With the plethora of injuries the Wild had this season, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we’d have to talk about injuries this offseason. Calm down, this is a good one, because Niklas Backstrom, Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi all underwent successful minor surgeries earlier this week. Hopefully this will be the last time we have to use the “I” word this year (furiously knocking on wood).
Wild TV had a couple of new videos out this week. First, Wild.com’s self-proclaimed “latest and greatest” addition, Steve Ruane, interviewed several players about their summer plans. Steve is seasoned, but not as a reporter. He is the security projects manager and we just thought you’d enjoy his hard-hitting questions. Up next, Head Coach Mike Yeo and the Wild coaching staff and trainers are prepping for the Tough Mudder competition. Wild TV was there to film the group’s first workout. You might need a towel to wipe the sweat from your brow after watching that one.
In prospect news, Johan Larsson’s team, Brynas, won the Swedish Elite League last night with a 2-0 victory over Skellefteå. Larrson had two assists in the game. Pretty good way to end the season for the Wild’s second round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Larsson also was named the SEL Rookie of the Year.
The Houston Aeros trail the Oklahoma City Barons, 1-0, in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Game 2 is tonight, and if you’re around Saint Paul, stop in at Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub. Puck drop is at 7:35 p.m., and Reid’s will have the game, along with every NHL playoff game. Check out the game preview, here.
Charlie Coyle and Zack Phillips have been lighting up the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Playoffs and have led Saint John to the semifinals, where they will face Chicoutimi. They are one and two in the league in playoff scoring. Check out Saint John’s website, here.
The U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team faces with rival Canada today in the semifinals of the 2012 IIHF World Men’s Under-18 Championship. USA is going for their fourth-straight gold medal at the U-18 Championships. U.S. defeated the Canadians earlier this week in the preliminary round, 5-3.
In State of Hockey news, Xcel Energy Center will host the inaugural Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament in 2014. Xcel Energy Center and Joe Louis Arena will rotate as hosts through 2017. The tournament will be in St. Paul at Xcel Energy Center in 2014 and 2016, while Detroit will host the tourney at Joe Louis Arena in 2015 and 2017.
Finally, I don’t care who you are; winning at any level feels darn good. Warners’ Stellian Stars won Showcase Hockey’s Metro League Gold Division championship in men’s hockey (aka beer leagues), with a dominant 7-3 win over Cooper. The team picked me up midway through the season and I said if we hoisted the cup, they would get a shout out on the Lighthouse. You bet!