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Noon Number for 08-30-2013: 12

Twelve days until a full training camp, which comes with bigger expectations than last year.

Mike Yeo will have a full training camp starting in 12 days. Will he be able to take advantage of it?
Mike Yeo will have a full training camp starting in 12 days. Will he be able to take advantage of it?

It was something you heard about a lot last year.

Training camp. Or, more specifically, the lack thereof. With the lockout lasting as horribly long as it did (and I'm complaining about this offseason) last year, they not only had to squeeze 48 games in not-enough days, they had almost no time for training camp.

Well, in 12 short days, the Wild are going to be starting training camp, with three full weeks of camp and pre-season games to work with until the puck drops on October 3rd. And it should be a lot of fun, too, with the Wild planning to experiment with a lot of line combinations, as well as presumably starting to implement Andrew Brunette's power play ideas.

A lot of the Wild's issues last season can be attributed to the lack of a training camp. Suter hadn't been able to adjust to the Minnesota Wild properly, and it showed, freaking everyone out. Mikael Granlund was thrown out as the second line center without figuring out anything in the way of chemistry or his readiness beforehand. Charlie Coyle may have shown himself to be ready, instead of being put on hold until later in the season. The team got off to a slow, panic-inducing start, not finding it's rhythm until about three weeks into the season.

As rumors of firings in the Wild Brass swirled before the end of a disastrous ending to the season last year, it was pointed out that the lack of a training camp was a big factor in the Wild's eventual squeaking into the playoffs.

Not the case this year. There shouldn't be much of a learning curve. There will be a long look into finding chemistry before the season. The players should mostly know what Yeo is about, and vice versa. The Wild will have plenty of time to plan, strategize, practice, and prepare before the season.

The question is: Will it show?

It needs to, as the Wild are under a lot of pressure to take the next step in their quest for a Stanley Cup.