We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

From player to coach, Cody McLeod still impacting Minnesota Wild’s young players

After a lengthy professional career, the 38-year-old McLeod has been brought on as a development coach.

080422wild.jpg
Minnesota Wild development coach Cody McLeod spent more than a decade in the NHL and additional time in the minors.
Tim Garland / Iowa Wild via St. Paul Pioneer Press
We are part of The Trust Project.

ST. PAUL -- It was a little strange seeing Cody McLeod actively working with Minnesota Wild prospects at TRIA Rink in downtown St. Paul last month.

In a past life, McLeod played for the Colorado Avalanche and made the most of his physicality to intimidate some of the younger players on the Wild roster.

Wait. Maybe things haven’t changed all that much now that the 38-year-old McLeod, a former left winger, has been brought on as a development coach.

“We hired him just so he could scare the heck out of all our guys,” Wild director of player development Brad Bombardir said with a laugh. “It’s been awesome so far.”

All jokes aside, it made a lot of sense to hire McLeod, especially after seeing him lead the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League the past three seasons, appearing in 110 games from 2019-22.

ADVERTISEMENT

MORE MINNESOTA WILD COVERAGE:
Pro
The only reason Rossi, a 21-year-old center from Austria, was in the position to help on the game-winning play was because star winger Kirill Kaprizov left the game with an injury after taking a puck off his foot.
Pro
Kirill Kaprizov didn't finish the game, leaving early out of precaution after a shot from teammate Frederick Gaudreau grazed his foot.
Pro
All in on Fleury this season, the Wild say they need to manage the veteran goaltender’s workload this season
Pro
Anaheim’s first-round draft pick in 2018, Steel wasn’t offered a contract after scoring six goals for the Ducks last season
Pro
The veteran defenseman has been past the first round twice, and not since 2015
Pro
Ty Ronning, son of 2003 playoff hero Cliff Ronning, is a training camp invitee looking for his first NHL experience
Pro
The budding Minnesota Wild superstar did not answer questions Thursday about his offseason in his native Russia, at war with Ukraine after invading its neighbor in February, or whether he had difficulty getting back to the United States.
Pro
After a stellar 2021-22 season, the Wild still have high expectations for the 2022-23 season
Pro
While the Wild don’t start training camp until next week, a number of prospects gathered at TRIA Rink in downtown St. Paul this week
Pro
Steel is quietly coming off a solid season in which he recorded 20 points (6 goals, 14 assists) in 68 games with the Anaheim Ducks in 2021-22

“I definitely wanted to stay in the game,” said McLeod, who played more than 750 games over his 12-year NHL career, from 2007 to 2019. “This came together pretty quick after last season. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

It’s a unique position for McLeod because he spent a lot of time in the minors with some players who soon will be making an impact in the NHL. Just last season he was on the same line with winger Adam Beckman in the minors.

“It was pretty cool to have him out here,” said Beckman, who has an outside chance of making the Wild roster out of training camp this season. “It’s been a ton of fun.”

Ask anyone who played with McLeod in the minors, and you will hear about his leadership. Not only did he always do his best to impart his wisdom, McLeod wasn’t afraid to drop the gloves to stand up for some of the younger guys.

He’s “just been around the game a long, long time,” Beckman said. “I learned so much from watching him. I’m sure any guy in the room would say the same thing. It was awesome having him. He’s a lot older than most of the guys in there, and I think it’s really important to have a guy like that.”

As for McLeod’s new role with the Wild, it doesn’t sound like a lot will change. He wants to help the next generation get to the NHL by any means necessary.

“You get excited for them,” McLeod said. “We were actually watching NHL games in the hotel (last season with the Iowa Wild) when we were on the road. It was pretty neat for the younger guys to see, and as an older guy, I was super jacked when they got the opportunity to watch them play.”

There are aspects of being a player that McLeod undoubtedly will miss now that he is retired. It’s impossible to replicate the nervous feeling going into training camp, for example, and there’s nothing like being ice level before the drop of the puck.

ADVERTISEMENT

But McLeod can still be involved in his new role, and he is thrilled about that.

“I wanted to stay in the game, and Minnesota is giving me that chance,” he said. ” I want to make sure I make the most of it.”

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA WILD
What to read next
Pro
The 12-team league, which has been around for 15-plus years and has a rotating cast of participants each season, has provided players and staff members another competitive outlet as well as an opportunity to bond and a chance to take their minds briefly off the day-to-day grind of the baseball season.
Pro
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound receiver out of LSU will be the focus of most, if not all opposing defenses for the rest of the season. He’s just that good. With Jefferson taken out of the offense, Adam Thielen (six catches, 61 yards and a touchdown) and Osborn (5-73-1) got the lion’s share of Cousins’ targets, which was enough to beat the Lions on Sunday.
Pro
It wasn’t always pretty, but it was a good win. An important win, particularly for a team still finding its legs. There’s a big difference between 2-1 and 1-2.
Pro
Larnach, 25, played five rehab games for the Saints, the last coming on Sept. 21, before he was shut down. He was in the Twins’ clubhouse on Sunday morning, though not because an activation is near, manager Rocco Baldelli said.