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Wilderness Walk: JUNE - For real this time - Edition

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The Pens put their 1-0 lead on the line. Will the Sharks strike back?

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So here we are, with a maximum of 6 games left in this waning season.  But we in the Wilderness aren't so sad, because the offseason has already started off to be far more exciting than the season.  We've got a shiny new coach, the trade front is firing up and the draft is nearly upon us (Did I mention we're having a PARTY?).  We are sitting on the cusp of watching the roster take its next step and form into the shape it will occupy heading into next season.  Speculation is rampant, and the staff here will undoubtedly join in with our own crazy ideas as the summer progresses.  It's sad to say, but it feels like there is more hope here in the offseason than there ever really was during last season.  What has the offseason got you dreaming of?

And now for something completely different - enjoy the sounds of the human voice with a few effects added.  Walk on.

Wild News

Minnesota Wild Fifteen Greatest Players: #6 Zach Parise
Since signing with the Minnesota Wild in the summer of 2012, Zach Parise has been the undisputed leader and top producer for the Wild ever since.

Minnesota Wild Fifteen Greatest Players: #7 Brian Rolston
Brian Rolston's three seasons with the Minnesota Wild are statistically three of the best seasons ever. His slap shot is still talked about today,

#BecauseItsTheCup

Penguins open Cup Final with victory on late goal - StarTribune.com
PITTSBURGH – If you didn’t know before Monday, you know now: The Pittsburgh Penguins have more weapons than Sid, Geno and Phil.

Penguins bypass feeling-out process, take Game 1 right at Sharks | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
From Yahoo Sports: PITTSBURGH – The opening period of Game 1 of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final was absent of any sort of typical feeling out process between teams in the first game of a series.

Patrick Marleau won’t be suspended for Bryan Rust hit; right call? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
From Yahoo Sports: There are two things happening on this play, both in Marleau’s favor for exoneration by the NHL.

Souhan: Stanley Cup finalist Phil Kessel's production belies perception - StarTribune.com
No hot dogs for Phil

Defenseman Martin supplies steadying force for Sharks - StarTribune.com
Twelve years in the NHL, and first-year San Jose Sharks defenseman Paul Martin never has missed the playoffs and is striving to become the third Elk River-raised player to win a Stanley Cup (Joel Otto, 1989 Flames; Dan Hinote, 2001 Avalanche).

Off The Trail

Down Goes Brown: Post-season heartbreak rankings - Sportsnet.ca
Bottom line: 14/30. Remember when Gary Bettman said that NHL fans don't want to look at salary cap web sites? I think he might have been talking about the Wild.

NHL nearing final decision on possible expansion - Sportsnet.ca
A decision on where the NHL is heading with expansion is down to its final days, although we won’t know for sure what the league has planned until a June 22 board of governors meeting in Las Vegas.

St. Louis Blues re-sign Hitchcock for one final year - Sportsnet.ca
The St. Louis Blues Blues have re-signed head coach Ken Hitchcock to a one-year contract extension. And that'll be it.

The World Cup of Hockey All-Snub Team Should Happen - Winging It In Motown
The list of guys left off of WCoH teams is too good to just let sit out.

Auston Matthews earned it: Analyzing North America's World Cup roster - Sportsnet.ca
After the season and the performance at the World Championships that Auston Matthews had, he earned a spot on Team North America. And not for political reasons -- he was a must-have player on this Under-24 team.