The Minnesota Wild haven’t been around very long. When you consider that the NHL has been in operation for over a century, the Wild’s existence has been a mere blip in the history of hockey in North America. Still, the Wild have done a pretty fair job of making some noise in their 20-year journey. Who can forget about Nino Niederreiter’s series-winning goal in Game 7 against the Colorado Avalanche? Or when Andrew Brunette ended Patrick Roy’s career with the Game 7 overtime winner in 2003? These are moments that are forever etched into the minds of Wild fans past and present.
But for every great memory, there are still countless other forgotten players and moments from the Wild’s relatively brief history. Let’s take a ride in the wayback machine and reflect on some of the most forgettable players to ever wear a Wild sweater.
If you remember this guy, props to you. Erik Reitz spent several years in Minnesota’s system, but only wound up playing in 37 games for Minnesota. In those 37 games, Reitz collected one goal, one assist and 45 penalty minutes. Reitz spent most of his time in the AHL with the Houston Aeros, where he was actually quite useful. As an NHLer, though, he never quite managed to stand out.
Remember when Johan Larsson played for the Wild? Of course you don’t! Drafted In the second round (No. 56 overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Larsson wound up playing a grand total of one (1) game for the Wild. Peep the image above of Larsson helplessly falling to the ice as the mighty Valtteri Filppula merrily scoots his way by. This is one of the only photos available of Larsson in a Wild sweater. After his extremely brief stay with the Wild, he took his talents to the great city of Buffalo, New York, where he currently plays for the Sabres. In 392 games for Buffalo, the 27-year-old has amassed 38 goals and 97 total points.
You probably recognize Mike Rupp from his appearances on NHL Network, but if it weren’t for his media career, you probably would have completely forgotten that he ever even played for the Wild. He was never much of a scorer, but Rupper did put together a pretty decent career. He spent his last two seasons in Minnesota, but failed to make much of an impact. In 45 games as a member of the Wild, he scored exactly one goal and posted just four assists. Nothing to write home about.
Bergie! What a guy. Bergenheim had a nice little run in the NHL for a bit. After several seasons with the New York Islanders, Bergenheim spent some time down south playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers. The Wild traded for Bergenheim at the trade deadline in 2015, giving up a third-round draft pick for him. Unfortunately, he wound up appearing in just 20 games (including postseason) for the Wild, and only managed to collect a single point. He’d never play in an NHL game again after the 2014-15 season.
If there’s one thing Zenon Konopka was good at, it was beating the hell out of people. But in terms of being a useful hockey player, there was a lot to be desired. Konopka spent two seasons and 73 total games with the Wild. In those 73 games, he managed just two points and 172 penalty minutes. Not great!