Dane Mizutani / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — After bolstering their prospect pool at the NHL Draft over the weekend, the Wild will waste no time seeing some of those prospects, and other prospects throughout the farm system, in action at their annual development camp.
EAGAN, Minn. — There are still times when third-year defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson finds himself out of position while trying to make a big play in the trenches. As a rotational player on the Vikings’ talented defensive line, buried behind Pro Bowl defensive tackle Linval Johnson on the depth chart, Johnson knows those big plays are his ticket to more playing time. It’s just not his sole focus anymore.
ST. PAUL — In an offseason that will likely be defined by splashy moves, the Wild made a savvy move on Monday, June 24, agreeing to a two-year, $1.4 million contract with defenseman Brad Hunt.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — After sticking to the status quo on Friday night of the NHL Draft, selecting left winger Matt Boldy with the No. 12 pick and calling it a night, the Wild were much more active on Saturday afternoon, June 22.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Wild general manager Paul Fenton wouldn’t tip his hand in the days leading up to the NHL Draft, only saying that he felt the organization was going to get “a very good player” no matter what. Still, even Fenton couldn’t have imagined the draft board shaking out any better as the Wild waited in anticipation.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — It’s clear Minnesota Wild general manager Paul Fenton still feels like he’s cleaning up a mess made by former general manager Chuck Fletcher. As Fenton continues to obliterate the roster Fletcher constructed, far from tweaks at this point, he has placed an added emphasis on this weekend’s NHL Draft as a bridge to the future.
ST. PAUL — Every so often the thought still pops into Jason Zucker’s head: What if he had chosen a different floor? In those moments, the memories come rushing back for Zucker, who can still recall some of the most specific details from that day. He walked in the entrance of the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital with teammate Jared Spurgeon, turned right in the lobby, and approached the elevator, completely unaware that his life was about to change.
ST. PAUL -- There’s a lot the Minnesota Wild can learn from the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, especially considering the two franchises aren’t much different in the grand scheme of things. While the Wild look like a team that has no business being mentioned as a Stanley Cup contender next season, neither did the Blues this time last year. After six consecutive playoff appearances for St. Louis, a disappointing season then had the Blues watching the NHL playoffs from home last season as the Washington Capitals went on to hoist the Stanley Cup.
EAGAN, Minn. — No matter what Chad Beebe did for the Vikings last season, comparisons to his father, former NFL receiver Don Beebe, followed him every step of the way. And that made sense. It seemed like the only way to rationalize how an undersized 5-foot-10, 180-pound slot receiver out of Northern Illinois could ever succeed at the next level. Essentially, if Don Beebe could play nearly a decade in the NFL despite lack of size, then Chad Beebe at least had a chance, right?
EAGAN, Minn. -- While the Vikings have spent most of the spring adjusting to a new offense, veteran coach Gary Kubiak has been on the sidelines doing some adjusting of his own. After stepping away from the game a few years ago to focus on continuing health issues, Kubiak finally felt ready to get back in the game, and the Vikings provided that platform earlier this year, hiring him to serve as a right-hand man of sorts to head coach Mike Zimmer, as well as an offensive adviser to new offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski.