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Wilderness Walk: NHL Goes Back to Work Edition

The NHL goes back to work today as the Carolina Hurricanes visit the Buffalo Sabres. Your Wild squad will get back to action on Thursday against perennial draft lottery winners the Edmonton Oilers.

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The NHL gets back to work today with just one game to kick off the stretch run to the playoffs. The Carolina Hurricanes will be in Buffalo to take on the Sabres to help re-familiarize everyone with how games are played on a smaller ice surface.

Of course, with the March 5th trade deadline looming on the horizon the trade rumors are starting to kick back into high gear with the Wild's need for some consistency between the pipes taking center stage here in the State of Hockey. We'll have all your trade rumors covered here at Hockey Wilderness leading up to the deadline as well as a look at the options available around the league for your favorite squad.

Winter has a firm grasp on Minnesota once again, so lets get bundled up and go for a walk.

Wild News

Minnesota Wild try to get their four Olympians focused on stretch run -
As the Olympians return, the focus turns to just 23 games before the most exciting post-season in sports kicks off.

Parise stands up for Bylsma; Koivu continues to progress | Russo's Rants |
Zach Parise clears up some comments misinterpreted as a criticism of US Olympic hockey coach Dan Bylsma.

Wild gears up to recapture winning formula | Star Tribune
The Wild are looking to put the pieces back in place for the stretch run towards the playoffs.

Minnesota Wild Recalls Two From Iowa Wild | Gone Puck Wild
The Minnesota Wild has recalled rookie forward Erik Haula and defenseman Steven Kampfer from Iowa of the American Hockey League.

Selanne: Olympics were Granlund’s ‘business card’ to show the world | ProHockeyTalk
"He's going to have a great career ahead."

Tending the Fields

AHL: Iowa Wild goalie John Curry stands tall through shootout | The Des Moines Register |
Iowa Wild goaltender John Curry made 32 saves in regulation and stopped all four Lake Erie attempts in a shootout Friday night, helping his team secure a 2-1 victory.

Ruskowski ejected in Mallards' loss
A string of controversial calls led to coach Terry Ruskowski's ejection as the Quad-City Mallards fell 6-2 to the Allen Americans Sunday at the Allen Event Center.

Off the Trail

Post-Olympic Break Primer: Pacific Division | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
The Olympics are over. Time to stop celebrating medals. We are at a much more important time of the year: the stretch drive to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

10 things we won’t forget from the Olympic hockey tournament | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
In the span of about 60 hours, hockey fans will switch their focus from the Olympic gold medal game to the NHL's return with the Carolina Hurricanes versus the Buffalo Sabres.

Sweden claims IOC conspiracy over Nicklas Backstrom’s failed doping test | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Backstrom has taken Zyrtec-D for the last seven years. It’s a drug that contains pseudoephedrine, a decongestant that helps reduce stuffy noses.

Olympic Hockey Hugs: Czech sneering, Teemu in the bronze age | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Hockey Hugs is a feature that celebrates the best in hugging from around the sport of hockey, because who doesn't love a good hug now and then? Have you seen a particularly good hug photo lately?

Takeaways from the Sochi Olympics for the NHL stretch drive and beyond | Home Ice -
Some things to remember as we get back to action in the NHL.

Latvia’s Gudlevskis remains with Tampa Bay | ProHockeyTalk
The Lightning are about to play four games in six days, so he might end up making his NHL debut.

Couture expects to be back Thursday | ProHockeyTalk
His injured hand "feels good as its felt in three months."

Predators' Pekka Rinne cleared for increased activity after goalie practices past few days - The Hockey News
It has been a long road to recovery for Predators goalie Pekka Rinne.

Stamkos hopes to rejoin Lightning on March 6 | ProHockeyTalk
He has another evaluation scheduled for the day before.

Always an Av: Hejduk officially announces retirement | ProHockeyTalk
FINALLY! I mean he hasn't played a game this season, but still.

Avalanche forward Parenteau wants to stay in Colorado | ProHockeyTalk
He’s been a healthy scratch. He’s been injured. And his name has been part of trade rumors. It has been a tough season for him.

10 More Medal Events for Sochi Olympic Hockey |
Some individual awards for the players.

ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers to play home games next season on roof of casino | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Because, why not?