Well, it's official. Kevin Hayes, a former Blackhawks 2010 first round pick, has decided to opt out of signing with Chicago and will try free agency. Apparently not everyone wants to play for the Hawks. Hayes will instead be a top target of a lot of teams in the coming weeks.
The Wild have been fond of signing college free agents in the past, which brings us to our Obscure Player of the Day: Casey Wellman.
Wellman went undrafted and signed with Minnesota after two years at UMass-Amherst. Believe it or not, Wellman was considered one of the team's top prospects for a few years. Those were dark times. Wellman went up and down from Houston for three years, putting up 4 goals and 9 assists in 41 games with the Wild. On February 3, 2012, he was traded to the New York Rangers in exchange for Erik Christensen. Here's to you, Casey.
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With that, on to the Walk.
St. Paul's Holman Field to host 2015 Hockey Day Minnesota- Hockey Day is back! A great tradition continues with outdoor games at all levels leading up to an (indoor) game against the Coyotes.
Wild update on goaltending, Kuemper, Nino, Seeler, Biznasty, Ice Bucket Challenge's | Russo's Rants |- In case you missed it yesterday. Fletcher says the goalies should be good to go. Also included are all of the ALS ice bucket challenge videos. All in all, it's hard to top Jason Zucker's.
Nick Seeler leaves Nebraska-Omaha after 2 seasons - SB Nation College Hockey- Seeler leaves Omaha and puts himself into a somewhat sticky situation. There's a chance he could be in Iowa this year.
Off The Trail
Who won the Spam Zamboni? (Hint: His dad has 4 Cup rings) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- The legendary Spamboni finds a new home in Minnesota.
Kevin Hayes: Pending Free-Agent Phenomenon- There are quite a few teams that could be interested in Hayes although it seems likely that he'll sign with Calgary to reunite with line-mate Johnny Gadreau.
Report: J.S. Giguere set to retire next week | theScore- Quite an impressive career for Giggy.
What part of the season really sees referees 'put their whistles away?' | theScore- Interesting stats that show refs not calling as many penalties during the mid-season lull.
The NHL’s Explosive ’80s - A history lesson and crazy highlight reel all rolled into one.