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Wilderness Walk: Matt Cullen still kicking tires with retirement

A lot of Wild articles, free agency talk, and draft talk today.

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NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Minnesota Wild Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friyay everyone! The NHL is starting to shift focus from the Washington Capitals Stanley Cup celebration to the offseason up ahead. The NHL draft is only a week away from today (June 22-23). Yes, you read that right, the draft is already upon us. NHL free agency starts in less than a month on July 1st. The NHL offseason is already in full swing less than a week after the Caps hoisted the cup. Don’t you love it? For the Wild, the next couple of weeks might bring change in the current roster, maybe not but one things for sure the next couple of weeks in the NHL world should be exciting!

With that, taking us through the Walk this morning is The All-American Rejects single Dirty Little Secret.

Wild News

Wild Pre-Draft Mailbag, Part I: It’s time to shake up the team’s core, but how? – The Athletic
We know changes are coming, which means you've got questions. Michael Russo takes time out from his birthday celebration to answer.

Wild Pre-Draft Mailbag, Part II: On the draft, Suter’s health, Kaprizov and more – The Athletic
More of your Wild questions answered in the conclusion to our mailbag ahead of next week's NHL draft.

Central Division team draft needs
Who do the Minnesota Wild and their central division need to draft? The 2018 NHL Draft provides an opportunity for teams to shore up positions of need with an injection of young talent.

Cullen contemplates future in beloved hometown
Matt Cullen isn't sure if he's coming back for a 21st season in the National Hockey League. It's a decision he expects to make in the next few weeks, but one the 41-year-old former St. Cloud State Husky never takes lightly.

Minnesota Wild announces 2018-19 preseason schedule
The National Hockey League's (NHL) Minnesota Wild today announced its 2018-19 preseason schedule will consist of seven games. The Wild will play three games at Xcel Energy Center, including home-and-home series against Central Division opponents Colorado, Dallas and Winnipeg.

Minnesota Wild Players Most Likely to Be Traded
The Minnesota Wild have found their new general manager in Paul Fenton. He will be tasked with assembling a roster better than what Chuck Fletcher brought.

On Frozen Pond

MN Hockey Breaks National & State Record for 8 & Under Players |
Minnesota Surpasses 7,000 New 8U Players for First Time Ever.

University of Minnesota Athletics News :: Official Athletic Site
The Official Athletic Site of the University of Minnesota - Seniors Sydney Baldwin, Sidney Peters, and Yaroslav Pochinka have been named to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-America At-Large Teams. TWO OF WHICH PLAYED ON THE WOMENS TEAM DURING THE 2017-18 SEASON.

Off The Trail

Brown: A video breakdown of Quinn Hughes and his electrifying toolbox – The Athletic
Defenceman Quinn Hughes is the best skater in the 2018 draft class. From defence to offence, every aspect of his game is based on that elite ability, making him the top defenceman available.

10 potential destinations for pending UFA John Carlson -
John Carlson kept the door open to test the UFA market on July 1, so we're exploring 10 places where he could end up.

Why Carlson has the most to smile about in wake of Ekman-Larsson’s extension | The Hockey News
Throw past projections out the window, because after Oliver Ekman-Larsson agreed to an eight-year, $66-million extension with the Coyotes, free agent-to-be John Carlson is set to become the next $8-million defender.

Game 7 of Calder Cup final prime proving ground for Maple Leafs, Stars prospects | The Hockey News
It's been 15 years since the last Game 7 in a Calder Cup final, but the winner-take-all contest gives the youngsters, veterans and coaching staff from the Toronto Marlies and Texas Stars the opportunity to show just how far they've come.

Russian Olympian Voynov seeking dismissal of no contest plea, eyes potential NHL return | The Hockey News
Former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov is asking Los Angeles County Superior Court to dismiss his no contest plea stemming from an October 2014 domestic violence incident as part of an apparent bid to return to the NHL.

Kovalchuk watch: Who's in the running and who makes sense | The Hockey News
Ilya Kovalchuk has reportedly drawn interest from several organizations spanning across the entire NHL, but his suitors range from teams building towards a brighter future to those that could be on the cusp of winning it all.

Capitals already thinking Stanley Cup repeat
T.J. Oshie was the first to mention the idea of a repeat at the rally following the Washington Capitals' Stanley Cup parade Tuesday, leading the massive crowd in a chant of "Back-to-back!". Captain Alex Ovechkin echoed the sentiment a few minutes later.

List of potential 2019 free agents could set up for year of contract craziness in NHL | The Hockey News
John Tavares and John Carlson are in line for high-priced deals ahead of or during free agency, but the NHL could go contract crazy over the next 12 months with the list of big-name talent eligible for free agency in 2019.