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Wilderness Walk 10-1-2013: The NHL 2013-14 Season

The wait is over....

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Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

It's that time of year again folks! Time to pull your jerseys out of storage and baton down the hatches for a full, 2624 NHL Regular Season games. 82 of those of course will be played by your Minnesota Wild who will begin their campaign on Thursday night at the Xcel Energy Center.

If I wasn't sick as a dog, I'd hug each and every one of you Wilderness. Though that logistically makes no sense, I am just pleased as punch that we have made it through another off-season. It feels like a long time when you are excited for hockey, some folks who don't understand this passion as well seem to feel like hockey never ends (don't we wish).

On the docket tonight we kick off with the Toronto Maple Leafs in Montreal to face the Canadiens, then we cruise down to Chicago where the Blackhawks will be squaring off against the Washington Capitals, and in what is probably the most irrelevant game of the evening when the Winnipeg Jets fly into Edmonton to face off against the Oilers (double yuck).

The wait is over Wilderness, we made it through another off-season together and eagerly await when it's our turn to take the ice. The season is upon us, so don't forget to adjust your fantasy rosters!

Wild News

Wild sends Zucker down — at least for now | Star Tribune
Did you hear? Zucker is in Iowa?

Justin Fontaine returns "home;" Mikko Koivu joining Wild on Tuesday | Russo's Rants |
Reporting from AMSOIL Arena in Duluth.

Ex UM-D Bulldog Justin Fontaine Expected to Make NHL Debut Thursday
Former UM-D standout Justin Fontaine is expected to make his NHL debut Thursday night when the Minnesota Wild host the Los Angeles Kings.

2013-14 NHL Previews: Choose Your Own Opinion, Minnesota Wild edition | Backhand Shelf
A look at the good and bad side of this years squad.

The Team of 18,001: The 2013-14 Minnesota Wild: 5 Must See Games
Once again, I must insist these lists are at least 77 games short in my book.

The Team of 18,001: The 2013-14 Minnesota Wild: Defense
We know what to expect from this D group, the core has remained intact and some new faces will fill in the holes.

Wild notes: Koivu loosens up | Star Tribune
"The Wild captain is relaxed, happy and smiling." Wait! Koivu knows how to smile? (baiting the gifs)

NHL is realigned and raring to go | Star Tribune
This right here: "The Wild plays 68 games in the Eastern or Central time zones this season and don’t play west of the Central time zone until Nov. 30 in Denver. In 2011-12, the Wild didn’t even play a road game in its own time zone until Dec. 13 at Winnipeg."

Minnesota Wild Player Previews 2013/2014: Clayton Stoner - Gone Puck Wild
Clayton Stoner, the man, the myth, the liability.

Minnesota Wild Player Previews 2013/2014: Justin Fontaine - Gone Puck Wild
Oh, I had nearly forgotten Fontaine and his elite tweet....

Minnesota Wild Player Previews 2013/2014: Torrey Mitchell - Gone Puck Wild
Torrey Mitchell by the numbers, then more numbers, then a graph of some variety followed by more numbers and more numbers.

Tending the Fields

First Round Bust: FRB Top 20 Prospects: #4...Darcy Kuemper
Kuemper has to be one of my favorite hockey names to grace the Wild roster.

The ECHL - Premier 'AA' Hockey League | Solar Bears agree to terms with McParland
All the latest coverage, statistics and standings from the ECHL hockey league

Off the Trail

NHL players approve hybrid icing, as safety trumps subjectivity | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Finally ...

Like NFL, former NHL players may sue for concussions, but unlikely | USA Today
Scary that it comes down to this.

NHL 2013-14 preview: Around the league | Star Tribune
Russo reviews a few of the big moves of the summer.

Russo's Eastern Conference predictions | Star Tribune
How the East shakes out through the eye of Michael Russo.

Russo's Western Conference predictions | Star Tribune
Your Minnesota Wild will finish ...

Russo's picks for the playoffs | Star Tribune
Whoa ...

NHL realignment solves some problems, creates plenty of questions - The Hockey News
The folks in the East just need to complain about something.

U.S. to name Olympic team during Winter Classic | ProHockeyTalk
Just 92 days away folks.

Winnipeg Jets, 2013-14 (Puck Daddy Gold Medal Preview) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
A look at our friendly neighbors to the North.

NHL Awards 2013-14: Puck Daddy picks the winners for this season’s hardware | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
A lot of safe bet picks going around.

Ilya Kovalchuk could miss month after big hit by his own teammate (Video) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
My guess is there is a contingent of New Jersey Devils fans who are smiling at this.