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Wilderness Walk: NHL faces several COVID-19 closures

Your daily dose of Wild news, along with other interesting stories from around the NHL.

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NHL: JAN 09 Predators at Blackhawks Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

That’s Wild

  • A lot of Wild stuff happened this weekend, so it’s my job to get you all caught up. First, some terrible news as top prospect Marco Rossi is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury. [Hockey Wilderness]
  • During Friday night’s scrimmage, new Minnesota forward Marcus Johansson suffered an unfortunate injury. [Hockey Wilderness]
  • Following in the footsteps of other teams around the league, the Wild announced that their already-existing arena sponsor, Xcel Energy, will be represented as their helmet ads for the upcoming season. [Hockey Wilderness]
  • With Pierre-Luc Dubois wanting out from under the grasp of the Columbus Blue Jackets, could the Wild sweep in and snatch their new number-one center for pennies on the dollar? [Hockey Wilderness]
  • Russo details how defenseman Matt Dumba has dealt with numerous trade rumors during his time in Minnesota and how he’s eyeing a rebound season. [The Athletic]
  • Cam Talbot has had to work his ass off to get where he is, as the Wild’s new starter. [StarTribune]
  • Former Wild coach Bruce Boudreau now owns a minor hockey team, but he still wants to do more coaching in the future. [The Athletic]

Off the trail...

  • The NHL are now going through the growing pains of a league starting up during a global pandemic. Multiple teams have cancelled practice and even more have players not participating because of being “unfit to play.” The Dallas Stars were hit the hardest, as their season start has been delayed due to six players and two staff members testing positive. The Vancouver Canucks and Pittsburgh Penguins are the latest teams that have had to cancel practices. [Sportsnet]
  • The Athletic’s Harman Dayal looks around the league for the top breakout candidates for the upcoming season. [The Athletic]
  • Corey Crawford announced his retirement from hockey this past weekend and he has left a longstanding legacy of consistency and championships between the pipes for the past decade with Chicago. [ProHockeyTalk]
  • Mat Barzal, RFA extraordinaire, has finally signed his three-year bridge deal with the New York Islanders. No more waiting around twiddling our thumbs and wondering if the Isles will be without their best player to start the season. He will have a cap hit of $7-million. [Lighthouse Hockey]
  • Sean Gentille does the dirty work and goes ahead and ranks all the helmet ads from worst to worse. [The Athletic]