Evening, State of Hockey legion. All of us here in Wild land are recovering from the very busy weekend that was the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild has been in preparations for nearly two years and I think it’s safe to say the big event was a huge success. The organization was thrilled with this weekend’s events, especially all of the fans who came to St. Paul to showcase their love of hockey, including the more than 17,000 that attended the Draft Friday and Saturday.
There was certainly plenty of excitement during the two days of the Entry Draft, much of that coming from the hometown team. Click here for the Wild’s Draft Central page, which has stories and video from Wild management and some of the top selections in the Draft. Additionally, Wild radio’s Kevin Falness today spoke to Charlie Coyle, who was a big part of Minnesota’s first-round trade Friday night. Click here to listen to the interview and hear Coyle’s wicked Boston accent.
The 2011 NHL Entry Draft might now be over, but that doesn’t mean the Wild Hockey Operations department is taking a rest. In fact, the Wild made another trade today, acquiring 26-year-old forward Darroll Powe from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Powe is considered a physical player who totaled 17 points (7-10=17) while leading the Flyers with 196 hits this past season. Click here to read the wild.com write up on the trade and here to listen to Powe’s reaction.
The guys in Hockey Ops weren’t done yet, and also used the day to extend qualifying offers to seven players: Justin Falk, Colton Gillies, Jarod Palmer, Jeff Penner, Darroll Powe, James Sheppard and Casey Wellman. The Wild did not tender a qualifying offer to Patrick O’Sullivan.
There isn’t much rest for the weary as the Wild decide whether to sign restricted free agents this week and then jump into the free agency pool starting Friday. Plenty of action to come, hockey fans!