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Wilderness Walk: Whitecaps Movin’ On Up

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The Whitecaps join the NWHL, the Lightning give the Capitals a taste of their own medicine, and Jaromir Jagr is at it again.

Minnesota Wild v New Jersey Devils Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

I saw Chicago last night with my family. Apart from being a really entertaining musical, it also got me thinking about the relationship between GMs. In Chicago, there is a character known as Matron “Mama” Morton who has the means to help just about anyone in jail do or get just about anything... for a price. Her opening number (watch it below) is an anthem for the dealmakers and would-be swindlers of the world, which obviously includes professional sports team GMs. The specific question I got to wondering about it is “How much of a GM’s relationship is specific to other individuals and how much is to other teams?” Clearly GMs know each other as people and that’s important, but does a GM’s friendly dealing with a team’s old GM ever predispose them to work well with a team’s new GM?

For instance, if “future considerations” have any actual meaning, the Wild are still owed some “future considerations” from the Arizona Coyotes for that arrangement with Teemu Pulkkinen. Former Wild GM Chuck Fletcher was involved in that deal, but as he’s out the door, it sure would be nice if Arizona felt it still owed the team future considerations and not just XGMCF. In this specific case, probably not, seeing as Pulkkinen isn’t even with the Arizona organization anymore, but it illustrates my point. Will the Wild’s new GM have a similar relationship with the Buffalo Sabres that XGMCF did or will the new GM bring about a new set of favored trading partners?

Wild News

Is Wild GM search taking forever? You must have forgotten 2009 - StarTribune.com
Perhaps as a testament to our collective impatience in 2018 — mine included — there has been a fair amount of idle grumbling recently that the Wild's search to replace general manager Chuck Fletcher sure seems to be taking a while.

Wild castoffs Erik Haula, Alex Tuch enjoying deep playoff run with Golden Knights
Since the Vegas Golden Knights nabbed Eric Haula and Alex Tuch from the MN Wild last offseason, both players have taken their game to another level. Haula has developed into legitimate two-way center, and Tuch has shown flashes of brilliance as smooth-skating, 6-foot-2, 225-pound winger with a scoring touch.

Tending the Fields

Dismissal of WHL attempt to block class-action suit a step towards change in major junior ranks | The Hockey News
An attempt by the WHL to block a class-action lawsuit against the league for improved wages and back pay has been dismissed, and it could be a step towards changing major junior hockey's archaic compensation practices.

On Frozen Pond

College Hockey Mailbag, Part II: On the Gophers men’s and women’s programs – The Athletic
How does Bob Motzko change the identity for the Gopher men's team? What's Taylor Heise's role for Brad Frost's group? And much more.

Off the Trail

Pro women's hockey league expands with addition of Minnesota team | StarTribune.com
The Minnesota Whitecaps, formed in 2004, are joining the National Women's Hockey League, bringing the highest level of pro women's hockey to the state for the first time.

NWHL expands to Twin Cities by acquiring Minnesota Whitecaps
The Twin Cities welcomed its newest professional sports team to the market on Tuesday afternoon with the announcement that the Minnesota Whitecaps will join the National Women’s Hockey League. The Whitecaps will become the league’s fifth team, joining the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, and Metropolitan Riveters, and will start playing at the start of the 2018-19 season.

Confidence key for Jets’ Tanev, who has provided spark for Winnipeg during playoff run | The Hockey News
Brandon Tanev doesn't wear a letter on his jersey, but he's leading by example and has provided a boost -- offensively, defensively and emotionally -- for the Winnipeg Jets throughout the post-season.

Lightning’s fate in Eastern Conference final hinges on Vasilevskiy rediscovering his form | The Hockey News
Andrei Vasilevskiy may be a Vezina Trophy finalist, but he hasn’t looked like a top-three netminder for the better part of three months, and if he doesn’t turn it around soon, the Lightning could be booking tee times earlier than expected.

Lightning strike back, beat Capitals in Washington - Sportsnet.ca
The Tampa Bay Lightning cut their series deficit to one after they beat the Washington Capitals 4-2 in Game 3 on Tuesday.

If any team is bold enough to trade Pekka Rinne, it's Nashville | The Hockey News
Deal away your franchise goalie in what will probably be his Vezina year? Sacrilege! Or is it? The Predators haven't gotten the clutch goaltending they need – and they have a history of wild, unexpected trades.

The Vegas Golden Knights Are Here to Stay – Grandstand Central
It's taken only one year, but already the Vegas Golden Knights have set themselves up for long-term success. And they've done it by eschewing everything we've been told about how to run a hockey team.

NHL Bridge Deals Are Falling Down
NHL teams are transitioning away from giving bridge deals to young players and are instead giving long-term contracts at an early age. Using player examples, find out why this is good for everyone involved.

Jaromir Jagr signs on for another year with hometown team, will play 30th pro season | The Hockey News
Jaromir Jagr may have had an unceremonious end to his NHL career, but the 46-year-old surefire Hall of Famer isn’t done yet. After finishing up the campaign with his hometown team, Jagr has signed on for another season in Kladno.

Wayne Gretzky Stats: Top 10 Most Unbreakable Records
Wayne Gretzky's Stats are off the charts. Click to see his full stats as well as which of his records will likely never be touched.