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Wilderness Walk: The Jungle

The NHL “Jungle” starts tomorrow, so get prepared Wild fans!

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Minnesota Wild v New Jersey Devils Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

What an exciting time of year it is in the NHL. It is officially one day away until free agency opens and players can start signing contracts with their new teams. Throughout the day today expect more announcements of where players will be signing. The big news coming today will be what team John Tavares chooses to sign with. The news from the big free agent is expected to be announced at some point later today.

In other news, former Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher found a new job yesterday, joining good friend Ray Shero in New Jersey. Fletcher is the new Senior Advisor to the GM/Hockey Operations for the Devils.

To take you through the Walk this Morning is X Ambassadors, The Jungle. I felt this song is fitting as the Wild are prepping for free agency to start and also the possibility of a trade looming from new GM Paul Fenton?.. Let the weekend begin!

Wild News

2018 Free Agency | Minnesota Wild
Complete coverage of Minnesota Wild and NHL free agency.

ICYMI: A look at the Wild’s possible targets in free agency – The Athletic
Taking a closer look at what the Wild may do in free agency.

ICYMI: Minnesota Wild 2018-19 depth chart – The Athletic
A look at the Wild's roster, updated throughout the season as transactions go down.

On Frozen Pond

Minnesota State hockey recruit becoming a hot prospect | MSU men's hockey |
Nathan Smith didn't go to Dallas for the National Hockey League draft. Instead, he stayed home in the Tampa, Florida, area and watched it on TV with family and friends,

Season in Review: Look Back at 2017-18 :: University of Minnesota :: Official Athletic Site
The Official Athletic Site of the University of Minnesota - Look back at the 2017-18 season of Gopher women's hockey, the 21st season in program history.

Off the Trail

Devils name Chuck Fletcher Senior Advisor to the GM/Hockey Operations
Ex-Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher previously worked under Shero for three years as Assistant General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins, from 2006-2009, including winning the Stanley Cup together in 2009.

8 kinds of NHL free-agent deals -
NHL free-agent deals tend to fall into one of eight categories. Today, we look back at the cap era and find the deal that best represents each.

UFA Leaders: Goal men, point producers & minute munchers – TheHockeyNews
After the big name on the board, John Tavares, the free agent class is awfully thin. But here are the best of the rest set to hit the open market.

How did the Sharks pitch John Tavares? Doug Wilson’s courting of Pete DeBoer may offer insight – The Athletic
We don't know what the Sharks said to John Tavares, but we can look to their courtship of Pete DeBoer for clues on how the pitch went.

Doughty agrees to eight-year extension with Kings
Drew Doughty has agreed to an eight-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Kings.

Reirden named Capitals’ new coach, to the surprise of absolutely no one – TheHockeyNews
Todd Reirden has long been considered the frontrunner for the Capitals’ vacant coaching job, so Washington’s announcement of his hiring shocked not a single soul.

Capitals get great value on Kempny as free agent market thins further – TheHockeyNews
When it comes to Michal Kempny, the Washington Capitals seem to have found their own personal good-value goldmine. But the signing means teams seeking free agent blueliners are going to be left with even fewer options.

Canucks the front runners for UFA Beagle - Article - TSN
The Vancouver Canucks appear to be the front runners to land free agent center Jay Beagle on Sunday, TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie reports.

Lucic's agent fires back at trade rumours - Article - TSN
While trade rumours swirled Thursday, Milan Lucic's agent insists the winger will not be traded by the Edmonton Oilers this summer.

Injured Broncos hockey player out of coma, unable to speak - Article - TSN
SASKATOON — A junior hockey player who was injured in the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash is making progress but is not yet able to speak.

2019 UFA Class: The most notable NHLers eligible for extensions -
July 1 will usher in a whole new group of pending unrestricted free agents eligible to sign extensions with their respective clubs. And boy, is it a deep class. Let's dig in.

Evander Kane opens up on why things didn't work out in Winnipeg -
In a recent post on The Players’ Tribune, Evander Kane reflected on his first half-season in San Jose, finally feeling like he belongs in the NHL and why that wasn't the case in Winnipeg.

Thoughts on Dougie Hamilton and fitting in, small fish in free agency pond, goalie carousel – The Athletic
Most of the controversy about Dougie Hamilton seems to be about fit – on and off the ice.