Brian Murphy / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL -- A year ago the Minnesota Wild were money at home, turning the Xcel Energy Center into a distinct home-ice advantage that made visitors vulnerable to the delight of sellout crowds who packed the arena every game. Those sellout crowds are still pouring into the building, but more often than not lately, they have been showering boos on their underperforming home team while visitors more often than not chortle out of town with two easy points.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Wild center Luke Kunin returned to practice Wednesday. March 13, after missing two games with an upper-body injury and was declared ready to play Thursday’s game against the Dallas Stars at Xcel Energy Center. “That’s the plan. I feel like I’m good to go, so we’ll see,” Kunin said afterward. Coach Bruce Boudreau affirmed that Kunin would play against the Stars. “He’s fine. He’s ready to play,” Boudreau said.
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Minnesota Wild rookie center Luke Kunin is out indefinitely with what the team is calling an upper-body injury after he was knocked out of Thursday night’s game at Tampa by an open-ice check that left him woozy. Coach Bruce Boudreau said before the game that Kunin would not play Friday, March 8, against the Florida Panthers but declined to elaborate on the injury. “He won’t be playing tonight,” he said. “That’s as much of an update that I can give you.” Boudreau was asked if Kunin would be out long.
TAMPA, Fla. — Another day, another new player for the Minnesota Wild, or at least what was old is new again. Center Victor Rask skated with his teammates Thursday morning, March 7, for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury Feb. 12 against the Philadelphia Flyers. He is not in game shape yet and practices are limited this time of year. But Rask is thrilled to be back with the team.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Kevin Fiala walked out of the visitors’ dressing room at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night, March 5, turned left through the double doors separating the clubs and greeted former Nashville teammate Filip Forsberg with a smile and bear hug. The scene was a far cry from the scrum that erupted between the new combatants shortly before Fiala scored the tying goal with 2:18 left in the third period to ensure Minnesota would earn at least one point in the Predators’ second straight shootout victory over the Wild.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Mikael Granlund had his surreal homecoming Sunday in Minnesota. Tuesday, March 5, was Kevin Fiala’s turn in the Music City. The former Predators winger returned to Bridgestone Arena and reported to the visitor’s dressing room a week after the Wild acquired him from Nashville in exchange for Granlund. How weird was that?
CALGARY, Alberta — He practiced but could not play. Wild left wing Zach Parise was sidelined for Saturday night’s game against the Flames, giving veteran right-winger Matt Read a shot at another shot. “Probably a better chance there,” coach Bruce Boudreau said of Parise playing Sunday, March 3, against Nashville at Xcel Energy Center.
ST. PAUL -- It’s Jarome Iginla Night Saturday, March 2, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, where the Flames will retire their former captain’s No. 12 jersey during a pregame ceremony that undoubtedly will show the tough and prolific right-winger in a few fights. Will the fisticuffs spill over into real time when the Wild face Calgary for the third and final time this regular season? Don’t bet on it. “We need to win,” coach Bruce Boudreau said Friday. “That’s nothing. It’s all about playing the game the right way.”
ST. PAUL -- Kevin Fiala’s head was still spinning Thursday, Feb. 28, after the left-winger practiced with the Minnesota Wild for the first time since being acquired from Nashville earlier this week. Two locker stalls down, winger Ryan Donato admitted he finally knows all of his teammates’ names a week after joining Minnesota from the Bruins organization. Across the way, defenseman Brad Hunt, whose five weeks in town practically make him a mainstay, described the Wild as one big welcoming family.
ST. PAUL -- Wild forward Mikael Granlund has been traded to Central Division rival Nashville for left winger Kevin Fiala, continuing a string of deals that jettisoned mainstay wingers Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle. The Wild also sent 37-year-old forward Matt Hendricks to the Winnipeg Jets for a seventh-round pick in the 2020 draft.