Yesterday, we got to hear from the players for their annual year end press availability. We got to hear plenty of opinions on whether players would like to be back and got some mixed answers. Chris Porter and Thomas Vanek definitely want to be back, while Ryan Carter said that he likes it here, but his decision will be impacted by a coaching hire and his potential deployment and ice time. Very honest answer from a guy who was scratched out of the playoffs while rookies got to play. But when you hear Darcy Kuemper say he hopes to be part of the group again, you wonder about the validity of player comments. Others like Vanek and Jason Zucker offered a litany for how they have to be better. We'll see if either get that opportunity in Minnesota. Alternate Captain Ryan Suter gave the locker room a vote of confidence, saying he believed in the team - but that team could be very different next year with only 14 contracts in place and roughly $13M to spend against the cap.
Now the focus can truly shift to what comes next. This offseason is HUGE for this franchise and may be more compelling than the season was.
Here's a tasty alternate version of the Wild's new goal song. Enjoy as you Walk.
Since Prince's death, several sites are imbued with elevated meaning
Petition: Change Minnesota Wild goal song to "Let's Go Crazy" Permanently
Eulogy: Remembering the 2015-16 Minnesota Wild
The one and only Steve Dangle lays our team to rest. Best Eulogy I've read.
Zach Parise hopes to avoid back surgery, Thomas Vanek hopes to avoid buyout and much more - StarTribune.com
Today was breakup day for the Wild where players have their exit interviews with management, get their offseason workout plans and pack up their gear.
Vanek knows buyout could happen, but still believes he’s a 30-goal scorer – ProHockeyTalk
"I'm not happy with my year -- I'll worry about myself, have a good summer and be ready to go."
Wild need right coach to get back on track. Hello, Randy Carlyle. – Twin Cities
Shipley, I like you, but hockey is clearly not your best sport.
Who's the Stars' better option in net: Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi? - Sportsnet.ca
The Dallas Stars have a tough task on their hands in the form of the St. Louis Blues in Round 2. Dallas now has to decide between Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi in net. Andrew Berkshire breaks down which goaltender is the better option.
Hitchcock: Hawks and Stars are very similar teams - Sportsnet.ca
I couldn't disagree more.
Rangers' Dan Boyle blows up at reporters during scrum - Sportsnet.ca
Dan Boyle's possibly last media availability was a memorable one.
Off The Trail
Blues proof that high draft picks aren't always key to success - Sportsnet.ca
The St. Louis Blues went to great lengths to make sure nobody knew about Colton Parayko way back when.
Patrik Laine won't really go No. 1, will he? - Sportsnet.ca
Could Patrik Laine really get drafted ahead of Auston Matthews? It might depend on who wins the lottery: "There’s a possibility everyone gets surprised."
Flyers' Schenn suspended three games - Article - TSN
C’Mon Ref: The toughest calls still must be made - Article - TSN
You said it, Kerry Fraser