Category Archives: Training Camp

Bulmer To Wear #19

The Wild’s opening night roster will be announced today, but there was another sign last night that Brett Bulmer would be on it when he was given sweater #19.

Bulmer will become the sixth player to wear number 19, joining the likes of Patrick O’Sullivan, Andy Hilbert, Stephane Veilleux, David Cullen and Jeff Nielsen. Twitter followers of the @mnwild account may want to remember those last names, because there may or may not be a question regarding those names in the near future.

The Wild is set to take the ice at Xcel Energy Center today, and we should learn the opening night roster shortly thereafter. It appears as though Mike Lundin may be the only regular skater who won’t be ready for Saturday’s opener.

Clutterbuck To Sit Out Preseason Finale

The preseason finale is finally upon us, and after tonight’s showdown with the Edmonton Oilers…we have to sit and wait for a week. But that’s not all bad, because the Wild is still trying to get some guys healthy before the season starts on October 8.

Cal Clutterbuck is the latest player to go on the shelf. He’s been dealing with a tweaked groin, so Mike Yeo will keep him out of the lineup tonight as a precaution, saying he’s seen everything he needs to see from Clutter.

Mike Lundin (back), Matt Cullen (upper body) and Jared Spurgeon (rib) all remain out of the lineup, but Yeo again seemed confident that most or all would be ready for game one.

One interesting note from today’s Yeo media scrum was the update on Matt Kassian, who is also coming off an injury. Yeo said he is progressing and hopes to have him ready for the first game. Does this mean Kassian is on the opening night roster with the suspension to Brad Staubitz? We’ll see, but it does seem to be something Yeo is considering.

He also said roster decisions are expected to be made tonight after the game. Whether or not we’ll get cutdown information then remains to be seen. With the injuries, it’s possible guys get cut and then brought up before the season if someone is not ready to go.

One other note about tonight’s game: Marie-Pier Guilbault, who is currently performing in Cavalia: A Magical Encounter Between Human and Horse, will sing O Canada in French prior to tonight’s game.

Don’t forget, you can see tonight’s game on Wild.com via live streaming.

Wild Headed To National Titletown

Where do teams go when they’re looking to return to the postseason? Just a couple hours north of here, my friends, to a magical utopia called “Duluth.”

The Minnesota Wild will be up there starting Sunday evening through Tuesday afternoon for a little retreat/team bonding with a week off between the final preseason game and the home opener on October 8. The boys will do some team building exercises, play a little golf and also hold two practices (closed to the general public) at AMSOIL Arena, home to the 2011 National Champion UMD Bulldogs. It’s also home to the 2010 Women’s National Champions, and up the road is Malosky Stadium, home to the 2010 Football National Champions.

That’s a lot of champions right there, but let’s face it, when you’re in Duluth, you just feel like a champion. And that has to be why the Wild is taking this retreat.

Last year, the Wild had a built in team bonding location in Finland, spending a full week there before opening up the season against Carolina. That included a visit to Sauna Island.

There is no Sauna Island in Duluth, but there is the Lakewalk along the shores of Lake Superior. So don’t be surprised if next week you see a group of about 25 guys in black and green warmup suits, walking along the Lakewalk, sipping malts from the Portland Malt Shoppe and gazing out at the splendor of the Lake and surrounding majesty.

Staubitz Suspension Begins Tonight

The ruling was passed down from NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan yesterday that Wild winger Brad Staubitz will be suspended for the rest of the preseason, as well as the first three games of the regular season.

At least publicly, the Wild hasn’t cried foul about the ruling, and Staubitz said yesterday, “I want what’s fair.” Thus far in his new role, Shanahan has been strict, but consistent in his dealings with dangerous hits. He also suspended James Wisniewski for eight regular season games for his blow to the head of Cal Clutterbuck on Friday night.

In past years, there didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the suspensions handed out, and there seemed to be preferential treatment given to certain players over others. Shanahan has been proactive, not only with being strict, but with his video descriptions of each incident. If teams and fans get the straight dope on why a suspension is what it is, that’s all we can really ask.

It remains to be seen if Steven Stamkos or Alex Ovechkin were to drill a player with a dangerous head shot, but so far, it’s hard to argue with Shanahan’s methods.

As for the Wild and their preseason home game tonight against the Blues, you’ll see most of the regulars out on the ice tonight. Matt Cullen, who was hit headfirst into the boards on Saturday by Pittsburgh’s Eric Tangradi, will sit out as a precaution. Casey Wellman will take his spot. Staubitz will be replaced on the fourth line by Brett Bulmer, who is still vying for a spot on the roster.

On defense, Jared Spurgeon is dealing with a bruised rib, and Mike Lundin continues to suffer from back spasms. Justin Falk and Marco Scandella will take their spots in the lineup. Nick Schultz will make his preseason debut tonight.

Niklas Backstrom gets the start in goal. Josh Harding likely starts on Thursday in Columbus and Backstrom would get the preseason finale on Friday against Edmonton.

Meanwhile, all the players the Wild put on waivers on Sunday have cleared, meaning they’ll report to Houston Aeros camp. That includes Warren Peters, Jed Ortmeyer, Jon DiSalvatore, Jeff Taffe, Jeff Penner and Dennis Endras.

And finally, Wild prospect and Denver University sophomore Jason Zucker was picked as the preseason WCHA player of the year in the 94X media poll, released today. Zucker’s team, Denver, was picked to finish first in the League, which you may know is also the home of the defending national champs in Duluth.

Phillips Assigned To Saint John

Zack Phillips, the Wild’s 2011 first round draft pick taken 28th overall, has been assigned to the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL. In his first NHL training camp, Phillips played two preseason games and registered an assist last night on Kris Foucault’s first period goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Wild’s current training camp roster stands at 45 players because the club did recall defenseman Kyle Medvec yesterday after assigning him to Houston earlier in the week.

Koivu Line Gets Its Shot

The Minnesota Wild’s home preseason opener will be all about the debut of Mikko Koivu and his new linemates, Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi. All three players will be featured in a gameday video on today’s game preview, and all touch on the developing chemistry that can only get better in games.

If you can’t be at Xcel Energy Center to see them in person, Wild.com will be carrying the live video streaming of the game.

The other feel good story tonight will be the return of goaltender Josh Harding. Yes, he’s already played a period and a half thus far this preseason, but this will be the first game at Xcel Energy Center that he’s played since March 21, 2010, a win over the Calgary Flames.

It will also be the first time fans can get a look at his new mask, which offers a tribute to his late grandmother, Rosemary, with a rose on one side. On the back of the mask are tributes to his friends and teammates, Derek Boogaard, Pavol Demitra and Rick Rypien.

The Wild made one more cut today, sending tryout forward Taylor Peters to Portland of the Western Hockey League. Peters appeared in last night’s 1-0 win over the St. Louis Blues, and was also a member of the Wild’s Traverse City Tournament team.

Following the game tonight, the Wild will jet out to Pittsburgh for a matinee game against the Penguins. Here is the expected lineup for that one:

Latendresse-Cullen-Bouchard
Gillies-Nystrom-Palmer
Taffe – Warren Peters – Ortmeyer
DiSalvatore – McIntyre – TBD

Stoner-Spurgeon
Falk-Hendry
Penner – TBD

Backstrom and Endras

Players told to be ready to go include Carson McMillan, Brad Staubitz, Brett Bulmer, Marco Scandella and Kris Fredheim.

One note for fans who are coming to tonight’s game and live in the South Metro. After 7:00 p.m. tonight, I-35E Southbound will be reduced to a single lane, and ramps onto I-35E will begin to be closed at 9:00 p.m. MnDot has more information here. Fans should keep this in mind when they’re heading home and plan some alternate routes. Put those GPS machines to good use.

First Cutdown Day: Wild Assigns Nine

Wednesday morning brought the first round of cuts for the Minnesota Wild. The roster was trimmed from 56 to 47 with nine players being assigned to Houston or their respective junior teams.

Three players under contract – forwards Joel Broda, Justin Fontaine and D Kyle Medvec – have been assigned to the Houston Aeros. Tryout players D Sam Lofquist and RW Mike Kramer also have been assigned to the Aeros training camp.

The four players assigned to their junior teams were 2011 seventh round draft pick, C Tyler Graovac (Ottawa/OHL), as well defensemen Colton Jobke (Kelowna/WHL) and Josh Caron (Kamloops/WHL) and tryout forward Carter Sandlak (Belleville/OHL).

Few of the moves come as a surprise, as none of the nine players participated in the weekend scrimmages or Tuesday night’s preseason game in Edmonton.  The majority of cuts will come following a stretch of three games in three nights beginning tomorrow in St. Louis.