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Category: Minnesota-Wild

Brad Staubitz & James Wisniewski Suspended Indefinitely Pending Hearing

NEW YORK (September 24, 2011)—Minnesota Wild forward Brad Staubitz has been suspended indefinitely pending a hearing and the completion of a review by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for an incident that occurred in Friday night’s preseason game in St. Paul, NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan announced today.

Staubitz received a major penalty and game misconduct for checking from behind 4:24 into the third period.

NEW YORK (September 24, 2011) – Columbus Blue Jackets’ defenseman James Wisniewski has been suspended indefinitely pending a hearing and the completion of a review by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for an incident that occurred in Friday night’s preseason game in St. Paul, NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan announced today.

Wisniewski received a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head of Minnesota forward Cal Clutterbuck 20:00 into the third period.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brad+staubitz, james+wisniewski

Mikko Koivu Thinking Positive In Minnesota

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

“I want to be part of a team that has success here. It’s a lot more fun to win than lose. I remember the feeling of winning [in 2007 and 2008]. You know when your team is good. I want to get back to that.”

That’s why Koivu was ecstatic when the Wild, the NHL’s fifth-lowest-scoring team last year, acquired snipers Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi over the summer.

Koivu hit the ice for the first time Saturday with Heatley and Setoguchi as linemates after three years of playing alongside Andrew Brunette and Antti Miettinen.

Koivu has never scored more than 22 goals and 71 points. Could playing alongside Heatley, a two-time 50-goal scorer, and Setoguchi, who scored 31 goals in 2008-09, trigger Koivu’s breakout?...

And Koivu says he will not alter his game. He hopes to score more, but he won’t cheat to do so.

“The points will be there if we play good hockey, but I take pride for my defense and I believe it’s a big part of winning hockey,” Koivu said.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mikko+koivu

Wild Owner Excited For The Season

from Bruce Brothers of the Pioneer Press,

The swagger is back, Wild owner Craig Leipold says.

Six months ago, Leipold was hurting. There was little spark surrounding the NHL franchise he had purchased 2-1/2 years earlier, a team that finished outside the playoffs for the third consecutive season while Xcel Energy Center attendance slipped.

Typically more comfortable in the background, Leipold nearly disappeared in March. Numerous requests for interviews were rejected.

“At end of the year, I didn’t want to talk to anybody,” he explained recently. “There was nothing I could add to anything.”

As Wild training camp opened at the X this weekend, however, Leipold’s optimism and enthusiasm have returned.

“I feel good,” he said in a free-flowing preseason interview with no off-limit topics. “We have new players. We feel like we’ve got a little swagger here. There’s just a different kind of excitement, and everybody in the office feels it.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+leipold

All Mike Yeo

from Mike Morreale of NHL.com,

NHL.com: Can Dany Heatley return to the player he was in Ottawa, when he produced back-to-back 100-point seasons as the go-to guy?

Yeo: “I’ve had a lot of dialogue with Dany and what I anticipate from him is to bounce back from his so-called down year (64 points in San Jose last season)—at least that’s what everyone keeps saying he had. From what I gather, he still found a way to put a few pucks in the net and I’m expecting him to do the same thing again this season. He’s excited about this opportunity and challenge and I think he’s motivated in terms of the so-called down year and wants to prove he still has a lot of good hockey left in him. More than anything else, he’s really excited to come here and help us take that next step as an organization. I think from management to coaches to players, there’s a lot of optimism to where we think we’re going right now. We have a direction and Dany wants to be a part of that and he wants to help lead us in that direction.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+yeo

The Youth Movement

image

While we are currently deep into the NHL off-season, I thought it would be nice to step away from the Wild for a bit and focus on other aspects of hockey life in Minnesota.

One of the perks of living in a state covered by ice five months out of the year is that kids get ample opportunities to get out and play some puck. Some of my favorite memories from my childhood revolve around the outdoor rinks in my hometown - finishing dinner, grabbing my skates, and going out to play a pick-up game with my family until either the rink attendant called us into the warming house at closing time, or my older brother threw me over the boards into a giant snowbank. Given the amount of people we encountered on those subzero nights, its entirely likely that rinks all over the state were just as busy.

So its really no surprise that youth hockey is as important in our state as opening night of the NHL season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, Joe Hanstad, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Made in Minnesota

Ask any Minnesota Wild fan what has been the most impressive highlight of Chuck Fletcher’s reign as GM, and the answer you get back will most likely revolve around the influx of new talent in our farm system. Mikael Granlund, Johan Larsson, and Jonas Brodin highlight a recent draft haul that now includes newly acquired (via trade) Charlie Coyle - all of whom give hope and optimism for the near future of our team.

With good reason too. When Fletcher arrived in our state in 2009, the cupboard was essentially bare. Former general manager Doug Risebrough had attempted to placate a demanding fan base by going into “win now” mode, even though history proves that very few NHL expansion franchises have immediate success. Sure, the unexpected run to the 2003 Western Conference Finals had St. Paul buzzing - but poor roster structure and a short-term vision would cause the Wild to be stuck in the mud for several years.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, Joe Hanstad, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chuck+fletcher, doug+risebrough

Wild About Minnesota

Meet our new Minnesota Wild blogger, Joe Hanstad. 

Welcome, Joe!
—Alanah


Anytime I need to introduce myself, I wish I could have an entrance much like a professional wrestler - theme music, fireworks, and a ramp I can run down while looking strangely like the Ultimate Warrior. Minus the facepaint.

... scratch that, the facepaint is cool.

Anyways, my name is Joe Hanstad, and I’m very happy you’re here on Kukla’s Korner, checking out the wonderful news, views, and rumors we have to offer. I’m thrilled to be a part of this wonderful slate of new bloggers that are exclusive to KK, and I can only pray I don’t become the weak link in this fantastic group of writers.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, Joe Hanstad, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Will Heatley And Setoguchi Lead The Wild To The Playoffs?

from Michael Russo of the StarTribune,

It’s been a dramatic offseason for the Wild, one that was triggered less than 12 hours after the team missed the playoffs for a third consecutive year by the firing of coach Todd Richards.

Since then, the changes have been fast and furious, with the hiring of Mike Yeo as coach and the overhaul of a roster that includes the departure of six unrestricted free agents, established players Brent Burns and Martin Havlat and the arrivals of Darroll Powe and Mike Lundin.

But General Manager Chuck Fletcher’s two largest additions—Heatley and Setoguchi—tried on their forest green Wild sweaters for the first time Monday.

“I think as a team we’re going to get back in the playoffs,” said Heatley, music to the ears of Wild fans everywhere.

If that’s to happen, Heatley and Setoguchi must be two significant factors.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wild Has Their Scorer

From Michael Russo at the Star-Tribune:

Heatley scored 26 goals and 64 points last season for the Sharks. That’s not a down year for most, especially when you consider those numbers would have led the Wild.

But this is Dany Heatley—a two-time 50-goal scorer, a point-a-game player, someone who possesses one of hockey’s most toxic shots.

General Manager Chuck Fletcher is confident Heatley will fill the net.

“His track record speaks for itself,” Fletcher said. “He’s a proven goal scorer.”

And the Wild is starved for goals. In his end-of-the-season analysis, Fletcher believed the Wild had too many pass-first players. So on Sunday, he asked one of them—Havlat—to waive his no-move clause.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dany+heatley

Many Thought These Contracts Would Be Impossible To Move

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

On the day the NHL season ended, if you’d listed all the contracts that absolutely positively couldn’t be dumped on anyone by the time training camps opened in September, you’d probably have settled on two: Brian Campbell’s eight-year, $56.8-million (all currency U.S.) deal with the Chicago Blackhawks and Dany Heatley’s six-year, $45-million deal with the San Jose Sharks.

Campbell’s contract came in at a $7.1-million annual average and, even though he’s coming off a decent season, it wasn’t $7.1-million worth of decent. As for Heatley, whose contract runs out in 2014 and has a cap hit of $7.5-million a season, his struggles to score in the playoffs on behalf of a Sharks team that was entertaining Stanley Cup dreams were well-documented. Heatley had had two erratic seasons under his belt in San Jose. The plans to play him with Joe Thornton stalled at the end of the first season and in 2010-11, playing with Logan Couture and Ryan Clowe, the two-time 50-goal scorer sniped just 26 times in the regular season – and his playoff numbers were worse.

Who, in his right mind, would take on those financial albatrosses? It just wasn’t going to happen – that is, until it did.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+campbell, dany+heatley

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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