conversation.

Ben, the assistant coach of the Fort Wayne Komets, is the coaching son of Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. P.J. Fenton, a Fort Wayne resident, is a scout for the Edmonton Oilers and oldest son of new Wild general manager Paul Fenton.

It was the first ever meeting of people from the two hockey-crazed families that will aim to bring a Stanley Cup to the state of Minnesota in the seasons to come.

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