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Wilderness Walk: Guy LaPointe Edition

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Your daily source for Minnesota hockey news.

Montreal will retire LaPointe's number 5 jersey tonight
Montreal will retire LaPointe's number 5 jersey tonight
canadiens.nhl.com

Tonight your Minnesota Wild take on the Montreal Canadiens in an attempt to stop the losing streak at two games.  Prior to the game tonight, the Canadiens will honor their hometown hero, Guy LaPointe.  He helped bring six, that's right six, Stanley Cups to Montreal and put up 622 points in 894 games.  LaPointe's number 5 jersey will be retired by the organization.

Besides putting up a ton of points on the ice, he was also quite the prankster away from it.  He famously shook the Canadian Prime Minister's hand with a hand full of Vaseline.

Since retiring, LaPointe has served as the Wild's chief amateur scout and has been around since the team's inception. He's responsible for a lot of today's roster, so it will be cool to have his scouting projects on hand to see the ceremony.

As for the game, expect the Wild to come out hard after two disappointing losses.  Keith Ballard may get in the lineup after missing 8 games due to illness.  Darcy Kuemper will be back in net.  On to the Walk:

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Wild News

Ryan Suter, Charlie Coyle, Erik Haula on Wild's mini-slide; Guy Lapointe to be honored by Habs Saturday | Russo's Rants | StarTribune.com - Lots of updates from practice yesterday.  Yeo is calling on all his young guys to step up with Parise and Spurgeon out.

Wild: For Guy Lapointe, trip into Montreal rafters a long time coming - TwinCities.com- A nice interview with the man himself on his playing and scouting career.

Struggling Centers  - Wild Xtra - Giles takes a look at the team's top 3 centers, and how they aren't producing as much as expected.

Tending the Fields

Tyler Graovac's Road to Professional Hockey - Gone Puck Wild - An interview with Tyler Graovac, who might just be another great late-round steal for Chuck Fletcher.

Iowa Wild Update 11/7/14: A Trio of Losses Set IA at the Bottom - The Baby Wild are struggling to start the year, although a few players have stood out.

The Gopher Hole

College hockey's small world means every weekend has a connection - SB Nation College Hockey - It's Lucia v. Lucia this weekend as the Gophers take on Notre Dame.

Off The Trail

Your eyes are lying about soft goals in hockey (Puck Momalytics) | Puck Daddy - Another great piece by Jen LC about how our eyes often lie to us when watching and judging goaltenders.

Stop apologizing for that terrible Marc-Andre Fleury contract (Trending Topics) | Puck Daddy - I realize the market isn't great for goalies and the Penguins didn't have much choice, but settling with an average goalie at best for the rest of Crosby and Malkin's prime certainly isn't ideal.

Vladimir Tarasenko among elite Russian NHL players, St. Louis Blues top team in power rankings - Super 16: NHL Power Rankings - The Wild fall a few spots but the folks at NHL.com decided to highlight HW's own Alec Schmidt!

Maple Leafs hope to become China’s hockey team | ProHockeyTalk - I'm sorry, China.

NHL Awards Watch: Predators hunting hardware; who’s the early MVP? | Puck Daddy - Is it too early to debate awards?  Yes, but let's do it anyway.

NHL Grab Bag: The Tank Brigade - Your weekly NHL Grab Bag

Official predicts NHL players back at Olympics - TwinCities.com - Anyone else miss the Olympics-condensed schedule?