The Minnesota Wild will play 3-on-3 overtime in at least three of its six preseason games regardless of the score after regulation.
The NHL announced on Wednesday that 45 games across the League will feature the new 3-on-3 overtime format regardless of the score after the third period.
According to the announcement, the planned overtimes, " … will provide all participants -- players, coaches, management and on-ice officials -- an expanded opportunity to test the new format in advance of its introduction to regular-season play when the 2015-16 NHL season opens on Wednesday, Oct. 7."
On Tuesday, Minnesota Wild players traded in their hockey sticks for golf clubs and hit the links at the Troy Burne Golf Club for a round with the Wild's corporate sponsors.
Though the event was scored, and a winning team was declared after 18 holes, the day served as more of an opportunity to give Wild players and the sponsors a chance to connect in a different, more personal setting.
"It's great to see them in this environment," said Mike Kueppers, Director of Sales for Coca-Cola Refreshments. "Obviously we see them all winter long trying their hardest to bring that Stanley Cup back to Minnesota. To be able to interact with them on a more personal level, they're just all great guys, and the whole Minnesota Wild organization does a great job."
Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr speaking with Bob Kurtz after the Wild lost to St. Louis on Monday afternoon at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament.
Forward Jack Walker (Edina) speaking with Bob Kurtz.
Defenseman Mike Reilly speaking with Bob Kurtz.
In its final divisional game at the Traverse City Tournament, the Minnesota Wild lost to the St. Louis Blues, 7-1.
Minnesota trailed 2-0 until forward Reid Duke scored late in the second period to make it 2-1. St. Louis responded with a goal just over two minutes later, and another with 25 seconds remaining in the second period to stretch its lead to three. The Blues scored three more goals in the third period to pull away.
"We just came out flat for whatever reason and St. Louis came out and played hard," said Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr. "They got the early lead. We came back and finished strong late in the first but we came out in the second and gave up a couple of power play goals, and ended up giving up three power play goals against."
A big second period wasn’t enough as the Minnesota Wild fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets 8-5 in their second game of the Traverse City tournament on Saturday.
For the second straight game, the Wild’s prospects scored three goals in the second period, taking a lead into the third, but were unable to hold off Columbus.
"We came out well," Wild Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr said. "We played hard and had some pretty good chances, but we were unable to score."
The Minnesota Wild prospects opened the Traverse City tournament on Friday with a 5-2 win against the New York Rangers.
After trailing 1-0 through the first period, the Wild scored five unanswered-goals, and outshot the Rangers 22-8 over the game's final 40 minutes.
"The first period we came out and I thought we were really sloppy," Wild assistant general manager Brent Flahr said. "I thought we worked hard, created chances but, too cute, and just the execution wasn't very good.
"That's expected with one partial practice, and then you go into a game. But we settled down and played a lot better in the second period, and pulled away."
The NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich. guarantees each of the eight teams in attendance four games.
Grouped into two divisions, a four-team round robin takes place from Friday to Monday, and on Tuesday, there are crossover games between the first, second, third, and fourth place teams from the respective divisions playing a final game.
The Wild are grouped in the Ted Lindsay Division with the New York Rangers, the St. Louis Blues, and the 2014 Traverse City champion Columbus Blue Jackets.
The NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich. gives young players a chance to impress their team's brass and make a statement before training camp opens.
The Wild will be one of eight teams playing in the tournament, which begins Sept. 11 and ends on Sept. 15.
It's a tournament that, in its 17-year run, has featured many prominent NHL players. Current Wild players to have participated in the tournament include Marco Scandella, Jared Spurgeon, Matt Dumba, and Christian Folin.
On Wednesday night, six of the 12 Little Wild Learn To Play Hockey sites opened the ice for young, new hockey players.
The program, for five- to eight-year-olds, consists of four, one-hour instructional sessions designed to introduce Minnesota's youth to its core sport.
"Living here in Minnesota it should probably be a law that you need to learn how to skate, and learn how to play hockey," said Allison Cook, whose son Joshua (7), was participating in one of the sessions on Wednesday. "It's a great opportunity for him to get some fundamentals and some basics."
The World Cup of Hockey will make its return in 2016 after a 12-year hiatus. On Wednesday, the NHL announced more information about the tournament including dates, country groupings and management teams.
The tournament will feature eight teams: The United States, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, Team Europe — a team made up of players of the other European countries — and Team North America — a team made up of the top 23-and-under North American players.
Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli and Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman will manage Team North America.