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Wilderness Walk: Bright Lights

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Already in the spotlight thanks to their ongoing GM search, the Wild announce their national broadcast schedule for the 2019-20 season. Plus, NHL buyout fallout, a Whitecaps signing, a look ahead to the the 2021 Expansion Draft, and more!

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Winnipeg Jets v Minnesota Wild

Though much (if not all) of the current focus regarding the Minnesota Wild revolves around their search for a new general manager, the Wild will soon be under a different kind of spotlight — the bright lights of nationally televised games on NBCSN.

The team announced their national broadcast schedule yesterday. Some of the highlights include the season opener at the Nashville Predators, a pair of games against the rival Colorado Avalanche, perennial powerhouse teams in the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, and three face-offs with the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues.

See below for the full lineup:

Minnesota Wild National Broadcast Schedule

Date Opponent Location Time (CT) Network
Date Opponent Location Time (CT) Network
Thursday, Oct. 3 at Nashville Predators Bridgestone Arena 7 p.m. NBCSN
Wednesday, Oct. 30 at St. Louis Blues Enterprise Center 7 p.m. NBCSN
Friday, Dec. 27 at Colorado Avalanche Pepsi Center 7 p.m. NBCSN
Monday, Jan. 14 at Pittsburgh Penguins PPG Paints Arena 6 p.m. NBCSN
Wednesday, Jan. 16 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Xcel Energy Center 7 p.m. NBCSN
Tuesday, Jan. 22 vs. Detroit Red Wings Xcel Energy Center 7 p.m. NBCSN
Monday, Feb. 4 vs. Chicago Blackhawks Xcel Energy Center 7 p.m. NBCSN
Saturday, Feb. 9 vs. Colorado Avalanche Xcel Energy Center 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Saturday, Feb. 23 vs. St. Louis Blues Xcel Energy Center 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Friday, March 1 vs. Washington Capitals Xcel Energy Center 7 p.m. NBCSN
Friday, March 15 vs. Nashville Predators Xcel Energy Center 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Friday, March 29 at St. Louis Blues Enterprise Center 6 p.m. NBCSN

As for the ongoing GM search, speculation abounds regarding a recent in-person interview with current Carolina Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell. As reported by the Athletic’s Michael Russo (among others), Monday’s meeting with Waddell has the NHL buzzing, especially since Carolina has apparently approved the interview, according to Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News and Observer.

The Wild also have had (according to Russo) an in-person interview with Bill Guerin, former NHLer and current assistant GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Between Waddell, Guerin, Hextall, and Chiarelli, the Wild have cast a pretty wide net so far, with more names to undoubtedly surface. Earlier this week, we wrote about what the Wild need to look for in their next GM. Now, it’s just a matter of owner Craig Leopold (with the help of team president Matt Majka and consultant Mike Modano) finding the best candidate that fits what they’re looking for — whatever that is.

And with just over a month until training camp, that decision has to come soon.

Wild News

The fact that the Wild were in the running to sign a current general manager (Don Waddell of the Hurricanes) is strange. That the Hurricanes front office approved it is even stranger:

Sara Civian, Hurricanes beat writer for The Athletic, wonders what it might mean that Waddell is meeting with the Wild at all. Is it bargaining leverage? Or does Waddell really want out?

Once a GM is named, that person will likely immediately begin looking forward to the 2021 Seattle Expansion Draft. The Hockey News has some speculation on what the Wild’s protection list might look like:

On Frozen Pond

Former Gopher (and three-time NCAA national champion) Meghan Lorence has signed to play for the Minnesota Whitecaps in 2019, according to the University of Minnesota:

On the Gopher men’s side, four Gopher players shined at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Michigan, including upcoming sophomore Sampo Ranta:

Off the Trail

Buyouts abound in the NHL recently. Kevin Shattenkirk was “pissed off” about his buyout by the New York Rangers, but probably feels better after signing a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning:

Michael Stone’s buyout from the Calgary Flames may sting for a bit:

Ryan Lambert of Yahoo! Sports takes a look at when bought-out players sign with new teams. Does it ever pay off, or should buyer beware?

Lastly, in RFA news, an arbitrator awarded St. Louis Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson a one-year, $3.1 million deal: