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Wild to continue support of Whitecaps during inaugural NWHL season

TRIA Rink to serve as home ice for professional women's team

by Minnesota Wild @mnwild / Wild.com

SAINT PAUL -- Demonstrating its commitment to enhancing the development and visibility of girls' and women's hockey in the State of Hockey, the Minnesota Wild today announced it will provide far-ranging support of the Whitecaps in their inaugural NWHL season in 2018-19, bringing added visibility to the NWHL, its newest organization and women's hockey. This includes hosting the team's games and practices at TRIA Rink; the Wild sharing their extensive resources, including support in marketing, promotions, communications, social and digital media, and community relations; and pairing of the clubs' regular season home openers on Oct. 6.

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Wild's 2018-19 national broadcast schedule released

Minnesota to appear 11 times on NBC and NBCSN

by Minnesota Wild @mnwild / Wild.com

ST. PAUL -- The NHL's Minnesota Wild announced today that 11 games will be nationally televised on NBC and NBCSN during the 2018-19 NHL season, including nine at Xcel Energy Center.

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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 / Wild.com

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. 

Again.

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 / Wild.com

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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Wild prospects seek mental advantage

Sports psychology session among the highlights of last month's development camp

by Jessi Pierce / Special to Wild.com

ST. PAUL -- For the 43 players who attended the Wild development camp last month, they could already be considered the cream of the crop for their age group. While some may not make it to realize their dream of playing in the National Hockey League, to make it as far as to be a prospect or camp invitee says a lot about the on-ice talent.

But as Wild defenseman Louie Belpedio acknowledged, sometimes skills are not enough to make that leap.

"Everyone's good, everyone can skate, everyone can shoot," said Belpeido, selected by the Wild 80th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, "so it's those little things that can separate you from the rest of the pack."

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Vision therapy offers goaltenders a new way to gain an edge

Edina company is on cutting edge of visual training for goalies, other athletes

by Dan Myers @DanMyers / Wild.com

EDINA -- Ready for a lunch break after a morning of testing, University of Minnesota goaltender Mat Robson came around the corner at the First Athlete Training Center and his eyes got big.

A group of young kids were playing dodgeball, and the look on Robson's face immediately told a story. Flash back a decade earlier, and it was Robson who would have been out there playing.

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Wild signs Read to one-year, two-way deal

Former Bemidji State standout spent the past seven seasons with Philadelphia

by Minnesota Wild @mnwild / Wild.com

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Wild General Manager Paul Fenton today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed forward Matt Read to a one-year, two-way contract ($650,000/$200,000).

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McBain shows athletic prowess both on the ice and at the beach

Wild's most recent third-round draft pick was named development camp's hardest worker earlier this month

by Jessi Pierce / Special to Wild.com

ST. PAUL -- Jack McBain not only impresses on the ice, but on the sand volleyball court.

"I kind of always played a lot of sports growing up and beach volleyball was one of them," McBain said. "My sister kind of got me into that; she plays a lot. she goes to Florida State for it. I just kind of played a bunch for fun when I was younger. It was fun to play."

It just so happened that beach volleyball was on the docket during one evening at the club's development camp earlier this month, as the team's prospects ventured to Lord Fletcher's in Minnetonka to partake in some fun in the sand.

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Smaller players getting more opportunity on game's largest stage

Height - or lack thereof -- no longer an impediment for players as they advance past college and junior levels

by Dan Myers @DanMyers / Wild.com

ST. PAUL -- There was a time when general managers at all levels wouldn't give a second look to a player under a certain height. 

And while 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds will always be considered "prototypical size," there are signs that the next wave of NHL management is much more open-minded to players who don't necessarily measure up.

Since the early 1900s, the average height of players in the NHL slowly increased. Around 2000, that increase leveled off and has even started to retreat a bit over the past five years. While size is still something general managers and coaches love, the skill of others has become much more tantalizing.

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Feeling Minnesota: Zucker signs on for five more years

Forward has become a force both on the ice and in the community

by Dan Myers @DanMyers / Wild.com

Since becoming a regular with the Wild nearly five years ago, Jason Zucker has considered Minnesota a second home. 

That second home is about to become his first.

Zucker, a man who has become a staple of the team's offensive attack on the ice and one of its most involved off of it signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract with the Wild on Wednesday, forgoing an arbitration hearing that was scheduled for Saturday. 

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