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Wilderness Walk: Happy Friyay

An update on Ryan Suter’s injury, Matt Dumba on the bubble for top 20 defenseman, the idea of having NHL games on Christmas Day and more.

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NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Winnipeg Jets at Minnesota Wild Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friyay Hockey Wilderness Readers!

The Wild and the rest of the NHL are like your Grandpa out in the deer stand.... quiet. So on this August 10th morning I’ll keep it short and to the point, taking us through today’s Walk is Darius Rucker’s hit, Wagon Wheel.

Wild News

Suter: 'I feel like I'm back'
Update: Ryan Suter's labor of love reeks of melted steel and hot electric. It's what happens when your rink is filled with a haze of pungent smoke from the dust and the fusing together of steel beams. The number of workers in yellow construction hats is twice as many as skaters on the ice.

Ask Russo, Part II: Why no trade to shake up the core? What’s with Coyle? Who should be the first retired number? – The Athletic
The second part of the Ask Russo mailbag answers your questions on the lack of big trades, Charlie Coyle's struggles, Russo's love of Trampled By Turtles and more

Ask Russo, Part I: On the Wild’s lines, Suter’s injury, Staal’s future, stripping the ‘C,’ sticking up for Dubnyk and more – The Athletic
ICYMI: Even in the void of August, there's plenty to talk about. Part I of our latest Ask Russo mailbag tackles your questions on all things Wild.

Stanley Cup blueprint: How the Central teams stack up to the Capitals’ best assets – The Athletic
To get an idea how many teams around the league have a legitimate shot at winning a championship, we look at them through the lens of Washington’s success.

Defensemen on the bubble
Matt Dumba? NHL Network knows who the best players are in the League right now. They will reveal their lists in a nine-episode series that runs through the start of the regular season. The second episode is Sunday at 7 p.m. ET and focuses on the top 20 defensemen.

On Frozen Pond

Minnesota's Natalie Darwitz to enter U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame | MPR News
Former University of Minnesota hockey star and current Hamline University women's hockey coach Natalie Darwitz is part of the 2018 class of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

Take a look back at Minnesota Duluth's journey to capture the 2018 NCAA ice hockey title
VIDEO: From the last bid into the NCAA ice hockey tournament to the last team standing, relive Minnesota Duluth's remarkable journey to become the 2018 ice hockey national champions.

While in Minnesota, Vice President Mike Pence makes UMD Bulldogs hockey gaffe - Bring Me The News
No. The UMD Bulldogs are not a high school team..... *Face Palm*

Off the Trail

Proposing 5 potential Christmas Day NHL games -
Coming up with five NHL games to be played throughout Christmas Day, if the NHL ever wanted to do something like that.

Coyotes ink Dvorak to a six-year extension - Article - TSN
The Arizona Coyotes announced on a Friday that the team has signed centre Christian Dvorak to a six-year extension. A center that was thrown around Minnesota Wild trade talk earlier this summer..

How the best and brightest are improving their games – TheHockeyNews
In the depths of August, some of the best players in the world came together in Toronto to work on their heavenly skills under the tutelage of Joe Quinn. This was the Power Edge Pro camp, though I propose a new name: Phenom University.

$10-million man? MVP Hall in line for big raise from Devils – TheHockeyNews
Taylor Hall has yet to play his first game as the reigning NHL MVP, but the Devils have already made their intentions clear with the star winger. Come next July, they plan on doing everything in their power to ink Hall to a long-term, big-money extension that keeps him in New Jersey well into the future.

‘The Trade’ Retrospective: What became of other players in Gretzky deal between Kings, Oilers? – TheHockeyNews
It was 30 years ago today, Aug. 9, 1988, that the most earth-shattering trade in NHL history took place. On a sleepy summer day, at a time when off-season action is usually at its quietest, the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings shook hands on a blockbuster deal that sent Wayne Gretzky to Hollywood and reshaped the NHL.