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Wilderness Walk: All-Star Weekend is upon us!

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All-Star Weekend is here! Catch up on all the latest news from around the league and anything and everything Minnesota Wild!

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NHL: NHL All Star Game Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friyay Wilderness!

It’s finally upon us! All-Star weekend in San Jose is in full swing today as the on ice festivities kick off tonight with the 2019 SAP NHL All-Star Skills Competition. Devan Dubnyk is the lone Minnesota Wild player competing in the All-Star game and I think we all wish him the best of luck as the Central Division looks to capture their first win under the new 3-on-3 format. The Pacific Division has won twice (2016, 2018) and the Metropolitan Division has won once (2017) in the three years since changing to the current 3-on-3 format.

Schedule:

NHL Skills Competition - Friday, 8:00 p.m. CT - NBCSN

NHL All-Star Game - Saturday, 7:00 p.m. CT - NBCSN

Friyay Fun Fact: Gordie Howe, otherwise know as Mr. Hockey holds the NHL All-Star record for the most career penalty minutes, serving 25 minutes in the box throughout the span of 23 All-Star games (also a record).

Taking us through the Walk this morning is California Love by 2Pac featuring Dr. Dre.

Wild News

Wild reassigns Eriksson Ek, Kunin to Iowa
Minnesota Wild General Manager Paul Fenton today announced the NHL club has reassigned forwards Joel Eriksson Ek (pronounced JUHL AIR-ihk-suhn EHK) and Luke Kunin (pronounced KUNN-nihn) to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Countrymen Aberg, Rask eager to adjust to new lives in Minnesota
When Pontus Aberg finally gets back to the Twin Cities at some point over the next week or so, his first real journey out in town will likely be to the mall.

Dubnyk, Brown to represent Wild in Bay Area during All-Star weekend
Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk is no stranger to the NHL All-Star Game. When he plays in Saturday's marquee event, it will be his third appearance in the game itself, all in the past four years since his trade to Minnesota four years ago.

One-on-one with Paul Fenton: What the Wild GM is thinking as deadline nears – The Athletic
With the Wild in their usual borderline playoff position, the first-year GM answers questions about what should be an interesting lead-up to Feb. 25.

Nick Seeler plays the hero in Colorado as Wild head into break on a high note – The Athletic
Some inspired play from the defenseman and timely scoring from his teammates helped Minnesota win its fourth in five games ahead of the weeklong hiatus.

On Frozen Pond

Border Battle Comes to Campus - University of Minnesota Athletics
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Gopher Hockey program returns to action this weekend, kicking off a four-game home stand by hosting a Border Battle series with Wisconsin at 3M

NOTES: First-place Huskies pay a visit to the Ralph this weekend - University of North Dakota Athletics
North Dakota welcomes new No. 1 St. Cloud State to the Ralph Engelstad Arena this weekend. SCSU returned to the top spot after slipping to No. 2 for one week.

Gophers Make the Most of Their Time on Semester Break By Giving Back - University of Minnesota Athletics
The holiday season and semester break gave our Gophers a chance to lend a helping hand within their community.

It's too cold for hockey in Minnesota - Story | KMSP
It is officially too cold for hockey in the State of Hockey. The U.S. Pond Hockey Championships was supposed to hold their annual Youth Night on Thursday, but organizers announced they are closing the rinks on Lake Nokomis due to the dangerously cold wind chills expected.

The 75 greatest players to play Minnesota high school hockey: Nos. 61-75 – Twin Cities
The Pioneer Press counts down the top 75 hockey players to ever play Minnesota high school boys hockey leading into the 75th state tournament.

Off the Trail

Burns' All-Star guide to San Jose
In this special story for NHL.com, Burns, a member of the Sharks since the 2011-12 season, writes about his favorite places in the city and the Bay Area.

Breaking down favorites and sleepers ahead of the NHL all-star skills competition - TheHockeyNews
The NHL All-Star Skills event goes Friday, with players squaring off in six events with $25,000 going to the winner of each competition. Who will take home the prize? And which players could sneak in to surprise us with their skills?

31 Thoughts: What’s next for Oilers after Chiarelli firing - Sportsnet.ca
The Edmonton Oilers need a full-scale audit, not just a GM search, after firing Peter Chiarelli. More in the latest 31 Thoughts.

Facts and Figures: Plenty of offense with arrival of All-Star Weekend
The 2018-19 season has experienced a plethora of offense entering the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.

Oilers in no rush to hire GM after firing Chiarelli
The Edmonton Oilers will try to thread the needle in the days ahead, focused on change although unwilling to trade away the future after firing president of hockey operations and general manager Peter Chiarelli on Tuesday night.

Ovechkin ties Fedorov for most NHL points by Russia-born player
TORONTO -- Alex Ovechkin tied Sergei Fedorov for most NHL points by a Russia-born player (1,179) for the Washington Capitals in a 6-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday.

NHL Rumors: Oilers Audit, Auston Matthews, Micheal Ferland, More
In today's NHL rumors, there are updates on the Edmonton Oilers conducting a massive internal audit, the Canucks are interested in Micheal Ferland.

The evolution of the dressing room speech, from emotional outbursts to tactical adjustments – The Athletic
Instead of spouting vitriol, many NHL players believe the best dressing room speeches from coaches should focus on how a team can implement their own tactical adjustments in a game.

The Surge: The NHL’s influx of 100-point scorers and why it’s unlikely to end anytime soon – The Athletic
Today’s goalies are probably getting real tired of the red light behind them constantly flashing;...

Hockey know-it-all Matthew Tkachuk’s love for the game blossomed early and continues to grow – The Athletic
Hockey is Matthew Tkachuk's job and one that he takes seriously. But to him it's not a chore, but simply doing something that he loves.

Dellow: Four questions that the Oilers should be asking candidates for the GM job – The Athletic
The process that the Oilers are about to embark upon presents them with a real opportunity. Don't just find a new GM - get as many ideas and insights into your into your team as possible.

What can PHWA mid-season awards tell us about the NHL's end-of-season trophy race? - TheHockeyNews
The Professional Hockey Writers Association announced its mid-season award winners. Who took home MVP honors? Who was the best defenseman? And are we going to see history made at the NHL Awards in June?

It’s still the Jack Hughes Draft - TSN.ca
Amid speculation that perhaps the star American’s grip on No. 1 status for the 2019 NHL draft was in question after the World Junior Championship, the 5-foot-10-1/4, 168-pound centre remains the unanimous No. 1 on TSN’s Mid-Season NHL Draft Rankings.

Expect the McDavid MVP debate to rage again - TSN.ca
Worthy or not? The hot-button debate about Connor McDavid’s worthiness of the Hart Trophy raged up until ballots were distributed last April.

Countdown to TradeCentre: Canes and Leafs linked again? - TSN.ca
TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported this week that while Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas addressed the media Tuesday in Toronto, other members of management scouted the game between the Carolina Hurricanes and Flames in Calgary.

Just the Stats: Kane and Ovechkin hot, Capitals ice-cold - TSN.ca
Find out who is hot and who is not.

Clowe steps down as Growlers head coach - TSN.ca
Former NHL forward Ryane Clowe has stepped down as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs ECHL affiliate, the Newfoundland Growlers, the organization announced on Thursday.

Six possible candidates to replace Chiarelli as Oilers GM - Sportsnet.ca
A new chapter in Edmonton Oilers franchise history is about to begin as the organization turns the page on the Peter Chiarelli era.