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Wilderness Walk: Next Time, It's for Real Edition

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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation 2014 NHL Preview

It is with great pleasure I bring to you the first Walk of the regular season! Sure, we're not quite there yet, but we are done with the preseason. We are in somewhat of a grey area. In a sort of limbo state between when the preseason ends and the regular season officially begins. Like how Summer doesn't end until mid September, but we all call it around Labor Day anyway.

The Wild, in an effort to extend their preseason a little longer, decided to let their final test before the regular season begins run on a little longer. Last night's preseason finale at the Xcel Energy Center against the St. Louis Blues got the "dry scrape" treatment, and ended with the Wild winning 5-4 in overtime. For a moment there last night, I thought the universe was going to implode on itself as I heard radio broadcaster Bob Kurtz utter the phrase "Bickel on the right point, a shot, he scores!" Fortunately for the universe, Erik Haula got in front of that one, and tipped it home.

PHEW! That was close!

From the sounds of things as well, it seems like some of the kids may have locked themselves up into the opening night roster. Coach Mike Yeo indicated that they would have to basically make up a reason to send Mat Dumba down to Iowa and Jason Zucker sounds like he's locked in as well.

So next time, it counts Wilderness. Things start getting real on October 9th, just 4 days away, when the Wild play host to everyone's favorite now 19-year old, Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche. I wonder if they have forgot about us.

Probably not ...

The season is just 4 sleeps away sports fans! Are you pumped!?

Wild News

Vanek's long journey leads him back to Minnesota | Star Tribune
The life and times of "Teen Wolf", Thomas Vanek.

Final roster decisions on Dumba, Folin looming after Wild's overtime win | Russo's Rants | StarTribune.com
Some talk about cutting the roster down to size. Things are certainly looking promising for the Wild to carry Matt Dumba with them into the regular season.

Mikko Koivu scores in final minute of OT to lift Wild past Blues, 5-4 | Star Tribune
Oh Kaptain, my Kaptain seals up an OT win for the Wild in their preseason finale.

Wild 5, Blues 4 (OT): Matt Dumba makes strong case for roster spot - TwinCities.com
Yeah, at this point I've pretty much jacked myself up for Dumba55 to be on the opening night roster, despite Stu Bickel ...

HockeyBuzz.com - Tony Dean - MNWild Top 9 Forwards Loaded BUT Yeo Facing Tough Choices Assigning Roles
You're close Tony Dean, flip-flop Nino and Coyle and I could get behind your take.

Down the Gopher Hole

No. 1 Minnesota Blanks Penn State, 8-0 - University of Minnesota Official Athletic Site
Six different Gophers scored, and Sidney Peters earned her first career shutout Friday night.

Gophers Hockey: Thoughts on Minnesota's 5-0 exhibition win over NAIT - SB Nation College Hockey
Kyle Rau bookended the second period with goals as Minnesota shut out the Ooks in an exhibition game played Saturday at Mariucci Arena.

U of M drops hockey ticket bundling policy | KARE 11
The University of Minnesota has reconsidered its new sports ticket bundling practice for students amid growing criticism.

Off the Trail

Hockey: U.S. women's star Hilary Knight skates in NHL practice - Hockey - NorthJersey.com
The two-time Olympian practiced with the Anaheim Ducks on Friday, and left feeling she could play hockey with anybody in the world (and why not let her).

2014-15 NHL Season Preview: Central Division - CBSSports.com
The Blackhawks look to be the top team in the Central again, though the St. Louis Blues may have something to say about that, and so could the Wild, Avalanche and Stars in this loaded race.

Islanders acquire Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy in separate trades - CBSSports.com
The New York Islanders made two big trades Saturday to acquire veteran defensemen Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk from the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins, respectively.

Report: ER doctors will be a fixture for every NHL game | ProHockeyTalk
As a result of many incidents across all levels of hockey, including Dallas Stars forward Richard Peverley, ER doctors will be close by to monitor any emergency that may take place.

The Team of 18,001: Postseason & Award Predictions
I'm not really impressed with these predictions. You want to impress me? Pick the 2015-2016 season award winners. That said, Giles is probably not far off here. Only thing I'd change is the Hart because it seems foolish to not just give it to Crosby every year until he dies.

Islanders sign first-rounder Ho-Sang | ProHockeyTalk
Islanders sign could-have-been Wild first round draft pick Joshua Ho-Sang. I wonder if the first time he comes here he'll have some sort of chip on his shoulder because of all the predictions saying we'd grab him and then the Wild took something called Alex Tuch instead.