Additional Minnesota Wild Info
Minnesota Wild NHL History
In June of 1997, the NHL awarded expansion franchises to the following cities- Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota/Columbus, Ohio/Nashville, Tennessee/and Atlanta, Georgia. The six final names considered for the franchise were the Blue Ox, Northern Lights, Voyageurs, Freeze, White Bears, and Wild. Many thought the White Bears would win, but the team chose to go with Wild.
The Wild came to Minneapolis in 2000, and their home ice is in Minneapolis. They play at the Xcel Energy Center, which is actually in the city of St. Paul. Jacques Lemaire was the
first head coach, leading the team to a Western Conference final round by season three. By 2008, the team managed to grab their first division championship, with an overall record of 44-28-10. The
team was two games over .500 for road games at season's end. Their home record was much stronger, ending with a 25-11-5 record at the Xcel Energy Center. Sadly, the team lost a series to the Colorado Avalanche.
Their top scorers that season were Marian Gaborik, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, and Brian Rolston. Their top goaltender was Niklas Backstrong with a save percentage of .920.
In 2009, the team parted ways with head coach Lemire, and the GM Doug Risenbrough. That meant that most of the management working under both men also decided to leave the team. The team
would miss the playoffs for the next two years. The NHL lockout further damaged the prospects of the Wild. Things turned around for the Wild in 2013, as they made it to the Stanley Cup playoffs
as a Wild Card. They made it past the first round, but lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.
The Minnesota Wild began the 2018-2019 season with sky-high expectations. They believed a talented and experienced roster could lead them deep into the playoffs. The team fought hard to win, and when the dust finally settled, the Wild finished the year with 83 points, good for the fifth lowest record in the Western Conference. For fans in Minnesota, the team will return to strength soon.
For the draft, the Wild held the twelvth selection overall, which they used on center Matthew Boldy, yet another player off the talented United States U-18 National Development Team. In free agency, the Wild re-signed a lot of their own talent and added three more- center Luke Johnson for two seasons, right-winger Ryan Hartman for two seasons, and center Gabriel Dumont for two seasons. Other than that, not much. The Wild spent the majority of the offseason shoring up their own issues, which they believed were not solved by roster changes.
The Wild’s brass still believes they have a good roster. This season will be important in telling us which direction the franchise needs to go.
Last year for the Minnesota Wild was a tale of two different seasons. At the end of February they were running away with the West and had all but locked up home ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Then the month of March saw just three wins, and that changed everything. Yes the Wild were the two seed in the Western Conference, but they backed their way into that. In round one of the playoffs they were matched up against the St. Louis Blues, who put them away in five games. This offseason, the Wild’s biggest move, was to re-sign winger Nino Niederreiter to a five-year contract extension. This is a team that is built to win right now, so that will factor into the decision making of management going forward.