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Wilderness Walk: Stay Locked In

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Alex Stalock is staying put, as is most of the rest of the State of Hockey. Warm up with NHL news and notes in the walk

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Winnipeg Jets v Minnesota Wild Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Good morning, Wilderness. Apologies for the late walk... but no one should really be walking in this weather if they can help it.

I kid, I kid.

Alex Stalock is staying put, but only because his car won’t start. Seriously though, congrats on the three-year extension!

As for the rest of the Wild, they’re still enjoying (?) their week off, hopefully somewhere warm and tropical. By Saturday when they face the Calgary Flames Chicago Blackhawks, the polar vortex should be abated, and they’ll come home to 70 degree temperatures (or at least how warm 43 degrees will feel like). Shorts anyone?

Not much else to report in the world of the Wild, but still lots of NHL news and notes to walk through. So get your balaclava, put on your doggo’s boots, and let’s not so much walk as get blown by the ice cold wind to where we’re trying to go.

Wild News

Wild, Alex Stalock agree to three-year, $2.35 million deal
Alex Stalock, the MN Wild's backup goaltender since spring of 2017, has agreed to terms on a three-year deal worth $2.35 million, the team announced Tuesday.

Wild gives goalie Stalock three-year contract extension - StarTribune.com
The 31-year-old Stalock has a 2.92 goals-against average and .894 save percentage this season in 14 games as a backup to All-Star Devan Dubnyk.

Tending the Fields

THE WILD WIRE - #15 | Iowa Wild
For those who did not tune into the AHL All-Star Skills Competition Sunday night, stop reading here and go to AHLTV. Sign-up for the service if you haven’t already and then you’ll be able to watch the event, without a subscription. I’ll wait, because goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen’s performance needs to be seen to be believed.

On Frozen Pond

Gopher Hockey’s Tyler Sheehy Named Big Ten #1 Star of the Week - The Daily Gopher
He also took home the NCAA’s #2 Star of the Week

Warroad hockey legend Roberts dies at 93 - StarTribune.com
Dick Roberts grew up playing hockey on the outdoor rinks in Warroad in the early 1940s, then was a Gophers defenseman for three varsity seasons starting in the winter of 1945-46.

All Things Gritty

At NHL All-Star weekend, Gritty punched a dodgeball ref, outdid the Fiji girl, and rode a hockey stick to victory
Gritty brought his Philly attitude to San Jose for NHL's All-Star Weekend.

Off the Trail

Analyzing the possibilities of the NHL’s next U.S. TV rights deal – The Athletic
How much will the NHL's next big TV deal bring in? Which network will win the rights? How does streaming fit into the picture? Katie Strang answers those questions and more.

The Tank Index: Which of the league’s struggling teams are in the best position to get a lot worse down the stretch? – The Athletic
NHL teams don't tank, because Gary Bettman says so. But if they did, here's who could be in the best position to make a big push in this year's race to the bottom.

Impact statements from families of Humboldt Broncos won't change past, but can change the future - TheHockeyNews
Before sentencing can take place in the trial of the semi truck driver who pled guilty for his role in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, those effected by the tragedy will share their stories. It will be painful, but it is a necessary step in continuing the healing process and could help prevent such an accident from ever happening again.

Around the League

Are the Lightning the most complete team in the salary cap era? – The Athletic
This year, more than ever before, the Stanley Cup is Tampa's to lose, as they've put together a regular season and roster without much precedent.

Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen won’t simply trade Artemi Panarin to highest bidder – The Athletic
Kekalainen said he'll set the bar for what any trade offer for Panarin must include. If a team can meet that criteria, Panarin will be on the move before the Feb. 25 deadline.

LeBrun Notebook: NHL trade landscape after Muzzin deal, preparing for a Panarin exit and a Matthews extension – The Athletic
Will the trade dominoes start to fall now or was the Jake Muzzin deal a one-off?

LeBrun: Where does Claude Giroux fit into the Flyers’ re-tool? – The Athletic
Claude Giroux wants to win badly, so it's worth asking if he wants to wait for the Flyers to build back up.

Montreal Canadiens: Lessons for Bergevin Before Trade Deadline
Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin doesn’t need to look far for advice as to how to proceed this upcoming trade deadline.

Anaheim Ducks Wise Not to Fire Randy Carlyle...Yet
Fans have been calling for Bob Murray to fire Randy Carlyle, but the Anaheim Ducks GM is waiting. Find out why that's the right move.

Winnipeg Jets Down Boston Bruins - Connor Scores Shootout Winner
Kyle Connor scored back-to-back goals 34 seconds apart in the 3rd period and delivered the shootout winner to lift the Winnipeg Jets over the Boston Bruins

With no guarantees, the Blue Jackets need to ensure Panarin isn’t lost for nothing - TheHockeyNews
Artemi Panarin won't be talking contact with the Blue Jackets until after the season is over, and that leaves Columbus with only a few options with the deadline approaching. The safe bet, though? Trade the star winger and get what you can in return before it's too late.

Flyers' Carter Hart is living up to the hype — and he might be a sneaky Calder contender - TheHockeyNews
Since making his NHL debut in mid-December, Carter Hart has been among the best goaltenders in the league. The future has quickly become the present in Philadelphia, and Calder consideration might not be far-fetched.

Five major second-half storylines to watch in the NHL - TheHockeyNews
Will-they-or-won't-they scenarios with several UFA trade candidates will significantly impact the NHL in the coming weeks.