On the third day of Minnesota Wild Training Camp, the club used most of its practice time to develop its special teams play, and a prized prospect joined the team on the ice.
First-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Jonas Brodin joined the club for its on-ice festivities. He is still recovering from an upper body injury, and Brodin told WildTV that today was the first day he has had any contact. The blueliner is not expected to participate in tomorrow’s scrimmage, but has been on the ice for the past week and is feeling much better.
After an evening practice and scrimmage yesterday, the Wild’s session at Xcel Energy Center was less about trying to get their game legs or flow, and more about getting the power play and penalty kill units in sync.
If you read yesterday’s post, the power play units remained the same. On the short-handed units, the most-used killers up front were Kyle Brodziak, Cal Clutterbuck, Darroll Powe, Stephane Veilleux, Torrey Mitchell, Zenon Konopka and Jake Dowell. With the big offseason signings of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, adding three experienced penalty killers in the summer might turn out to be an underrated, shrewd move, especially in a shortened 48-game schedule.
After a number of injuries at forward last season, guys like Mikko Koivu, Matt Cullen and Dany Heatley were asked to play shorthanded more often. Now that the Wild has a stable of penalty killers in its lineup, those players can expend less energy killing penalties and use it for offensive situations. That being said, it will be hard to keep the Wild Captain from wanting to be on the ice in all situations, including the PK unit. Koivu spoke to the media today after practice about the upcoming scrimmage and special teams. At the 6:30 mark of the PONDcast, Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo talks about the penalty killers and a host of other topics. Mitchell joined WildTV and talked about what he brings to the PK unit and adjusting to his new linemates.
Speaking of adding depth, the Wild signed Nick Palmieri to a one-year, two-way deal. The forward skated in nine games with the Wild after being acquired from New Jersey last season. In 36 games in Houston to start the season, the winger has 19 points (9-10=19) and has looked good in three days of camp.
A limited number of tickets are now available for the free Minnesota Wild Red vs. White Intra-squad Game, presented by Andersen Windows, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16. A ticket is needed for entry – season ticketholders can print their tickets from their online account, while all other fans can print a ticket for free via Ticketmaster.com. Limit of four tickets per person. Doors open at 6 p.m. All fans will receive a $10 concession voucher upon entry (not valid for alcoholic beverages). Autographed jerseys will be given away throughout the event.
Pat Vos was comfortable inside of Gate One at Xcel Energy Center, sitting in a lawn chair as the first fan in line for tomorrow’s “Wild Wednesday“ single-game ticket on-sale. Stick tap to Pat for his dedication.
Finally, Jim and Barb Ariola had a few unexpected guests swing by their house today. Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and Wild Owner Craig Leipold dropped off the couple’s season tickets this afternoon. They were happier than a pair of musicians in a GEICO commercial.