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Wilderness Walk 10-2-2013: Previews out the Wazoo Edition

You will not lack for NHL Previews to read today.

ESPN doesn't seem to think so, but my guess is the Wild don't need Matt Cullen and Devin Setoguchi to be better than edmonton.
ESPN doesn't seem to think so, but my guess is the Wild don't need Matt Cullen and Devin Setoguchi to be better than edmonton.
Jonathan Daniel

So close, Wild fans. Tomorrow is the first game of the new season.

At least for the Wild. For the rest of the NHL (and by that I mean "six teams"), the season started last night. And what happens on the first day of the season is that you're going to get bombarded by team previews, like the 8,000 or so you'll read in a moment.

But don't take my word for it. Get on to the Walk.

Wild News

'OK' just isn't enough for Parise and Wild | Star Tribune- Parise got too close to the Cup in 2011-2012 to be satisfied with last season. Hopefully he'll be more than just his (admittedly awesome) "OK".

Wild notes: Kings' Brown knows he might face the music | Star Tribune- The Wild could also just beat his team. That'd be nice. Also, it was not a holiday for this guy, sadly. Which is a shame, because it seemed like the Duluth practice was quite fun.

Pominville hopeful extension comes prior to opener; Wild wraps up in Duluth | Russo's Rants | In which Russo discovers how nice the Amsoil press box is. Never been inside there, but I was a board operator on KUWS when the University of Wisconsin-Superior played at Amsoil when it had just opened, and I was informed by the Yellowjacket play-by-play guy (Jon Garver) as to how nice it was. I was jealous.

Wild: After seven moves in 11 months, Jason Pominville feeling at home - Big season for Jason Pominville, for his career, and for the Wild.

Minnesota Wild: Mike Yeo wants to see 'pack-of-wolves mentality' - Hopefully, this doesn't mean we get to see way too much of...

Minnesota Wild Player Previews 2013/2014: Zenon Konopka - Gone Puck Wild-... This guy. Hopefully Mike Rupp gets back soon.

Is Charlie Coyle Destined for Greatness? - The Hockey Writers- The headline seems to be a bit melodramatic, but there's no denying that the Charlie Coyle we saw in the pre-season is a dominant player.

The Team of 18,001: The 2013-14 Minnesota Wild: The X-Factors- "These players need are crucial to the Wild's season", says Giles.

The Team of 18,001: The 2013-14 Minnesota Wild: Forwards- "I will preview the Wild's forwards", says Giles.

First Round Bust: Vanek Watch 2013-14: Phil Kessel Signs An 8 Year, $64 Million Contract- The biggest question from Kessel's extension (other than "Can the Wild still trade for him he's one of us?"): "How does this affect Thomas Vanek to the Wild?

Tending the Fields

First Round Bust: Minnesota Wild Prospect Visits To Twin Cities & "State of Hockey"- I might have to make it to the Notre Dame at UMD game(s) to see Mario Lucia. Also would like to see Gustav Olofsson come to Amsoil, as well, but it's in February, so who knows whether I'll be able to see it.

NHL Previews out the Wazoo

All presented without comment.

Oh, except that the ESPN one had one of their writers pick Todd Richards for the Jack Adams Award. Silly ESPN.

Stanley Cup 2013-14: Puck Daddy predicts conference champs and the big winner | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports

NHL Western Conference 2013-14: Puck Daddy predicts the Central, Pacific Divisions | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports

NHL 2013-14 Predictions: Which coach gets fired first? Which outdoor game will rock? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports

Welcome To Day One: Everything You Need To Know About The 2013-14 NHL Season | Backhand Shelf's 2013-14 NHL Crystal Ball predictions - NHL -

NHL Preview 2013-14 - Grantland

2013-14 NHL season preview: Stanley Cup and awards predictions - ESPN

Off the Trail (Non-Previews Edition)

George Parros knocked out, stretchered off after face-first fall during fight with Colton Orr (Video) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- The downside of fighting. He was taken to the hospital at the time of this article's completion. Hope he's OK.

Is Phil Kessel worth $8 million per season? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- I think so, actually. What you have to keep in mind is that though his cap hit is higher than equivalent players, it's because a lot of players of that caliber were signed to front-loaded deals that hide what players are really earning. Shea Weber is making 14 million this year, for example. He has a cap hit slightly less than Kessel. So does Zach Parise and Ryan Suter (12 million salary; ~7.6 mil cap hit). Hell, Brad Richards, who the Rangers were going to maybe buyout, is going to make 9 million dollars (6.7 cap hit). You're going to have to adjust the scale with the Cap Circumventions removed.

Sabres name Ott, Vanek co-captains in worst organizational decision in a month | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Still not as bad as those thirds. It's like the guy who designed the Buffaslug was like "They thought my jersey was shitty? Fuck them! I'll show them a shitty jersey!"

Who Are the Best Long-Shot Bets for NHL Awards? - The Triangle Blog - Grantland- Sean McIndoe looks for some sleepers for the Awards.

NHL Hockey Power Rankings - Week Preseason 2 - National Hockey League - ESPN- Linked for the pure schadenfreude. My three favorite things were.

3. The Wild being ranked behind edmonton and Nashville.

2. The Power Rankings boldly declaring that the oilers will make the playoffs... Despite ranking them as the 9th best team in the West.

1. "If the kids can step up to fill the void left by Matt Cullen, P.M. Bouchard, and Devin Setoguchi, they'll be all right."

Combined production of those three players in 2013, excluding March: 91 games, 36 points. I think the Wild will be OK.