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Koivu is out for the season, the NHL trade market heats up, plus other news and notes in the walk.

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Buffalo Sabres Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Wild will be without their Kaptain for the rest of the season.

Mikko Koivu will have surgery on his right knee to repair a torn ACL and mensicus and will miss the rest of the season. The short-term replacement is likely to be Joel Eriksson-Ek, but GM Paul Fenton will have a little more than two weeks to decide if he will make moves to strengthen the roster for a playoff push, or whether Minnesota will be sellers at the deadline.

Speaking of the NHL trade market, things are continuing to heat up as the Nashville Predators acquired center Bryan Boyle in a trade with the Devils. Lots of speculation abounds as to whether this domino will trigger more action.

Get better, Mikko. In the meantime, we prepare for a gameday walk with a Boyz II Men classic. Somberly, we walk.

Wild News

Wild Warmup: Minnesota vs. Edmonton
The Wild will aim for its first post-All-Star victory on Thursday when it returns to home ice for a game against the Edmonton Oilers at Xcel Energy Center.

MN Wild: Knee injury ends Mikko Koivu’s season
The captain is finished for the season.

Mikko Koivu to miss rest of Wild season with torn ACL, meniscus in right knee – The Athletic
After a hit sustained Tuesday night in Buffalo, the Wild's franchise leader in career points will miss the remainder of the season.

Minnesota Wild: Mikko Koivu out for Season
Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu has suffered a torn ACL ligament and meniscus in his right knee and will miss the remainder of the 2018-19 season.

Wild recalls Eriksson Ek from Iowa
Forward has two goals and seven points in 36 games with Minnesota this season

Wild to enable by-committee approach with Koivu done for the season - StarTribune.com
Wild captain Mikko Koivu will miss the rest of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his right knee Tuesday at Buffalo.

To buy or to sell? As deadline looms for Wild, Paul Fenton faces a conundrum – The Athletic
As the Wild struggle out of the gate following their bye week, change is in the air. But finding the right way forward is an unenviable task.

Should Koivu injury push Wild to be trade deadline sellers?
Mikko Koivu‘s season-ending injury is a brutal blow to the Minnesota Wild in 2018-19. There’s no getting around that. But it also might provide the push this franchise needs to make lasting changes that might make their future brighter.

Wild insist defenseman Jared Spurgeon is NHL’s ‘unsung hero’ – Twin Cities
MN Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon became the second defenseman in franchise history to record 10-plus goals in three or more seasons with the injured Matt Dumba serving as the other name on that short list.

North Stars News

Former North Star Boudrias dies at 75 - StarTribune.com
The diminutive winger led the team in assists during its first season in Minnesota.

Tending the Fields

IOWA GETS BACK IN THE WIN COLUMN WITH 4-2 VICTORY AGAINST SAN JOSE | Iowa Wild
-Wild forward Gerry Mayhew scores two goals, becoming team’s leading scorer-

Gophers hockey notebook: Red-hot Pitlick honored by Big Ten | Duluth News Tribune
MINNEAPOLIS -- With roughly a month to go in the regular season, the Minnesota Gophers are below .500 (11-12-4) have almost no mathematical chance of winning the Big Ten, and will likely need to win the conference playoffs to make the 16-team NCAA tournament field.

Prospect Need to Know: From Boston to Russia and all points in between - TheHockeyNews
College hockey's Beanpot tournament has set its final, while the Five Nations in Sochi is a must-see event for scouts. Find out who is hot around the prospect world right now in our weekly wrap.

On Frozen Pond

Top games: Sartell-St. Stephen readies for nail-biter with rival Alexandra
Feb. 7: The Sabres and Cardinals have a history of playing tight regular-season games, and Thursday's contest promises more of the same.

State tournament-caliber girls' hockey defines loaded Section 6
Only one will survive play over the next two weeks in Class 2A’s most talent-rich section, featuring consensus top teams Blake and Edina along with No. 6-ranked Wayzata. At least two other sections have some intrigue as well.

All Things Gritty

Flyers mascot Gritty a hit on Capitol Hill | NBC Sports Philadelphia
Gritty was on Capitol Hill Wednesday — and, no, he was not announcing his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election. By Jordan Hall

Off the Trail

Goodbye, Dead Puck Era
Players in the NHL are scoring at a prodigious pace.

What's it like being an AHL coach during NHL trade season? - TheHockeyNews
At the mercy of their parent clubs, farm-team coaches sometimes get their best players snatched away to be included in NHL trades. Adapting mid-season is part of the business – and has some silver linings.

Down Goes Brown: What was the second most important trade in NHL history? – The Athletic
Identifying the most important NHL trade ever is easy. But the second most important? Here are 10 possibilities that make the strongest case.

Around the League

Predators Acquire Brian Boyle for Pick
Looking to add some more veteran leadership up front, the Nashville Predators went out and acquired Brian Boyle from the New Jersey Devils.

Again on the move, Brian Boyle is traded to Predators
The Nashville Predators have secured a bottom-six upgrade for the stretch drive.

Nashville Predators Getting Brian Boyle Makes Perfect Sense
On Feb. 6, the Nashville Predators acquired veteran center Brian Boyle in a perfect trade. Here is my reasoning for calling the trade ‘perfect.’

Trade Bait: Boyle out, Henrique in - TSN.ca
Here is the latest TSN Hockey Trade Bait board, which always seeks to blend a player’s prominence with his likelihood of a trade:

NHL Notebook: Names on the Trade Deadline Watchlist
A few dominoes already have tumbled ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Here’s a look at some of the other names that could be moved between now and Feb. 25.

NHL Trends: Sharks defensive duo and Islanders on the rise, Cam Fowler and the Ducks falling – The Athletic
The end of every month is a great time to look back and reflect on the previous month of hockey to see which way teams and players are trending.

Melnyk: Sens will spend close to cap after rebuild - TSN.ca
Speaking at a corporate event in Toronto on Tuesday, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk outlined his team's plans moving forward.

Recent success might be reason for Canadiens to rethink their trade deadline plans - TheHockeyNews
Marc Bergevin said he didn't think he was "in the rental business" when asked last month, but with Montreal's recent success and push towards a divisional playoff spot, it might be worthwhile for the Canadiens to start scouring the trade market.

How does the Matthews contract affect the likes of Marner, Point, Rantanen and Tkachuk? - TheHockeyNews
Auston Matthews' contract was the first — and biggest — domino to fall in the next wave of major restricted free agent signings. But what does it mean for other young, burgeoning stars who are about to see their entry-level deals expire?

How the Matthews deal shifts the market for the next group of star RFAs – The Athletic
The Matthews contract is a game-changer for players coming out of entry-level contracts. Craig Custance chats with agents and executives to get the impact.

LeBrun: What the Auston Matthews deal means for Mitch Marner’s second contract – The Athletic
Auston Matthews' newly signed contract will have a significant impact on how other RFAs negotiate their contracts this summer.

New Matthews deal is the only outcome that made sense
The contract that will keep Auston Matthews in Toronto for the next five years may as well have been signed at the same time as William Nylander’s.