Dane Mizutani / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — While the mood around the Xcel Energy Center was light on Thursday, Sept. 14, as Wild players reunited after nearly five months apart, there was also an overarching feeling of nervousness about what was to come Friday. That, of course, is when coach Bruce Boudreau will administer his vaunted skate test, which features players skating 4K lengths of the ice sheet in back-to-back-to-back fashion. You have to finish the opening run in under 38 seconds and the final two runs in under 41 seconds.
ST. PAUL — Wild players walked around the Xcel Energy Center on Thursday morning, Sept. 14, sporting T-shirts plastered with four words that perfectly sum up coach Bruce Boudreau's thoughts heading into this season. "Our motto this year is 'Good Isn't Good Enough' because we're always good, it seems," Boudreau said. "We want to strive to be better than good. We want to be great. ... We have a team that's built to win." As cliche as it sounds, Boudreau is on to something.
ST. PAUL — It's an uncharacteristically hot September day and Minnesota Wild coach Bruce Boudreau has taken a break from watching the NHL Network at his suburban St. Paul home to attend the team's annual golf tournament at Troy Burne Golf Club. How's his golf game? "Not good," Boudreau said with a laugh. "You know, it's the last one of these of the year, though, so let's hurry up and get it over with."
ST. PAUL — About 60 feet above Cedar and Wabasha streets, a pair of Bobcats spread sand across a refrigerated surface that will soon become the Minnesota Wild's practice rink. After officially leasing out the space atop the former Macy's building last December, the Wild are now only a couple of months away from moving in. "We are looking at a December timeframe at this point," said Jamie Spencer, executive vice president of business development for the Wild. "We aren't far off."
MINNEAPOLIS — Mitch Leidner made sure to soak up the moment a few hours before the Vikings' exhibition game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Aug. 27 at U.S. Bank Stadium. While he knew he probably wasn't going to play, simply putting on the pads and warming up with the Vikings was a dream come true for the former Gophers quarterback from Lakeville.
ST. PAUL — Stephane Veilleux plopped down at a local Caribou Coffee last week and the memories of his near decade-long career with the Minnesota Wild came flooding back. He smiled when he talked about getting picked in the third round of the 2001 NHL Draft. That smile grew as he described his first career goal, which he proudly noted came against legendary goaltender Patrick Roy. He also made sure to mention how loud the Xcel Energy Center used to get during the playoffs.
MINNEAPOLIS — After months of anticipation, the Minnesota Timberwolves unveiled a portion of their new uniform designs on Thursday. These new uniforms will be worn by the team during the 2017-18 season. The two designs featured in the unveil are the "Association" — a lighter look — and the "Icon" — a darker look. This season the NBA is eliminating its home and away uniform designations, and instead, the home team will pick which of its uniforms will be worn at home games, with visiting teams choosing a contrasting uniform from their own assortment.
MINNEAPOLIS — It is safe to assume Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon has daydreamed about trotting onto the field during the introductions of Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium. "I like to write (my goals) down and then visualize," McKinnon said after Tuesday, Aug. 8's final training camp practice in Mankato. "I write it down and then visualize it. ... That's how I go about doing things." His No. 1 goal for this season? To play in the final game of the season.
MANKATO, Minn. — As the Vikings walked off the field at Blakeslee Stadium for the final time Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 8, the memories, good and bad, came flooding back. "Definitely will miss the fans," defensive end Brian Robison said. "Definitely will not miss the dorms." Robison is the longest-tenured player on the Vikings roster and has been making the pilgrimage to Minnesota State Mankato every summer for the past decade.
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Matt Kalil, who signed with Carolina Panthers as a free agent, threw some shade at his former team on Monday. In a recent story published by the Charlotte Observer, the 28-year-old left tackle raved about getting to play for Panthers offensive line coach John Matsko. "The first guy I've played for that kind of demands excellence from his offensive line room," Kalil said.